Consumer Behaviour and Environmental Sustainability


Special issue of Journal of Consumer Behaviour; Deadline 31 Jan 2020


Consumer Behaviour and Environmental Sustainability

Guest Editors

Ninh Nguyen

Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Australia.
Business Sustainability Research Group, Thuongmai University, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Lester W Johnson

Department of Management and Marketing, Swinburne Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

Consumer Behaviour and Environmental Sustainability

Environmental degradation is a pressing global problem. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the risks and impact associated with climate change will increase significantly over the next decade (UNEP, 2016). The annual climate change adaptation costs are projected to reach US $300 billion by 2050 (UNEP, 2015). There is growing awareness that many of the environmental problems and their adverse impact are driven by human activities. Essentially, consumer behaviour places a twofold environmental burden on the ecosystem via pollution and also via the destruction of non-renewable natural resources (Abeliotis, Koniari, & Sardianou, 2010). Hence, encouraging more pro-environmental behaviour is imperative for environmental sustainability. This is a challenge that governments, businesses and socio-environmental organisations have constantly sought to address.

Governments at supra, national and local levels have developed and implemented a wide range of environment related legislations, regulations and public policy measures (McDonagh & Prothero, 2014). Environmental organisations and pressure groups have developed environmental programs and campaigns to raise the community’s awareness and knowledge about environmental and sustainable issues such as environmental degradation and unsustainable business practice (Barbarossa & De Pelsmacker, 2016). These are echoed by industries and firms that have been increasingly interested in environmental social responsibility and green marketing (Polonsky, 2011; Romani, Grappi, & Bagozzi, 2016). Despite the aforementioned efforts, though, consumers seem reluctant to frequently engage in pro-environmental behaviour, and especially purchasing green products (Olson, 2013). Policymakers, marketers and researchers have called for a better understanding of factors that enhance or impede such behaviour (Barbarossa & De Pelsmacker, 2016; Prothero et al., 2011).

Previous studies of the drivers of environmentally sustainable behaviour have investigated a plethora of factors (Nguyen, Lobo, & Greenland, 2016, 2017). These have ranged from the personal level of demographic and psychological variables, to the external level of situational factors, social factors and cultural values (Leonidou, Leonidou, & Kvasova, 2010; Liobikiene & Bernatoniene, 2017; Steg, Bolderdijk, Keizer, & Perlaviciute, 2014). Nevertheless, the factors that influence pro-environmental behaviour and green purchase are not yet fully understood (Tilikidou & Delistavrou, 2014), and the characteristics of green consumers are evolving (Kumar & Polonsky, 2017).

This special issue of Journal of Consumer Behaviour contributes to a better understanding of the various factors that may enhance or impede environmentally sustainable behaviour. Additionally, it addresses the urgent need for more integrative and comprehensive approaches to modelling and understanding pro-environmental behaviour (Kumar & Polonsky, 2017; Leonidou & Leonidou, 2011). The Guest Editors invite papers from different disciplines such as marketing, psychology, economics and ethics, which address issues pertaining to (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Consumer attitude and behaviour towards green products
  • Consumer attitude towards corporate environmental responsibility
  • Consumer involvement and participation in environmental campaigns
  • Consumer recycling and conservation behaviour
  • Consumer trust of green advertising
  • Development and validation of integrative model for explaining pro-environmental behaviour
  • Differences in green purchase behaviour between consumer groups (e.g., green versus nongreen consumers, rural versus urban consumers, Western versus Eastern countries)
  • Effects of personal and cultural values on environmentally sustainable behaviour
  • Energy efficiency behaviour in households and the workplace
  • Environmentally sustainable behaviour and public policy
  • Situational influences on green purchase behaviour
  • Reference groups and pro-environmental behaviour
  • The impact of green marketing strategies on consumer behaviour
  • The role of social media in environmental information and education program


All manuscripts submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or be currently under consideration elsewhere.

