Skip to main content

Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability

Abstract

How effectively business deals with the challenges of sustainability will define its success for decades to come. Current sustainability strategies have three major deficiencies: they do not directly focus on the customer, they do not recognize the looming threats from rising global over-consumption, and they do not take a holistic approach. We present a framework for a customer-centric approach to sustainability. This approach recasts the sustainability metric to emphasize the outcomes of business actions measured holistically in term of environmental, personal and economic well-being of the consumer. We introduce the concept of mindful consumption (MC) as the guiding principle in this approach. MC is premised on a consumer mindset of caring for self, for community, and for nature, that translates behaviorally into tempering the self-defeating excesses associated with acquisitive, repetitive and aspirational consumption. We also make the business case for fostering mindful consumption, and illustrate how the marketing function can be harnessed to successfully implement the customer-centric approach to sustainability.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Ambec, S., & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives, 22(4), 45–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, E. W., & Fornell, C. (2000). Foundations of the American customer satisfaction index. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 11(7), 869–882.

    Google Scholar 

  • Argyle, M. (1987). The psychology of happiness. New York: Methuen.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arnold, J. E., & Lang, U. A. (2007). Changing American home life: Trends in domestic leisure and storage among middle-class families. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 23–48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arrow, K., Dasgupta, P., Goulder, L., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Heal, G., Levin, S., Maler, K., Schneider, S., Starrett, D., & Walker, B. (2004). Are we consuming too much? The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18(3), 147–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Assadourian, E. (2010). The rise and fall of consumer cultures. In: State of the world 2010: Transforming cultures (pp. 3–20). Worldwatch Institute Report. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.

  • Atsmon, Y., Ding, J., Dixit, V., St. Maurice, I., Suessmuth-Dyckerhoff, C. (2009). The coming of age: China’s new class of wealthy consumers. McKinsey and Co.

  • Belk, R. W. (1984). Three scales to measure constructs related to materialism: Reliability, validity, and relationships to measures of happiness. In: T. C. Kinnear (Ed.), Advances in consumer research (pp, Vol. 14, pp. 753–760). Provo: Association for Consumer Research.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belk, R. W. (1985). Materialism: Trait aspects of living in the material world. Journal of Consumer Research, 12, 265–280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belk, R. W. (2001). Materialism and you. Journal of Research for Consumers, Issue 1. (Web-based journal). http://jrconsumers.com/academic_articles/issue_1?f=5799.

  • Belk, R. W. (2007). Why not share rather than own? The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 611, 126–140.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bennett, M., & James, P. (Eds.). (1999). Sustainable measures: Evaluation and reporting of environmental and social performance. Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berns, M., Townend, A., Khayat, Z., Balagopal, B., Reeves, M., Hopkins, M., & Krushwitz, N. (2009). The business of sustainability. MIT Sloan Management Review Report.

  • Bhattacharya, C. B. (2010). Introduction to the special section on stakeholder marketing. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(1), 1–3.

    Google Scholar 

  • Binswanger, M. (2006). Why does income growth fail to make us happier? Searching for treadmills behind the paradox of happiness. Journal of Socio-Economics, 35, 366–381.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bond, S. (2005). The global challenge of sustainable consumption. Consumer Policy Review, 15(2), 38–44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonini, S., & Oppenheim, J. (2008). Cultivating the green consumer. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6, 56–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Borgmann, A. (2000). The moral complexion of consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 26, 418–422.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourn, D., & Prescott, J. (2002). A comparison of the nutritional value, sensory qualities, and food safety of organically and conventionally produced foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 42(1), 1–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cairns, S., Sloman, L., Newson, C., Anable, J., Kirkbride, A., & Goodwin, P. (2004). Smarter choices: Changing the way we travel. London: Report published by the U. K. Department for Transport.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carson, R. (1962). The silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cave, D. (2010). Americans doing more, buying less, a poll finds. The New York Times, p. A-14, January 3.

  • Cohen, M. J. (2007). Consumer credit, household financial management, and sustainable consumption. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 31, 57–65.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, J., & Darian, J. (2000). Disposable products and the environment: A consumer behavior perspective. Research in Consumer Behavior, 9, 227–259.

    Google Scholar 

  • Context-Based Research Group. (2008). Grounding the American dream: A cultural study on the future of consumerism in a changing economy. Baltimore: Context-Based Research Group and Carton Donofrio Partners.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooper, T. (2004). Inadequate life? Evidence of consumer attitudes to product obsolescence. Journal of Consumer Policy, 27, 421–449.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooper, R., & Kaplan, R. S. (1991). Profit priorities from activity-based costing. Harvard Business Review, 69, 130–135.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crane, A., & Desmond, J. (2002). Societal marketing and morality. European Journal of Marketing, 36(5/6), 548–569.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crocker, D. A., & Linden, T. (Eds.). (1998). Ethics of consumption: The good life, justice and global stewardship. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crook, C. (2005). The good company: A survey of corporate social responsibility. The Economist, January 22.

  • Cross, G. (2000). An all-consuming century: Why commercialism won in modern America. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). If we are so rich, why aren’t we happy? The American Psychologist, 54, 821–827.

    Google Scholar 

  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). The costs and benefits of consuming. Journal of Consumer Research, 27, 267–272.

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Souza, C., & Taghian, M. (2010). Integrating precautionary principle approach in sustainable decision-making process: A proposal for a conceptual framework. Journal of Macromarketing, 30(2), 192–199.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dahlsrud, A. (2008). How corporate social responsibility is defined: An analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15, 1–13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daly, H. E. (1996). Beyond growth: The economics of sustainable development. Boston: Beacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daly, H. E. (2005). Economics in a full world. Scientific American, (September), 101–108.

  • Daub, C.-H., & Ergenzinger, R. (2005). Enabling sustainable management through a new multi-disciplinary concept of customer satisfaction. European Journal of Marketing, 39(9/10), 998–1012.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dauvergne, P. (2008). The shadows of consumption: Consequences for the global environment. Cambridge: MIT.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Geus, M. (2003). The end of over-consumption: Towards a lifestyle of moderation and self-restraint. Utrecht: International Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Graaf, J., Wann, D., & Naylor, T. H. (2005). Affluenza: The all consuming epidemic. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

    Google Scholar 

  • Denove, C., & Power, J. D. (2006). Satisfaction: How every great company listens to the voice of the customer. New York: Penguin Portfolio.

    Google Scholar 

  • Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence and implications. Academy of Management Review, 29(1), 65–91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dorman, P. (2005). Evolving knowledge and the precautionary principle. Ecological Economics, 53, 169–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Drucker, P. (1973). Management: Tasks, responsibilities, practices. New York: Harper Collins.

    Google Scholar 

  • Durning, A. T. (1992). How much is enough? The consumer society and the future of the earth. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Economist. (2009). From buy, buy to bye-bye. The Economist, (April 4), pp. 67–68.

  • Egol, M., Clyde, A., Rangan, K., Sanderson, R. (2010). The new consumer frugality: Adapting to the enduring shift in U. S. consumer spending and behavior. Booz & Company. http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00023?gko=bb11c.

  • Ehrlich, P. R., & Goulder, L. H. (2007). Is current consumption excessive? A general framework and some indications for the US. Conservation Biology, 21, 1145–1154.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, E. J., & Roy, M. J. (2003). Making the business case for sustainability: Linking social and environmental actions to financial performance. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, (9), 79–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Esty, D. C., & Winston, A. S. (2006). Green to gold. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Farrell, C. (2010). The new frugality: How to consume less, save more, and live better. New York: Bloomsbury.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferrell, O. C., Gonzalez-Padron, T. L., Hult, T. M., & Maignan, I. (2010). From market orientation to stakeholder orientation. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(1), 93–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fisk, G. (1974). Marketing and the ecological crisis. New York: Harper and Row.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fornell, C. (2007). The satisfied customer: Winners and losers in the battle for buyer preference. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fornell, C., Johnson, M. D., Anderson, E. W., Cha, J., & Bryant, B. E. (1996). The American customer satisfaction index: Nature, purpose and findings. Journal of Marketing, 60, 7–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frank, R. H. (1999). Luxury fever: Why money fails to satisfy in an era of excess. New York: Free.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frank, R. H. (2004). How not to buy happiness. Dædalus, Spring, 69–79.

  • Franklin, D. (2008). Just good business: A special report of corporate social responsibility. The Economist, January 19.

  • Frazier, G. L., & Sheth, J. N. (1985). An attitude-behavior framework for distribution channel management. Journal of Marketing, 49(3), 38–48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frey, B. S. (2008). Happiness research in economics—a revolution? Cambridge: MIT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fry, M., & Polonsky, M. J. (2004). Examining the unintended consequences of marketing. Journal of Business Research, 57, 1303–1306.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D. A., & Lorek, S. (2005). Sustainable consumption governance: A history of promises and failures. Journal of Consumer Policy, 28, 261–288.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fuller, D. A. (1999). Sustainable marketing: Managerial-ecological issues. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Galbraith, J. K. (1958/1998). The affluent society. Fortieth anniversary edition (1998). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Originally published in 1958).

