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Demographics of sustainable technology consumption in an emerging market: the significance of education to energy efficient appliance adoption

Ninh Nguyen (Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia)
Steven Greenland (College of Business and Law, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, Northern Territory, Australia)
Antonio Lobo (Department of Management and Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia)
Hoang Viet Nguyen (Department of Research Administration, Thuongmai University, Hanoi, Vietnam)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 10 May 2019

Issue publication date: 27 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address gaps in the sustainable technology literature by evaluating the demographics of energy efficient appliance consumption in Vietnam. Sustainable technologies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address environmental problems such as air quality and climate change. Opportunity is the greatest in emerging markets, where population growth has triggered dramatic rises in electricity consumption. However, their adoption of energy efficient appliances has been slow and understanding why is limited.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review, a questionnaire was designed to capture sustainable consumption attitudes and behaviours. In total, 682 interviews were conducted among Vietnamese electrical appliance consumers to investigate the influence of demographics on sustainable technology consumption.

Findings

While many respondents were aware of the sustainable benefits of energy efficient appliances, this did not generally translate into responsible purchase behaviour. Of the demographic variables, education had the strongest relationship with sustainability. Those with higher incomes and more children were also more likely to exhibit sustainable consumption attitudes and behaviours. Gender and age were weaker sustainability predictors.

Originality/value

This study is relevant to a wide range of sustainable technology contexts. The literature shows contrary findings regarding relationships between demographics and sustainable consumption, and the value of demographics to sustainable consumer segmentation and targeted behaviour change campaigns has been contested by some researchers. This research highlights education as the most significant demographic predictor of sustainable consumption and reveals the consistency of this finding with many other studies. The implications of this for promoting future sustainability are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Nguyen, N., Greenland, S., Lobo, A. and Nguyen, H.V. (2019), "Demographics of sustainable technology consumption in an emerging market: the significance of education to energy efficient appliance adoption", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 15 No. 6, pp. 803-818. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-11-2018-0312

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited