What is it about?

Results and Perspectives of a Stock-Taking of Attitudes, Social Influences and Buying Intentions Towards Ecologically Oriented Products, and a Pre-Test of a Communication Concept, in the Field of Exterior Insulation Materials for Buildings

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Why is it important?

Keywords: attitude-behaviour-gap, Fishbein & Ajzen models, renewable material, social influences, market shares of ecological products Highlights: The attitude-behaviour-gap of ecology turns into a producer-people-gap 83% of all semi-finished products in industries are fossil-based (in Germany) The reasons are due to management decisions of a few top CEOs, no longer to attitudes of consumers Social influences on the buying behaviour of consumers have harmonized A communication concept to address professional decision-makers has been developed to change this situation The concept test has lead to significant rises in buying intentions of professionals


This is what we wanted to share with the communities of sustainable management, behaviourual science, and market research. Evidence was found that with communication instruments which are available and affordable in free markets, decision-makers can be reached and an attitude-change towards ecology, especially renewable material, is possible – when making use of the right senders of messages, and the right concept of appeal, information, and education. Neither social influence nor attitude gaps in the population seem to be the big hurdle in the development of ecology anymore. But management circles with the power to decide what will be offered to the distribution partners and costumers believe that their need for profit will be best satisfied by fossil-based products, although their clients, the end-users, as well as the state, have already changed their mind in the direction of renewable materials, and although even the critics confirm a trend towards such new product concepts. Of course it is not claimed that these findings shall be generalized at this point in time; other businesses should preferably be investigated individually. And maybe an effect always occurs when a communication concept is planned and realized in a professional way and with a certain intensity. It is up to the reader to make up her or his mind and critically discuss the findings presented in this paper. Appendix about GRI: In the GRI Global Reporting Standards for the official reporting of companies and organizations about their engagement in sustainability, the point G4-EN1 is about the share of renewable material. A variety of technical and chemical innovations based on biological, renewable material is continuously scientifically researched and developed, such as adhesives, bio-plastics, building material, and many more. For example, by the „FNR Fachagentur für nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.“, the German State Agency for Renewable Material, which is run by the BMEL German Ministry of Nutrition and Agriculture. See the data base for products based on renewable material for the industry: https://datenbank.fnr.de/

Stephan Götze
Hochschule Pforzheim

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This page is a summary of: From the attitude-behaviour-gap to a producer-people-gap?, International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, February 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2019.1578701.
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