Manuscripts should be submitted in accordance with the JCB author guidelines online at

All submissions should be made via the ScholarOne online submission system


and should be made to the special issue which is identified on
the submission site.

Important Dates

  • Paper submission deadline 31st January 2020
  • Expected Publication January 2021 – Volume 19, Issue 1

About the Guest Editors

Ninh Nguyen is Lecturer in Marketing at La Trobe Business School. He teaches and publishes in the areas of consumer research, environmentally sustainable behaviour, green marketing, and financial services marketing. His research has appeared in internationally recognised Marketing journals such as Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing & Logistics, and Sustainability. He has also been involved in several research projects funded by universities and ministries in Vietnam.

Lester Johnson is Professor of Marketing at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. He holds a PhD in econometrics from the University of Connecticut. He was elected as one of three inaugural Fellows of the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy in 2004, and in 2008 was also elected as a Fellow of the Australian Market and Social Research Society. His research interests lie broadly in the area of marketing modelling. Recent work includes models investigating sustainability, consumer brand equity, consumer brand engagement, celebrity endorsement, and luxury consumption.


Abeliotis, K., Koniari, C., & Sardianou, E. (2010). The Profile of the Green Consumer in Greece. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34(2), 153-160.

Barbarossa, C., & De Pelsmacker, P. (2016). Positive and Negative Antecedents of Purchasing Ecofriendly Products: A Comparison Between Green and Non-green Consumers. Journal of Business Ethics, 134(2), 229-247.

Kumar, P., & Polonsky, M. J. (2017). An Analysis of the Green Consumer Domain within Sustainability Research: 1975 to 2014. Australasian Marketing Journal, 25(2), 85-96.

Leonidou, C. N., & Leonidou, L. C. (2011). Research into Environmental Marketing/Management: A Bibliographic Analysis. European Journal of Marketing, 45(1-2), 68-103.

Leonidou, L. C., Leonidou, C. N., & Kvasova, O. (2010). Antecedents and Outcomes of Consumer Environmentally Ffriendly Attitudes and Behaviour. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(13/14), 1319-1344.

Liobikiene, G., & Bernatoniene, J. (2017). Why determinants of Green Purchase Cannot be Treated Equally? The Case of Green Cosmetics: Literature Review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 109- 120.

McDonagh, P., & Prothero, A. (2014). Sustainability Marketing Research: Past, Present and Future. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(11-12), 1186-1219.

Nguyen, T. N., Lobo, A., & Greenland, S. (2016). Pro-environmental Purchase Behaviour: The Role of Consumers’ Biospheric Values. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 33, 98-108.

Nguyen, T. N., Lobo, A., & Greenland, S. (2017). The Influence of Cultural Values on Green Purchase Behaviour. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 35(3), 377-396.

Olson, E. L. (2013). It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Effects of Attribute Tradeoffs on Green Product Preference and Choice. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2), 171-184.

Polonsky, M. J. (2011). Transformative Green Marketing: Impediments and Opportunities. Journal of Business Research, 64(12), 1311-1319.

Prothero, A., Dobscha, S., Freund, J., Kilbourne, W., Luchs, M. G., Ozanne, L. K., & Th gersen, J. (2011). Sustainable Consumption: Opportunities for Consumer Research and Public Policy. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 30(1), 31-38.

Romani, S., Grappi, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2016). Corporate Socially Responsible Initiatives and Their Effects on Consumption of Green Products. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 253-264.

Steg, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., Keizer, K., & Perlaviciute, G. (2014). An Integrated Framework for Encouraging Pro-environmental Behaviour: The Role of Values, Situational Factors and Goals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 104-115.

Tilikidou, I., & Delistavrou, A. (2014). Pro-Environmental Purchasing Behaviour During the Economic Crisis. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(2), 160-173.

UNEP. (2015). UNEP 2014 Annual Report. Retrieved 16 April 2016, from United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP. (2016). UNEP Frontiers 2016 Report: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern. Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme