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Attitudinal determinants of environmentally sustainable behavior

Audhesh Paswan (Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Francisco Guzmán (Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Jeffrey Lewin (Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 14 August 2017




This study aims to focus on people’s pro-environmental behavior and investigates its dimensions and determinants. As environmental sustainability attracts increased scrutiny, understanding end consumers’ pro-environmental behavior becomes imperative for various stakeholders in our highly networked marketplace – e.g. policymakers, businesses, consumers, the public and society at large.


Using data from the general public in the USA, the hypothesized relationships are tested using structural equation modeling (SEM).


The results indicate that if people find enjoyment in nature, believe in achieving a balance between “mankind” and nature, and believe that the benefits of conservation activities are going to accrue in the near term (present), they are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behavior at all levels – supportive, active and lifestyle.

Research limitations/implications

Although only one aspect of environmental sustainability – environmental conservation – is analyzed, these findings support assertions set forth in the theory of environmentally significant behavior (Stern, 1999), the norm-activation theory of altruism (Schwartz, 1973), the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein, 1979) and the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985).

Practical implications

Messages about sustainability, environmental conservation and pro-environmental behavior should be framed using people’s fondness for and enjoyment of nature; should focus on present benefits of conservation; and should be targeted and differentiated for men, women and older people to encourage conservation behaviors among these differing demographic groups.


This study identifies three different levels of intensity of pro-environmental behavior – supportive, active and lifestyle – and empirically examines the relationships between these behavior types and the attitudinal antecedents revolving around time when the benefits of environmental conservation accrue, nature and human–nature interaction.



Paswan, A., Guzmán, F. and Lewin, J. (2017), "Attitudinal determinants of environmentally sustainable behavior", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 414-426.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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