In a seminar organized by the Centre for Sustainability and Enterprise Development at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Prof. Klaus G. Grumert, a marketing professor from the Aarhus School of Business and the founder and director of MAPP Centre, noted that although “consumers are concerned about sustainability the concern is not reflected in their choice making.”
Klaus G. Grumert giving his presentation on sustainability on products
Speaking on the theme “Consumer-Driven Sustainability: issues in turning consumer concern about sustainability into choices in the Market place”, the past president of the European Marketing Academy, noted that for most consumers concern about sustainability issues does not translate to the use of sustainability criterions in the product purchased. Prof. Grumert noted that his extensive research in the area of consumer behavior with regards to food, new product development, market communication and public policy campaigns etc has shown that sustainability has proven to be a complex concept, and that consumers may have difficulties in evaluating whether something has been sustainably produced. He argues that “some ways of production that people assume not to be sustainable may in fact be good for the environment and for the future of mankind.”
He notes that as the term sustainability is mostly associated with protecting and retaining the environment for future generations, attitude and behavior of the consumer is very paramount in this process. He further notes the contradiction in people’s attitude and behavior originating from their different roles: that people are concerned about sustainability as a citizen, but as a consumer, they have other concerns like getting value and satisfaction for money.
A cross section of the audience who graced the occasion
He mentioned that, his research conducted from Europe shows that, people have knowledge about sustainability and are concerned about protecting the environment and issues of food production which plays a big role in the choices they make.
Prof. Grumert stated that although he has not yet conducted any research in Ghana on the above subject, Ghanaians must be concerned with product development, market communications and public policy campaigns aimed at healthy eating or other social desirable behaviors and evaluate whether something has been sustainably produced.
In his closing remarks, Prof. Robert Hinson, who heads the Centre for Sustainability and Enterprise Development at University of Ghana Business School said the aim of the seminar is to “build the advocacy role of the University of Ghana on national issues and give targeted training interventions in these areas”.
At the end of the seminar faculty members, practitioners and students who graced the occasion expressed profound contentment on the insightful presentation by Prof. Grumert on his choice of research work.
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