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Consumer attitude towards sustainable living in India

Karnika Gupta (Department of Commerce, Seth Navrang Rai Lohia Jairam Girls College, Kurukshetra, India)
Narendra Singh (Department of Commerce, Seth Navrang Rai Lohia Jairam Girls College, Kurukshetra, India)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 9 March 2020

Issue publication date: 30 April 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate attitude of Indian consumers towards sustainable living. For the same, the construct of sustainable living is defined and its dimensions are explored. Then, consumers are segmented based on dimensions and profiles of identified segments are discussed upon.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed and introduced on a sample of one thousand consumers from three geographical areas of North India including Haryana (A Northern State), Delhi (National Capital Territory), and Chandigarh (Northern Union Territory). For analysis, principal component analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, cluster analysis, correlation, and chi-square were the statistical techniques applied.

Findings

Seven types of people attitude including attitude towards conserving ecology, anticipating mounting waste, need for recycling, civic norms, overcoming green myopia, environmental thinking, and norms for sustainable mobility were obtained. Based on cluster analysis, five consumer segments, namely, role models, upbeaters, rosy, bewilders, and disorients were observed. It is further found that major proportion of Indian consumers fall under the category role models with highest proportion of respondents in this segment.

Research limitations/implications

The determinants of attitude and testing the theories of attitude formation can be an interesting area to study on Indian consumers. This kind of studies too can be replicated in other cultures and varied contexts. A unique point of further research emerges with the finding of variable gender. Hence, gender differences regarding sustainability or sustainable living can be investigated and reasons can be found out for gender gap.

Practical implications

In light of the findings, this research offers a unique 3 Ss stop → stare → speedup strategy to national as well as international marketers. The stop strategy is for bewilders and disorients segments. Stare strategy is for consumers of upbeaters and rosy segments, and the word speedup stands for role models. Accordingly, marketers need a comprehension on profile of role models as identified in the study in terms of aged males, highly educated married people who live in joint families.

Social implications

Consumers as part of society can play a big role for enhancing green practices, thus, need to take initiatives and revolutionary actions regarding protection of environment. If consumers will be more willing to help solve environmental problems, then there will be less need for government interventions.

Originality/value

Attitude towards sustainable living in India has been explored; and to the best of researchers’ knowledge, the kinds of findings on Indian consumers are reported for the first time in literature. The information generated may have beneficial practical information for the businesses which see India as their potential target market. This study also uniquely identifies three components of sustainable living in the form of civic norms, environmental thinking, and norms for sustainable mobility.

Keywords

Citation

Gupta, K. and Singh, N. (2021), "Consumer attitude towards sustainable living in India", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 301-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-03-2018-0081

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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