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Engaging consumers in ethical consumption: The effect of real-time environmental information on eco-friendly consumer choice

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Abstract

Encouraging consumers to make environmentally sustainable consumption and behavioral choices is a major issue in the 21st century with implications for the well-being of humanity in the future. For consumers to take responsibility for the environmental impact of their consumer choices, they must be provided environmental impact information on the products they purchase. In this paper, we develop a theory of real-time environmental information and eco-friendly consumer choice. Our model emphasizes the role of information systems in providing consumers with information on the environmental and social impact of products at the time of purchase. We contend that this information will have an effect on consumer purchasing decisions by increasing their environmental impact knowledge and environmental impact saliency, which encourages eco-friendly consumer choice. This research provides insights for producers and policy-makers who endeavor to engage consumers in sustainable consumption.