B3 Unrefereed conference proceedings

Future consumers’ and industry experts’ perceptions of sustainability within the forest industry

Publication Details
Authors: Pätäri Satu, Arminen Heli, Tuppura Anni, Toppinen Anne, Puumalainen Kaisu, Pekkanen Tiia-Lotta
Publication year: 2015
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Proceedings of the Global Cleaner Production & Sustainable Consumption Conference
JUFO-Level of this publication:
Open Access: Not known

The future of CSR has become a popular topic in academic research recently. In the literature, it is often thought that the current students' - or managers and consumers of tomorrow - perceptions of CSR give valuable information on the future of CSR. Typically the focus in CSR research has been on other stakeholders groups, i.e. investors, business partners, and employees. And despite the widely accepted view that CSR-related expectations of stakeholders vary in different industries, the studies focusing on a single industry are rather scant. This paper aims at contributing to these gaps by analysing the future consumers' perceptions. Our focus is on forest industry, which is among those industries that can be thought to have a more severe impact on the environment than several other industries. The key research objective is to analyse how future consumers view and understand sustainability in the forest industry business and what do they expect from the industry in the future in terms of sustainability. The students' understanding of the forest industry and its sustainability will be then compared to the views of the current forest industry experts, and potential differences between the views of these two groups will be analysed. To this end, we will utilize data collected through a consumer survey and a Delphi study. In short, the findings indicate that both the industry experts and the future consumers alike consider sustainability, and especially the environment and climate-related sustainability issues, as a highly important issue in the forest-based industries. Overall, the Finns perceptions tended to be more positive than their Hong Kong counterparts, and they also believed more than the Hong Kongese, that wood could be used increasingly in innovative ways in the future. Also the industry experts highlighted that the attitudes are changing slowly in that sustainability can be seen as an opportunity than merely as a threat in the future. However, the industry experts seem to understand consumers' sustainability awareness in the context of raw materials and their sources, whereas the consumers themselves clearly emphasise the intrinsic nature of sustainability.

Last updated on 2017-27-03 at 11:35