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Evaluation of ecolabelling criteria using life cycle assessment

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Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This study attempts to validate and understand environmental concerns commonly found in ecolabel criteria and the implications they have within the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment (LCA) case study of cosmetic products is used in comparison with current ecolabel program criteria to assess whether or not ecolabels are effectively driving environmental improvements in high impact areas throughout the life cycle of a product. Focus is placed on determining the general issues addressed by ecolabelling criteria and how these issues relate to hotspots derived through a practiced scientific methodology. Through this analysis, it was determined that a majority the top performing supply chain environmental impacts are covered, in some fashion, within ecolabelling criteria, but some, such as agricultural land occupation, are covered to a lesser extent or not at all. Additional criteria are suggested to fill the gaps found in ecolabelling programs and better address the environmental impacts most pertinent to the supply chain. Ecolabels have also been found to have a broader coverage then what can currently be addressed using LCA. The results of this analysis have led to a set of recommendations for furthering the integration between ecolabels and life cycle tools.

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2012

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The interpersonal determinants of green purchasing: an assessment of the empirical record

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This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical

This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical evidence when applied to GPB. First, a qualitative assessment of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Norm Activation Theory (NAT), and Value-Belief-Norm Theory (VBN) is conducted to evaluate a) how well the phenomenon and concepts in each theory match the characteristics of pro-environmental behavior and b) how well the assumptions made in each theory match common assumptions made in purchasing theory. Second, a quantitative assessment of these three theories is conducted in which r2 values and methodological parameters (e.g., sample size) are collected from a sample of 21 empirical studies on GPB to evaluate the accuracy and generalize-ability of empirical evidence. In the qualitative assessment, the results show each theory has its advantages and disadvantages. The results also provide a theoretically-grounded roadmap for modifying each theory to be more suitable for GPB research. In the quantitative assessment, the TPB outperforms the other two theories in every aspect taken into consideration. It proves to 1) create the most accurate models 2) be supported by the most generalize-able empirical evidence and 3) be the most attractive theory to empiricists. Although the TPB establishes itself as the best foundational theory for an empiricist to start from, it's clear that a more comprehensive model is needed to achieve consistent results and improve our understanding of GPB. NAT and the Theory of Interpersonal Behavior (TIB) offer pathways to extend the TPB. The TIB seems particularly apt for this endeavor, while VBN does not appear to have much to offer. Overall, the TPB has already proven to hold a relatively high predictive value. But with the state of ecosystem services continuing to decline on a global scale, it's important for models of GPB to become more accurate and reliable. Better models have the capacity to help marketing professionals, product developers, and policy makers develop strategies for encouraging consumers to buy green products.

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Date Created
2012

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Firm Environmental and Social Sustainability in Supply Chains

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Firms have increasingly taken on the commitment to sustainability due to environmental and social concerns. Environmental and social sustainability can create firm value and social welfare through cost reduction and revenue growth. While indicating a desire to do more, firms

Firms have increasingly taken on the commitment to sustainability due to environmental and social concerns. Environmental and social sustainability can create firm value and social welfare through cost reduction and revenue growth. While indicating a desire to do more, firms face challenges while engaging with stakeholders in their supply chains – suppliers and consumers. Suppliers are key partners to achieve cost reduction while customers can be the driver for revenue growth. If firms do not overcome the challenges properly, such a win-win situation of both firms and their supply chain stakeholders may not exist. This dissertation aims to understand and suggest ways to overcome the challenges which firms and their supply chain stakeholders face while collaboratively pursuing sustainability.

In the first essay, I investigate the financial impact of a buyer-initiated supplier-focused sustainability improvement program on suppliers’ profitability. The results indicate that a supplier sustainability program may lead to short-term financial loss but long-term financial gain for suppliers, and this effect is contingent on supplier slack resources. The second essay of this dissertation focuses on the consumers and investigates their reactions to two types of firm environmental sustainability claims – sustainable production versus sustainable consumption. The results indicate that firm sustainable consumption claims increase consumers’ purchase, thus leads to larger firm sales, whereas firm sustainable production claims decrease consumers’ buying intention, then result in smaller firm sales. Therefore, I show that, contrary to extant belief, firm environmental sustainability can decrease consumers’ intention to buy. Finally, a firm may be impacted when some of its upstream or downstream stakeholders, or its own operations, are impacted by a natural disaster, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change. In the third essay I study the joint effect of market attention and donation timing on firm stock returns based on the experiences of firms who donated to the 2017 Hurricane Harvey. I conclude that neither the first donors nor the followers can mitigate the negative stock returns due to disasters. However, firms who match their donation timing with market attention experience less negative stock market returns compared to other counterparts.

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Date Created
2020