From both practical and theoretical studies, it is necessary to strengthen information transition and provide a facilitator to bridge the gap between consumers’ attitude and behavior. It could help translate consumers’ beliefs and values about sustainability into their demands and promote green purchasing behavior. This study focused on the in-depth understanding of how to provide a facilitator within Attitude-Facilitator-Infrastructure (AFI) framework in order to provide incentives for promoting sustainable consumption.
This research starts from the empirical study on barrier analysis between environmentally friendly products and their consumers. The study was conducted in the context of European automobile industry by employing grey-Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The results suggested that the main focus should move to how to provide advanced measures as a facilitator to promote sustainable consumption. After a systematic review on sustainability assessment approaches, this study developed a set of necessary attributes based on cognitive consumer behavior model. The proposed set of attributes could adequately meet the consumer–focused criteria, and play the role of facilitator in AFI framework.
Furthermore, in order to gain comprehensive insights from different stakeholders, such as academic experts, industry experts, and consumers, several studies were conducted based on viewpoints from multiple stakeholders. Firstly, an expert evaluation exercise (EEE) was used to evaluate the importance and applicability of the attributes. Unnecessary attributes and the ones that could not be measured properly at plant level are eliminated. And then, the importance of attributes were evaluated and ranked based on a survey of 683 respondents’ by employing structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. As the result, numeric weights of the importance of attributes are gained from the configuration model for the automobile industry, by employing Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method.
This study provides empirical insights on importance and weights of numbers of necessary attributes from multi-perspective and highlights the different viewpoints that might exist among various stakeholders. This study contributes to the research fields of developing an information transition approach from cleaner production to sustainable consumption, as well as marketing instrument development. The proposed configuration model could serve as a fundamental study for developing related governmental/regional public policies, including existing sustainability monitoring initiatives. It could also be integrated into management and administration procedures with the goal of developing more sustainable cities. Furthermore, it is also very beneficial and constructive for practitioners to provide consumers with product-level sustainability information. Such environmentally and socially–conscious information will provide an effective way for consumers to facilitate product comparisons and choose products, resulting in increased market share and profit for practitioners. Consequently, it will provide a long–term competitive advantage due to increased differentiation.