Understanding global sustainability and the role of consumers

We are learning about sustainability and the role of consumers

We are learning about sustainability and the role of consumers

The Challenge

Can individual consumers play a more influential role towards sustainability within the international agenda of climate change?

Most people live in a society influenced by consumerism and materialism. However, whilst many consumers are aware of sustainability issues, their attitudes and consumption behaviours are not always in alignment to each other.

The Method

Sustainability is a global issue which requires rigour and creativity in research design. Dr Anita Zhao combined quantitative and qualitative methods to develop insights into the role of the consumer in understanding global sustainability. Through collecting data on sustainable behaviour issues within international markets including Europe and China, Anita could explore rich data which reflected different cultural backgrounds, marketplaces and decision-making. Such insight has been key to understanding consumers and the impact of their consumption decisions on sustainability across different cultural backgrounds and marketplaces.

In collaborating with leading academics and experts nationally and internationally, Dr Zhao has collated further insight to advance the understanding of sustainability across markets, regions and nations.

The Impact

Dr Zhao’s research revealed that marketing can play a more critical role in contributing to the agenda of sustainable consumption. Advancing our current understanding of sustainable consumption has important implications for marketers (in terms of green products/ service offerings and practices) but also for policymakers through appropriate legislation and regulation. This further reveals that tackling sustainability is not solely a global agenda for nations, governments and businesses; but also for individuals in society.

Dr Zhao’s research into the role of individual consumers within global sustainability has been shared across both academic and business outlets. Within the Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Behaviour and Journal of Macromarketing.

The text reads United Nations Sustainable Development Themes
UN Sustainable goal - climate action
UN Sustainable goal - Life on Land
Text reads Swansea University Research Themes