発表

3B-084

若者にとって持続可能な消費はどれほど重要ですか?

[責任発表者] 浦上 ヤクリン:1
1:東京工業大学

Introduction
Sustainable consumption and production as well as fair work conditions and better quality of life are central goals of the United Nations sustainable development campaign (United Nations, 2019). Probably most young people nowadays agree with these goals but is this also reflected in young people’s consumer behavior?
A central aspect of sustainable consumption is focusing on the entire life cycle of a product involving everyone from producer, consumer, and recycler. Integrated design engineering (IDE) as introduced by Urakami and Vajna (2018), is a holistic multidisciplinary approach to develop products. The consideration of the entire product life cycle starting with the planning of a product, its development, production, utilization, and re-utilization (recycling) enables foresighted planning and anticipation of problems in the later phases of the product life cycle. Moreover, IDE can also be used to educate consumers about environmental and social costs involved in the life cycle of products.
Methodology
Participants : 130 students (68 women, 62 men, between 21 and 35 years old) from various Universities in Japan, Germany, and the US participated in the study after giving their consent.
Survey : The survey investigated consumer behavior across four different product categories identified in previous interviews (electronics, food, cloths, and personal care products). The questionnaire items were developed based on IDEs concept of the product life cycle. Participants answered 92 questions on 7-point Likert scales on how important different issues regarding production, sale, usage, and recycling are for them.
Qualitative data : Participants were asked to critically evaluate their own consumer behavior and reflect on their answers given in the survey.
Results and Discussion
Items related to electronic products (M=5.06, SD=0.65) received highest ratings indicating that this product category is most important for our participants. Second highest ratings were received for food products (M=4.69, SD=0.67) and personal care products (M=4.66, SD=0.69), and lowest ratings were given for clothes (M=4.16, SD=0.64), ANOVA: F(3, 387)=113.87, p <.001).
Furthermore, items were summarized for the four stages of the product life cycle. As expected highest importance was placed on usage (M=5.58, SD=0.72). Sale (M=4.41, SD=1.08) and recycling (M=4.43, SD=0.83) received comparable values, whereas least importance was placed on production (M=4.21, SD=0.93). Differences were significant as confirmed with a repeated measures ANOVA, F(3, 387) = 85.26, p <.001).
In their reflection of taking the survey many participants mentioned that they realized a discrepancy between their general values and attitudes and actual consumer behavior. Even though sustainability is an important issue for most participants, their shopping behavior is not sustainable at all. Some participants were very critical about themselves saying that after all convenience is the determining factor when they chose to buy a product. Participants noted that they were actually surprised about their answers because they had never consciously reflected on their consumer behavior.
Conclusion
The study introduced here showed that general attitudes and actual consumer behavior do not necessarily agree. For becoming a responsible consumer, people need to be made aware of their own consumer behavior. IDE can be an approach to educate consumers and raise awareness for a holistic view of a product’s life cycle going beyond consumers focus on usage. As the reflections of the participants have shown, a survey on consumer behavior based on IDE can be a good way to become more aware of daily shopping habits. By answering the survey questions, the participants became aware of the discrepancy between their attitudes and values on the one hand, and their consumer behavior on the other. In addition, the survey motivated participants to think more about the entire product life cycle and to focus their attention on the environmental and social costs associated with it.
References
United Nations Sustainable development goals (2019, May). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/ sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/
Urakami, J. & Vajna, S. (2018). Human centricity in integrated design engineering. Proceedings of the Design 2018 15th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 679-690.

キーワード
消費/持続可能性/製品ライフサイクル


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