  • Gardner, G. T., & Assadourian, E. (2004). Rethinking the good life. In: Worldwatch institute state of the world 2004 (pp. 164–179). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

  • Ginsberg, J. M., & Bloom, P. N. (2004). Choosing the right green marketing strategy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 46(1), 79–84.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gleick, P. H., & Cooley, H. S. (2009). Energy implications of bottled water. Environmental Research Letters, 4, 1–6.

    Google Scholar 

  • Global Footprint Network. (2009). How we can bend the curve: Trending toward a sustainable future. Global Footprint Network Annual Report. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/images/uploads/Global_Footprint_Network_2009_annual_report.pdf

  • Global Humanitarian Forum. (2009). Human impact report: Climate change—the anatomy of a silent crisis. Geneva: Global Humanitarian Forum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grant, J. (2007). The green marketing manifesto. Hoboken: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gupta, S., & Ogden, D. T. (2009). To buy or not to buy? A social dilemma perspective on green buying. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 26(6), 376–391.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamm, S. (2008). The new age of frugality. BusinessWeek, (October 20), 55–58.

  • Hansen, U., & Schrader, U. (1997). A modern model of consumption for a sustainable society. Journal of Consumer Policy, 20, 443–468.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harremös, P., Gee, D., MacGarvin, M., Stirling, A., Keys, J., Wynne, B., & Vaz, S. G. (Eds.). (2002). The precautionary principle in the 20th century: Late lessons from early warnings. London: Earthscan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harrison, J. S., & St. John, C. (1996). Managing and partnering with external stakeholders. Academy of Management Executive, 10(2), 46–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hart, S. (2007). Capitalism at the crossroads: Aligning business, earth, and humanity. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education publishing as Wharton School Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heiskanen, E. (1996). Conditions for product life extension. Helsinki: National Consumer Research Centre. Working Paper 23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman, A. J., & Bazerman, M. H. (2007). Changing practice on sustainability: Understanding and overcoming the organizational and psychological barriers to action. In: S. Sharma, M. Starik, & B. Husted (Eds.), Organizations and the sustainability mosaic: Crafting long-term ecological and societal solutions. Northampton: Edward Elger.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman, A. J., & Woody, J. (2008). Climate change: What’s your business strategy? Boston: Harvard Business School.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hubacek, K., Guan, D., & Barua, A. (2007). Changing lifestyles and consumption patterns in developing countries: A scenario analysis for China and India. Futures, 39, 1084–1096.

    Google Scholar 

  • Iyer, E. S., & Bhattacharya, C. B. (2009). Marketing and society: Preface to special section on volunteerism, price assurances, and direct-to-consumer advertising. Journal of Business Research. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2009.10.001.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, T. (2006). Readings in sustainable consumption: Introduction. In: T. Jackson (Ed.), The Earthscan reader in sustainable consumption (pp. 1–23). London: Earthscan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, T. (2009). Prosperity without growth: Economics for a finite planet. London: Earthscan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kanter, R. M. (2009). SuperCorp: How vanguard companies create innovation, profits, growth, and social good. New York: Crown Business, Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kasser, T. (2002). The high price of materialism. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1993). A dark side of the American dream: Correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 410–422.

    Google Scholar 

  • Khandwalla, P. N. (2008). Management of corporate greatness. New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley (Pearson Education in South Asia).

    Google Scholar 

  • Kilbourne, W. E. (2006). The role of the dominant social paradigm in the quality of life/environmental interface. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 39–61.

  • Kilbourne, W., & Pickett, G. (2008). How materialism affects environmental beliefs, concern, and environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Business Research, 61, 885–893.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kilbourne, W., McDonagh, P., & Prothero, A. (1997). Sustainable consumption and the quality of life: A macromarketing challenge to the dominant social paradigm. Journal of Macromarketing, 17, 4–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • King, A., Burgess, S., Ijomah, W., & McMahon, C. (2006). Reducing waste: Repair, recondition, remanufacture or recycle? Sustainable Development, 14, 257–267.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiviat, B. (2009). Why big shopping bargains are bad news for America. Time, November 27.

