Going Green: A Study of Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Green Products in Kota Kinabalu

By Tsen, Chyong-Huey; Phang, Grace et al. | International Journal of Business and Society, July 2006 | Go to article overview

Going Green: A Study of Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Green Products in Kota Kinabalu


Tsen, Chyong-Huey, Phang, Grace, Hasan, Haslinda, Buncha, Merlyn Rita, International Journal of Business and Society


ABSTRACT

The quality of life of the present and future generations very much depends on the protection and preservation of ecosystems for humans and the environment to coexist in forming a mutual human-environment system. Marketers have realized the importance of introducing green products in response to environmental degradation. In this study, consumers' attitudes, behaviours and values were manipulated to determine their relative influence on their willingness to pay for green products. The results showed consumer attitude to be the most consistent explanatory factor in predicting their willingness to pay and followed by their behavioural factor. The result also suggested that collectivism value was significant in influencing consumers' willingness to pay for green products.

Keywords: Green products; Consumer; Willingness to pay.

I. INTRODUCTION

According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on 21 October 2004, the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life. Environmental problems are caused directly or indirectly by the patterns of production by industries, patterns of consumption and behaviour of the consumers. The consequences of environmental degradation have caused, among other things, global warming, depletion of stratospheric ozone layer, pollution of sea and rivers, noise and light pollution and acid rain (Ramlogan, 1997).

More and more consumers have realized that their consumption activities will lead to environmental problems and have translated their environment concern into action (Kangun, et al., 1991). In fact, consumers are the essential engine for promoting less environmentally hazardous products or practising ecologically responsible consumption. Ecologically responsible consumption refers to a specific type of socially conscious or socially responsible consumer behaviour that may be viewed as involving an 'environmentalist perspective' (Scheffer, 1991) and may also be termed as 'green consumerism' (Elkington, Hailes and Makower, 1990) or 'environmentally concerned consumption' (Henion, 1976). Research has shown that consumers have translated their resulting environmental concern into actively purchasing green products (Smith, 1990).

It is now accepted that the environment is more than just a passing fad (Peattie, 1992). Numerous studies and opinion polls indicate that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption (Adams, 1990; Dagnoli, 1990, 1991; Klein, 1990; McKusick, 1990; Ottman, 1996; Rice, Wongtada and Leelakulthanit, 1996; Chan, 1996; Morris, Hastak and Mazis, 1995; Mainieri, Barnett, Valdero, Unipan & Oskamp, 1994; Schlegelmilch and Bohlen & Diamantopoulos, 1996). About 60 to 90 per cent of consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases (Dagnoli, 1990,1991; Klein, 1990); they preferred environmentally sound products (Dagnoli, 1991) and even refuse to buy certain products due to environment concerns (Roach, 1991).

In the above context, this paper seeks to examine the relationship between the attitudes, behaviours and values of the consumers and their willingness to pay for green products. A framework was developed from the previous researches that were done mostly in the west. Section two articulates the setting of the study, while Section Three constructs the methodology. Section Four sums up by discussion on findings and conclusion. The last section examines the limitations of the study and suggests some recommendations for future studies.

In the context of Asian countries, there are increasing forces for environmental concern due to the increasing influences of communities on companies, the sky-rocketing cost of complying with environmental regulations, and changing consumer attitudes (Nair, 1993). Malaysia is facing a challenge in ensuring sustainable development in its development.

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