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Environmental Sustainability as a Potential Source of Competitive Advantage: A Consumer's Perspective
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s society, managers are faced with the challenge of finding new ways to gain acompetitive advantage over their competitors. Environmental sustainability, which isembedded in the concept of sustainability, experiences more and more importance in a worldof decreasing resources and biosphere. Hence, environmental sustainability may serve as afuture source of competitive advantage. For this reason, the purpose of this research was toinvestigate if environmental sustainability can serve as a source of competitive advantage intwo of the world’s largest and most competitive industries- the food and apparel industry.In order to gain insight if environmental sustainability can serve as a source of competitiveadvantage from a consumer’s point of view, a qualitative approach was pursued. Morespecifically, two focus groups were conducted in order to investigate whether environmentalsustainability can create a competitive advantage over rivals in the food and apparel industryor not.This thesis covers what customers know and associate with the term environmentalsustainability, in general as well as in the apparel and food industry. Furthermore positivelyand negatively influencing factors in the consumers´ purchasing decisions for apparel andfood items were examined.The main findings of this study are that the participants of the focus groups have a fairoverall knowledge about environmental sustainability but at the same time admit that they areconfused about sustainability and do not understand what the term really means. They mainlyassociate environmental friendly processes and social themes with environmentalsustainability.This research showed that marketing stimuli have the most influence on the purchasingdecision. Especially product related attributes are decisive for a purchase in the apparel andfood industry.The negatively influencing factors identified by this study can be divided in internal andexternal barriers. Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs serve as internal barriers. Externalbarriers to environmentally sustainable consumption behavior include availability, missingproduct information and premium pricing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 103 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, Sustainability, environmental sustainability, Food industry, Apparel industry, Competitive advantage
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-51733Local ID: 8eb7839b-ab21-4ee7-a610-412115ac25adOAI: diva2:1025097
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Business Administration, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20150610 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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