Sustainable motivation

Date of publication: May 11, 2004

Author: David Elliott


There have been a number of recent surveys on consumer's awareness of a wide range of environmental concerns, almost without exception demonstrating concern for the issues. They even generally show that consumer's would pay a premium for 'environmentally friendly' products, though few actually seem to do so. However, this has not translated to reality - the pace at which sustainable activity has developed has been slower than desirable, leading to this research project and the need to establish what is inhibiting progress and what might motivate an increased rate of change. This project is work-in-progress in that we are consolidating what is already known as a pre-cursor to original research to help determine the drivers of change that may be useful to marketers. The project has been labelled 'Sustainable Motivation' in recognition of the need to both motivate sustainable activity and sustain the levels of motivation. Much of what is discussed in this paper is based on how people build their level of knowledge and use this to form their attitudes to both sustainability issues and product or corporate positioning - essentially communication effectiveness in converting knowledge to an understanding that will encourage behavioural change.

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