  • Kotler, P. (1973). The major tasks of marketing management. Journal of Marketing, 37(4), 42–49.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kotler, P. (1977). From sales obsession to marketing effectiveness. Harvard Business Review, 55(6), 67–75.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kotler, P., & Levy, S. (1971). Demarketing, yes, demarketing. Harvard Business Review, 49(6), 74–80.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kotler, P., & Zaltman, G. (1971). Social marketing: An approach to planned social change. Journal of Marketing, 35(3), 3–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kotler, P., Roberto, N., & Lee, N. (2002). Social marketing: Improving the quality of life. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kumar, V., & Rajan, B. (2009). Profitable customer management: Measuring and maximizing customer lifetime value. Management Accounting Quarterly, 10, 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lane, R. E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. New York: Penguin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leiserowitz, A. A., Kates, R. W., & Parris, T. M. (2006). Sustainability values, attitudes, and behaviors: A review of multinational and global trends. Annual Review of Environmental Resources, 31, 413–444.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leopold, A. (1989). A Sand County almanac and sketches here and there. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lowenstein, R. (2010). Paralyzed by debt. The New York Times (Sunday Magazine), MM15+, July18.

  • Lubin, D. A., & Esty, D. C. (2010). The sustainability imperative. Harvard Business Review, 88(5), 42–50.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. C., & Ferrell, L. (2005). A stakeholder model for implementing social responsibility in marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 39(9/10), 956–977.

    Google Scholar 

  • Makower, J. (2009). Strategies for the green economy. New York: McGraw Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marchant, G. E. (2003). From general policy to legal rule: Aspirations and limitations of the precautionary principle. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(14), 1799–1803.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, A. L. (2008). Strengths and weaknesses of common sustainability indices for multidimensional systems. Environment International, 34, 277–291.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCollough, J. (2007). The effect of income growth on the mix of purchases between disposable goods and reusable goods. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 31, 213–219.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCollough, J. (2009). Factors impacting the demand for repair services of household products: The disappearing repair trades and the throwaway society. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33, 619–626.

    Google Scholar 

  • McKinsey Global Institute. (2007). The ‘bird of gold’: The rise of India’s consumer market. McKinsey & Co.

  • McKinsey Global Survey. (2010). How companies manage sustainability. McKinsey & Co. https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Energy_Resources_Materials/Environment/How_companies_manage_sustainability_McKinsey_Global_Survey_results__2558?gp=1.

  • McMichael, A. J., Woodruff, R. E., & Hales, S. (2006). Climate change and human health: Present and future risks. The Lancet, 367, 859–869.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. I., Randers, J., & Behrens, W. W. (1972). The limits to growth: A report to the Club of Rome. New York: Universe Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mick, D. G. (2007). The end(s) of marketing and the neglect of moral responsibility by the American Marketing Association. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 26, 289–292.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miles, M. P., & Covin, J. C. (2000). Environmental marketing: A source of reputational, competitive and financial advantage. Journal of Business Ethics, 23, 299–311.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mish, J., & Scammon, D. L. (2010). Principle-based stakeholder marketing: Insights from private triple-bottom-line firms. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(1), 12–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moisander, J. (2007). Motivational complexity of green consumerism. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 31, 404–409.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mont, O. (2004). Institutionalization of sustainable consumption patterns based on shared use. Ecological Economics, 50, 135–153.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mooallem, J. (2009). The self-storage self. The New York Times Magazine (September 6), pp. MM-24+.

  • Murphy, P. E. (2005). Sustainable marketing. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 24(1 & 2), 171–198.

    Google Scholar 

  • Myers, N. (2000). Sustainable consumption. Science, 287 (5462, March 31), 2419.

    Google Scholar 

  • Naess, A. (1990). Ecology, community and lifestyle: Outline of an ecosophy. (D. Rothenberg, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • National Research Council, Policy Division, Board on Sustainable Development. (1999). Our common journey: A transition toward sustainability. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Newport, F., & Jacobe, D. (2009). Consumers adjust attitudes toward spending. http://www.gallup.com/poll/122648/consumers-adjust-attitudes-toward-spending.aspx.

  • Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C. K., & Rangaswami, M. R. (2009). Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation. Harvard Business Review, 87(9), 56–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norton, B. (1992). Sustainability, human welfare and ecosystem health. Environmental Values, 1(2), 97–111.

