Consumer buying preferences towards technological goods produced using sustainable business practices sample essay
This report shows data on consumer behaviour as primary research and secondary data from literature about sustainability, sustainable business practices and consumer behaviour towards sustainable produced goods. The terms sustainability and sustainable business practices will be examined in more detail. Data gathered from primary research will help to get a better understanding on consumer behaviour, by analysis and presentation in pie charts and bar charts. Methods of data collecting will be examined and the use of surveys and questionnaire as well.
This report will investigate consumer buying preferences towards technological goods produced using sustainable business practices. The term sustainability was first defined by the UN World Commission in its 1987 published report called “Our Common Future”, which defined it as: …development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Since the climate change and its impact on the environment people became more aware of the significance of sustainability. Also companies strive to implement sustainable business practices to prevent further harm to the environment and to improve their efficiency to lower costs and to enhance quality, which in turn satisfies customers and employees.
This report will show that companies using sustainable business practices have an advantage in today’s economy and consumers will invest more time and money in technological goods produced using sustainable business practices. Techniques on how information was gathered will be elucidated in the methodology section and the results will be presented in section 5.
3. Literature Review
Several literature resources about the topics sustainability, sustainable business practises, consumer behaviour and the environment were available. Key findings in literature show that impacts on the environment have led businesses as well as people to rethink the way they use resources.
Due to media influence in past decades many people became aware of global warming, pollution, the ozone layer depletion and its negative effects on nature and health of humanity. An article about sustainable business practices suggests that companies of various sectors should use their own set of techniques to achieve their own version of sustainability.
Furthermore various literatures show that most developments in business practices came from creative thinking about redesigning production cycles while maintaining consumer needs with the environment in mind. Ecoefficiency is the term used by some companies to describe their aims towards more sustainability. The World Business Council, an association of big corporations defines Ecoefficiency as: “as being achieved by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level at least in line with the Earth´s estimated carrying capacity”. This definition is remarkable in its position to human needs and value of life, and can be interpreted as a move away from “materialism” and contribution to meeting needs for human well-being. Most literature offered a big variety of subtopics around sustainability, sustainable business practices and consumer behaviour, which may go way far for purposes of this report.
Primary research was conducted with the aid of surveys and questionnaires. The sample consisted of 40 people, who answered 10 questions around the topic consumer buying preferences towards technological goods produced using sustainable business practices. The questionnaire took approximately 10 minutes to complete and participants were asked that the oldest member of each household should return the results by end of the month. Surveys are one of the fastest methods to gather information nowadays, due the possibility to conduct them online as well.
In the questionnaire participants of ages 30 and above were asked basic questions like name, email, gender and age. Furthermore the questionnaire asked more specific questions like how would you best describe your household, annual household income, if participants would buy sustainable produced goods over normal competitors even if the price was little higher and more to gather information about consumers buying preferences.
The questionnaire was designed to gather a lot of information in a short time. To achieve better results, phrases around the topic sustainability and sustainable business practices were formed so that participants had just to tick their favourite answers. Limitations in primary research may be that the sample size could be increased more by surveying under 30 year olds as well. Secondary research was undertaken with the aid of online databases like summon, which is a database for all kinds of academic articles. Also the survey was based online due to its efficiency, because nowadays majority of people have internet connection.
When asked the question if participants would buy an electronic device which is produced using sustainable business practices rather than one that is not, even if it is more expensive 60% responded with yes. 15 % of participants responded with sometimes and 25% with no.
Furthermore the research was refined and responses by household were considered as well, to get more details on consumer behaviour:
The bar chart above illustrates that families with under 16 year old children are most likely to invest in sustainable produced goods, while elderly couples are least likely to invest in electronic devices. The most remarkable sign when looking at the bar chart is that all except the elderly couples seem to invest more in electronic devices produced using sustainable practices. Singles seem to care as well with response of 3 votes indicating the value sometimes and 4 indicating yes.
Families indicate 7 yes, 0 sometimes and 1 no. As seen families with under 16 year old children respond with 8 yes, 1 sometimes and 4 no. Overall couples, singles and elderly people seem to care less than families and families with under 16 year old children. The results could have been improved by investigating more questions and designing more charts for presenting and interpreting data. One more approach to improve the results would have been to increase the number of participants by giving under 30 year olds the opportunity to participate as well.
The aim of this report was to investigate consumer behaviour in relation to sustainability. A survey was conducted to gather information and to see how participants would respond. Data collected using this method helped designing bar charts and pie charts, to illustrate percentages of participants voting for a specific answer. As conclusion majority of consumers prefer to invest in goods produced using sustainable business practices rather than products which are not, even if the price is higher.
Families seemed to be most likely to invest, while elderly couples seemed not as much interested. Overall consumers tend to invest more in sustainable goods. Secondary research showed that environmental awareness may be a trigger for such decisions. This report also showed that companies investing in sustainability can insure a long run profitability in every sense, be it lowering production costs or driving up consumer and employee satisfaction.
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