Green Economy – Customers’ choice?

Ann-Kathrin Arp


This paper interlinks the concept of the Green Economy with consumer behavior with the goal to answer the question whether the consumer is in the position to push the actual market towards sustainability.

At first the authors give a brief outline of the concept, its relevance and targets. Subsequently the theory of consumer behavior is explained with a focus on the basic factors of purchase decisions of users. The theory is based on a literature review. As conscientious consumerism is not a novelty but already in progress, the authors show the status quo for Europe. Lastly, the fields are interlinked in order to prove false the public opinion that the industry is the promoter of the Green Economy.

The consumer has the power to change the market towards more sustainability, although this approach is faced by certain challenges to set the ball rolling. The conclusion includes opportunities to eliminate these difficulties and provide further research approaches.


Green Economy; conscientious consumerism; sustainability; consumer behavior; consumer economics


Bagozzi, M., Gopinath, M. and Nyer, P. U. (1999) The Role of Emotions in Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Spring 1999, pp.184-207.

Bonhinc, T. (2010) Grundlagen des Projektmanagements – Methoden, Techniken und Tools für Projektleiter, GABAL Verlag GmbH, Offenbach, p.49.

Boston Consulting Group (2009) Capturing the Green Advantage for Consumer Companies,, accessed August 12, 2017.

Cortés, P. (2015) The external impact of the Green Economy - An analysis of the environmental implications of the Green Economy,, accessed June 27, 2017.

Dahlstrom, R. (2011) Green Marketing Management. South-Western College Pub, Mason, 1st edn., p.99.

European Commission (2013) Attitudes of Europeans Towards Building the Single Market for Green Products,, accessed August 12, 2017.

European Commission (2019) Europeans’ Attitude Towards the Issue of Sustainable Consumption and Production,, accessed August 12, 2017.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2014) Green Economy Research Agenda,, accessed June 28, 2017.

Lorek, A. (2015) Current trends in the consumer behavior towards eco-friendly products, Economic and Environmental Studies, Vol. 15 no. 2, pp.115-129.

Morgera, E., Savaresi, A. (2013) A conceptual and legal perspective on the Green Economy, Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, Vol. 22 no. 1, pp.14-28.

Mitchell, A. (1983) Cognitive Processes Initiated by Exposure to Advertising in Information Processing Research in Advertising, Richard Harris (ed.), Erlbaum, New York, pp.13-42.

Mothersbaugh, D., Hawkins, D. (2016) Consumer behavior building marketing strategy, McGraw-Hill Education, New York, 13th edn., pp.6-7, pp.34-254 and pp.270-444.

Natural Marketing Institute (2014a) Consumer Segmentation, custom-research-tools/consumer-segmentation, accessed August 10, 2017.

Natural Marketing Institute (2014b) Germany Consumers and Sustainability 2014,, accessed August 12, 2017.

Phillips, D. M. and Baumgartner, H. (2002) The Role of Consumption Emotions in the Satisfaction Response, Journal of Consumer Psychology, no. 3 2002, pp.243-52.

UNEP (2011a) Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to sustainable development and poverty eradication,, accessed June 26, 2017.

UNEP (2012a) Green Economy. What do we mean by Green Economy?,, accessed June 26, 2017.

UNEP (2012b) The future we want, rio20_outcome_document_complete.pdf, accessed June 26, 2017.

Sackett, H., Shupp, R. and Tonsor, G. (2016) Differentiations “sustainable” from “organic” and “local” food choices: Does information about certification help consumers?, International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics, Vol. 4, no. 3, pp.17-31.

Santarius, T. (2012) Der Rebound-Effekt: Über die unerwünschten Folgen der erwünschten Energieeffizienz, Impulse zur Wachstumswende,, accessed June 29, 2017.

Solomon, M. R. (2015) Consumer Behavior. Buying, Having, and Being, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, 11th edn., p.28, p.229, p.242.

Solomon, M. R., Bamossy, G. J., Askegaard, S. and Hogg, M. K. (2016) Consumer Behavior. A European Perspective, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, 6th edn., p.223-237.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.