Behavior
Economics
Consumers

#16 CLIMACT SEMINAR SERIES How to move forward and act on climate change

Date

Jun 13, 2022

Time

10:00 - 11:15

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#16 CLIMACT SEMINAR SERIES How to move forward and act on climate change

Why consumers not always walk their talk – Discussing reasons behind selective sustainable behavior

Sustainability has arrived in the middle of society. More and more consumers try to be sustainable and consider sustainability as an important purchasing criterion. While the increased awareness is a positive trend, sustainable behavior does not translate into all areas of living/consumption.  This resonates with the ongoing challenge of the so-called Attitude-Behavior Gap. 

Despite its social and environmental relevance, sustainability is oftentimes limited to selected areas of life. While it is easy for us to be sustainable in some areas (e.g. food) and we are even willing to pay a premium price for the sustainable product, we find it more difficult to walk the talk in other areas (e.g. consumer electronics, travel).  

The presentation aims to spark the discussion about how consumers make consumption choices and what role sustainability plays in various decisions. Considering that the consumption of products/services can offer multiple forms of value to the consumer (e.g. economic, social, hedonic, altruistic, etc.), one could approach the topic from a net-benefit point of view. When making decisions, we usually choose the option that promises the greatest benefit (e.g economic, social, hedonic, altruistic, etc.). Notwithstanding a consumer’s general attitude towards sustainability, the importance he/she ascribes to sustainability in different consumption situations might vary. This understanding is important for companies offering sustainable alternatives as it demonstrates that emphasizing sustainable features might be beneficial in some domains, while this approach might fail in other domains. 

UNIL
Dr. Pia Furchheim

ZHAW - SML IMM

Dr. Pia Furchheim is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Institute of Marketing Management at ZHAW, Switzerland. Dr. Furchheim has a strong background in experimental and survey design. She is deputy manager of the executive program “Behavioral Insights in Marketing” which combines the topics of behavioral economics, consumer psychology and marketing. Her research expertise lies in the area of transformative consumer research, in particular sustainable consumption and potential value/goal conflicts that might emerge. She studies different aspects of sustainable consumption. In particular, she focused on the consequences that arise from various conflicts both on an individual level (such as lower degrees of well-being) but also on a societal level (such as higher environmental footprint). Newer research projects investigate the question how products lose their value in the eyes of consumers and how that impacts their tendency to replace them with newer versions. Another research project looks into eating goal conflicts in the context of meat reduction. Her research has appeared in outlets such as Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Service Management, Sustainability, and Psychology and Marketing. She is co-founder of a sustainability lab at ZHAW which aims to help companies to become more sustainable.

Comment consommateurs et producteurs doivent co-créer une économie plus responsable

Pour la Fédération romande des consommateurs, la production et la consommation durables sont l’un des enjeux et des défis majeurs d’aujourd’hui et de demain. L’action des seuls consommateurs ne saurait toutefois suffire à atteindre une empreinte climatique et environnementale minimale, ainsi qu’un impact positif de la consommation sur l’économie et la société : tous les acteurs du marché doivent en effet prendre leurs responsabilités. Les consommateurs ont certes des devoirs, mais leur aptitude à faire changer l’offre par leurs choix – ce que l’on nomme «consomm’action» – a ses limites, car l’alternative durable n’est pas toujours disponible ou possible. La production doit ainsi se transformer et l’offre du marché s’adapter pour permettre un choix durable. Des mesures incitatives sont également indispensables. Un élément d’autant plus important qu’un grand nombre d’études ont largement documenté la différence résidant entre les intentions d’achat des consommateurs et leurs achats effectifs, particulièrement dans le domaine de la durabilité. Dans ce contexte, Christophe Barman abordera différents enjeux autour d'une économie durable et donnera quelques exemples concrets d'actions de la FRC sur le terrain.

UNIL
Christophe Barman

Président de la Fédération romande des consommateurs,

Diplômé de l’école des HEC (MSc, Lausanne, Innsbruck) et titulaire d’un brevet en risk management, Christophe s’engage pour la durabilité, la formation en management participatif et en gestion des risques. Passionné de belles aventures humaines, de montagne et de sport, il est très actif dans le monde associatif : président de Genève Snowsports, vice-président du Ski Romand et de la commission sportive de la Loterie Romande GE, président du Prix IDDEA et de la Fédération Romande des Consommateurs (FRC) et membre du CF de l’Ombudsman Suisse des Banques et de Promotion Santé Suisse. Depuis peu, il préside l’Advisory Board de BLab Suisse qui porte la certification BCorp et s’engage au sein du comité de l’ASAM, nouvelle faîtière suisse de l’entrepreneuriat durable. Il co-fonde Loyco en 2013, entreprise romande de services qui atteint plus de 110 collaborateurs et CHF 16.5 millions de chiffre d’affaires en 9 ans, sans force commerciale ni hiérarchie.

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