Sustainable consumption in Brazil: Identification of preliminary requirements to guide product development and the definition of public policies

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Abstract:

Abstract

Sustainable product development is closely related to sustainable consumption. The understanding of consumers' purchase, use and discard behaviours may facilitate the identification of requirements to guide manufacturers in the development of sustainable goods and services. The aim of this paper is to investigate consumers' perception about factors that motivate or discourage the consumption of sustainable products to identify demands and convert them into requirements. South Brazilian green and traditional consumers were asked to complete an exploratory qualitative questionnaire. Their answers were organized and compared to identify differences and similarities between the demands of these two groups. Furthermore, demands were converted into requirements for packages, products, manufactures, stores planning and discard systems. The interpretation of factors that motivate or discourage the purchase of sustainable products given by interviewees led to the creation of a list of possible public policies or programmes, aiming to support sustainable consumption. The results demonstrate the necessity of further quantitative investigation between consumer groups, for validation purposes.

Keywords: Brazil; Sustainable consumption; Sustainable consumption and production policies; Sustainable product development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-8947.2010.01293.x

Affiliations: Industrial Engineering Department of the Rio Grande do Sul Federal University, Brazil

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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