    Google Scholar 

  • Offer, A. (2006). The challenge of affluence. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ottman, J. A. (1998). Green marketing: Opportunity for innovation. Lincolnwood: NTC Business Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ottman, J. A., Stafford, E. R., & Hartman, C. L. (2006). Avoiding green marketing myopia. Environment, 48(5), 22–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Paine, L. S. (2003). Value shift. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parmar, B. L., Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Wicks, A. C., Purnell, L., & de Colle, S. (2010). Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 403–445.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peattie, K., & Crane, A. (2005). Green marketing: Legend, myth, farce or prophesy? Qualitative Market Research, 8, 357–370.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peattie, K., & Peattie, S. (2009). Social marketing: A pathway to consumption reduction? Journal of Business Research, 62, 260–268.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfeffer, J. (2010). Building sustainable organizations: The human factor. Academy of Management Perspectives, 24(1), 34–45.

    Google Scholar 

  • Polonsky, M. J., & Rosenberger, P. J. (2001). Reevaluating green marketing: A strategic approach. Business Horizons, 44, 21–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Porter, M. C., & van der Linde, C. (1995). Green and competitive: Ending the stalemate. Harvard Business Review, 73(5), 120–134.

    Google Scholar 

  • Prahalad, C. K. (2004). The Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: Eradicating poverty through profits. Upper Saddle River: Wharton School (Pearson Education).

    Google Scholar 

  • Pretty, J., Ball, A. S., Benton, T., Guivant, J., Lee, D., Orr, D., Preffer, M., & Ward, H. (Eds.). (2007). Introduction to environment and society by the Editors. SAGE Handbook on environment and society. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

  • Princen, T. (2002). Consumption and its externalities: Where economy meets ecology. In: T. Princen, M. Maniates, & K. Conca (Eds.), Confronting consumption (pp. 23–42). Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quelch, J. A., & Jocz, K. E. (2007). Greater good: How good marketing makes for a better world. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Raghubir, P., Roberts, J., Lemon, K. N., & Winer, R. S. (2010). Why, when, and how should the effect of marketing be measured? A stakeholder perspective for corporate social responsibility metrics. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(1), 66–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rangan, V. K., Quelch, J. A., Herrero, G., & Barton, B. (Eds.). (2007). Business solutions for the global poor: Creating social and economic value. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reich, R. B. (2009). From consumers to commons. American Prospect, 20, 36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ritzer, G. (2005). Enchanting a disenchanted world: Revolutionizing the means of consumption. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge (Sage Imprint).

    Google Scholar 

  • Roach, S. S. (2008). Dying of consumption. The New York Times, p. A 43, November 28.

  • Rogers, H. (2010). Green gone wrong: How our economy is undermining the environmental revolution. New York: Scribner.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rothenberg, S. (2007). Sustainability through servicizing. MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter, 83–91.

  • Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2009). Conspicuous consumption versus utilitarian ideals: How different levels of power shape consumer behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 549–555.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salzmann, O., Ionescu-Somers, A., & Steger, U. (2005). The business case for corporate sustainability: Literature review and research options. European Management Journal, 23(1), 27–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schaefer, A., & Crane, A. (2005). Addressing sustainable consumption. Journal of Macromarketing, 25, 76–92.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schor, J. B. (1992). The overworked American: The unexpected decline of leisure. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schor, J. B. (1999). The overspent American: Why we want what we don’t need. New York: Harper Perennial.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schor, J. B. (2005). Prices and quantities: Unsustainable consumption and the global economy. Ecological Economics, 55, 309–320.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schor, J. B. (2010). Plenitude: The new economics of true wealth. New York: Penguin Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schrader, U. (2007). The moral responsibility of consumers as citizens. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2, 79–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schueth, S. (2003). Socially responsible investing in the United States. Journal of Business Ethics, 43, 189–194.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schumacher, E. F. (1973). Small is beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. New York: Harper & Row.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwab Advisor Services. (2010). Independent advisor outlook study. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sethi, S. P. (2005). Investing in socially responsible companies is a must for public pension funds—Because there is no better alternative. Journal of Business Ethics, 56, 99–129.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seyfang, G. (2009). The new economics of sustainable consumption. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheth, J. N., & Frazier, G. L. (1982). A model of strategy mix choice for planned social change. Journal of Marketing, 46, 15–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheth, J. N., & Mammana, N. J. (1974). Recent failures in consumer protection. California Management Review, 26(30), 64–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheth, J. N., & Parvatiyar, A. (1995). Ecological imperatives and the role of marketing. In: M. J. Polonsky & A. T. Mintu Wimsatt (Eds.), Environmental marketing (pp. 3–20). New York: The Haworth Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheth, J. N., & Sisodia, R. S. (2002). Marketing productivity: Issues and analysis. Journal of Business Research, 55, 349–362.

