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Western consumers' understanding of carbon offsets and its relationship to behavior

Polonsky, Michael J, Garma, Roma and Landreth Grau, Stacy 2011, Western consumers' understanding of carbon offsets and its relationship to behavior, Asia pacific journal of marketing and logistics, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 583-603.

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Title Western consumers' understanding of carbon offsets and its relationship to behavior
Author(s) Polonsky, Michael J
Garma, Roma
Landreth Grau, Stacy
Journal name Asia pacific journal of marketing and logistics
Volume number 23
Issue number 5
Start page 583
End page 603
Total pages 21
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, U. K.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1355-5855
1758-4248
Keyword(s) Australia
United States of America
consumer behaviour
information
demographics
knowledge levels
environment
green marketing
environmental behaviour
environmental knowledge
carbon offsets
Summary Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine Western consumers’ levels of general environmental knowledge and specific knowledge related to carbon offsets and the relationships between specific types of environmental knowledge and consumers’ related behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach – The study surveyed consumers from Australia (n ¼ 345) and the USA (n ¼ 340) who were sourced through national online panels. The analysis looks at differences between knowledge and behaviors, both across the samples as well as whether there are differences between consumers with high and low levels of environmental and carbon offset knowledge, and whether demographics impact on knowledge levels.

Findings – The results found that consumers had higher levels of general knowledge than carbon offset knowledge and the two types of knowledge were not related. ANOVA results considering country differences and demographic factors found that general knowledge was affected by education, age and gender, with carbon knowledge being affected by education. Environmental behavior was affected by age and gender as well, and no demographic factors influenced carbon-related behavior. Respondent’s location (i.e. USA or Australia) did not influence knowledge or behaviors, but interacted with education in regard to carbon knowledge and behavior.

Social implications – This research suggests that consumers are not acting on their carbon knowledge, which may be due to the debate surrounding carbon issues and/or because the information is based on complex scientific foundations, which the average consumer may have difficulty grasping, regardless of country.

Originality/value – This is one of the first pieces of academic research to explore consumers’ understanding of carbon-related information and how this knowledge impacts behavior. It also proposes a measure for evaluating carbon offset knowledge, which could be used to broaden environmental knowledge assessments.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 150503 Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040310

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.