can be defined as “the broad concept that businesses are more than just profit-seeking entities and therefore also have an obligation to benefit society” (Werther & Chandler, 2006: 6-7).
Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumer attitudes about green and ethical marketing translating into their purchasing behaviour. Further, the impact of green and ethical consumerism on companies adopting corporate social responsibility measures, will be determined.
During the 1980s, ethics started affecting purchasing habits due to increase in environmental awareness on the part of consumers, development of green products and the availability of green consumer guides (Doonar, 2005). The concept of green consumerism is related to environmental sustainability in which environmental quality and the conservation of nature’s assets are of prime importance. From the wise use of resources for the sake of future generations, the concept of sustainability evolved to include a focus on nature preservation for intragenerational distribution of nature’s bounty. Sustainability is a continuing process that needs careful planning and implementation to confront the problems facing “modern agriculture, natural resource management and land use” (Gunning & Holm, 2005: 129). Sustainability takes into account the human factors of production, manufacture and use along with environmental and ecological concerns such as global warming, acid rain, deforestation, ozone depletion and other occurrences (Strong, 1997).
Consumers may opt for one product over another because of political, religious, social, spiritual, environmental or other motives, and may differ in opinion from one another. One common factor among ethical consumers is that they are concerned about the “effects that a purchasing choice has not only on themselves, but also on the external world around them” (Harrison et al, 2005: 2). Choosing organic foods because of a concern that pesticide use