Pro-Environmental Behavior of Consumers: A Taxonomy and Its Implications for the Green Marketer

Article excerpt

This empirical study primarily aims to find the underlying dimensions of pro-environmental behavior of consumers in Indian landscape. For this, a total of 152 consumers in India were contacted through convenience sampling. Factor analysis was used to extract various factors that lead to pro-environmental behavior among consumers. According to the loadings, the factors extracted are energy conservist who cares for saving energy; energy economist who save energy because of their economic considerations and pro-environmental activist who takes proactive actions to save environment. Considering this, it is advised to green marketers to consider the economic motivation criteria first to target Indian consumers. Marketers take caution in designing messages, targeting Indian consumers constitute an emerging segment consuming green products and should use rational appeals, and stress economic benefits. This paper is expected to offer guidelines to green companies operating internationally who wish to target these Indian consumers segment.

INTRODUCTION

These days environmental degradation is main concern for all and emerged issue in every part of the market place. Over many decades, most people are realizing the issues of environmental protection have been on rise and paid attention to preservation of natural resources. As a result, public begun to feel considering environmental aspects in their consumption habits, and in turn, businesses felt strong need of environmentally responsible actions or green marketing activities.

As a result, more and more marketers are coming out with products that are 'green' or 'environmentally friendly'. Considering remarkably growing rate of green product markets, companies not only have tremendous market opportunities in development of green products (Schlossberg, 1992; and Polonsky and Ottman, 1998), but also capitalize maximally. To put this into perspective, Prendergast and Thompson (1997) pointed out that segmentation analysis help companies to identify environmentally conscious consumers and enable them to target effectively.

Cross-sectioning the body of green research, many researchers used various bases to segment green consumer segments, viz. (a) Tremblay and Dunlap (1978), Samdahl and Robertson (1989), Pickett et al (1993) and Gooch (1995) used geographic measures; (b) Anderson et al (1974), and Webster (1975) used cultural measures; (c) Kinnear et al (1974) and Crosby et al (1981) used personality measures; and (d) socio-demographic characteristics.

No matter what reason enterprises have in pursuing segmentation, they are going face to face with the consciousness of the consumer. Hence, enterprises must consider consumer pro-environmentalism as segmentation variables that displayed through various pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs). In this context, understanding the consumer's PEB is important for enterprises. Thus, the objective of this research is to explore the underlying factors of PEB of Indian consumers.

This paper begins by covering the literature on PEB and examines the underlying dimensions of pro-environmental behavior. From the exploration, dimensions of PEB are discussed which is viewed as a critical factor for developing bases for segmentation and profiling to target. The research methodology with sample profile and survey measures is then described, followed by a discussion of the main findings.

LITERATURE REVIEW

GREEN MARKETING

With the rising concern of environment and sense for environmental protection and collaborative efforts from government and various international agencies, research pertaining to green marketing in general and green consumers in particulars are in the budding stage across the globe. The decade of the late 1980s was marked by the first stage of green marketing, when the 'green marketing' concept was just emerged and became mainstream issue in industry (Peattie and Crane, 2005). In later stage, gteen marketing management incorporated society's concern about natural environment, and eventually this notion was extended to societal marketing (Prothero, 1990). …