    Google Scholar 

  • Silverstein, M. J., & Fiske, N. (2008). Trading up: Why consumers want new luxury goods-and how companies create them. New York: Penguin/Portfolio.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simanis, E., & Hart, S. (2009). Innovation from the inside out. MIT Sloan Management Review, 50(4), 77–86.

    Google Scholar 

  • Slade, G. (2006). Made to break: Technology and obsolescence in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, N. C., Drumwright, M. E., & Gentile, M. C. (2010). The new marketing myopia. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(1), 4–11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Social Investment Forum. (2007). 2007 Report on socially responsible investing trends in the United States. Washington, DC: Social Investment Forum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Som, C., Hilty, L. M., & Kohler, A. R. (2009). The precautionary principle as a framework for a sustainable information society. Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 493–505.

    Google Scholar 

  • Speth, G. (2008). The bridge at the edge of the world: Capitalism, the environment, and crossing from crisis to sustainability. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stern, P. C. (1997). Towards a working definition of consumption for environmental research and policy. In: P. C. Stern, T. Dietz, V. W. Ruttan, R. H. Socolow, & J. Sweeney (Eds.), Environmentally significant consumption: Research directions (pp. 12–25). Washington, DC: National Academy.

    Google Scholar 

  • Storbacka, K. (1997). Segmentation based on customer profitability—retrospective analysis of retail bank customer bases. Journal of Marketing Management, 13, 479–492.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strasser, S. (1999). Waste and want. New York: Henry Holt.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thøgersen, J. (2005). How may consumer policy empower consumers for sustainable lifestyles? Journal of Consumer Policy, 28, 143–178.

    Google Scholar 

  • Trejos, N. (2009). Recession lesson: share and swap replaces grab and buy. The Washington Post, July 17.

  • U. N. Millennium Project. (2005). Environment and human well-being: A practical strategy. New York: United Nations Development Programme.

    Google Scholar 

  • USA Today. (2007). 25 trends that changed America. USA Today (March 26). http://www.usatoday.com/news/top25-trends.htm.

  • van Raaij, E. M. (2005). The strategic value of customer profitability analysis. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 23, 372–381.

    Google Scholar 

  • Varey, R. J. (2010). Marketing means and ends for a sustainable society: A welfare agenda for transformative change. Journal of Macromarketing, 30(2), 112–126.

    Google Scholar 

  • Veblen, T. (1899). The theory of the leisure class. New York: Modern Library.

    Google Scholar 

  • Viswanathan, M., Seth, A., Gau, R., & Chaturvedi, A. (2009). Ingraining product relevant social good into business processes in subsistence marketplaces: The sustainable market orientation. Journal of Macromarketing, 29(4), 406–425.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walls, M. (2006). Extended producer responsibility and product design: Economic theory and selected case studies. Paris: OECD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wapner, P., & Matthew, R. A. (2009). The humanity of global environmental ethics. Journal of Environment and Development, 18, 203–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wasik, J. F. (1996). Green marketing and management: A global perspective. Cambridge: Blackwell Business.

    Google Scholar 

  • Watts, G. (2009). The health benefits of tackling climate change: An executive summary. The Lancet Series.

  • WBCSD. (2008). Sustainable consumption facts and trend from a business perspective. Geneva: World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

    Google Scholar 

  • WCED. (1987). Our common future. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • WEF. (2009). Sustainability for tomorrow’s consumer: The business case for sustainability. Geneva: World Economic Forum.

    Google Scholar 

  • WEF. (2010). Redesigning business value: A road map for sustainable consumption. Geneva: World Economic Forum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Werbach, A. (2009). Strategy for sustainability: A business manifesto. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Westra, L., & Werhane, P. H. (Eds.). (1998). The business of consumption: Environmental ethics and the global economy. Lanham: Rowman and Little.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whybrow, P. C. (2005). American mania: When more is not enough. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Worldwatch Institute. (2008). State of the world: Innovations for a sustainable economy. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Worldwatch Institute. (2010). State of the world: Transforming cultures, from consumerism to sustainability. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nirmal K. Sethia.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sheth, J.N., Sethia, N.K. & Srinivas, S. Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 39, 21–39 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-010-0216-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-010-0216-3

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Customer-centric sustainability
  • Mindful consumption