An Exploratory Study of Institutional Attitudes for Promoting Sustainable Consumption in India

Savita Hanspal, Sambhavi Lakshminarayanan


There has been an increasing focus on sustainable development following widespread awareness about global warming and other environmental changes which have the potential for great societal impact. Sustainable development includes issues concerning production as well as consumption. Low demand for “sustainable” products makes them expensive and, therefore, out of reach for many customers. Institutions, being bulk purchasers, can play a significant role in encouraging and increasing this demand by influencing their employees, suppliers, consumers and other stakeholders.
This study examines the extent to which institutional consumers can help induce a shift to sustainable consumption in the specific context of two related products - tea and coffee. These beverages are consumed in considerable quantities, but do not involve huge budget outlays. Thus, they are ideally suited for a quick transition from regular to sustainable versions. Selected institutions were surveyed for consumption practices of tea and coffee and awareness of sustainable consumption in general and sustainable tea and coffee in particular. An important query in the study looked at whether these institutions were willing to pay extra for sustainable tea and coffee, and if so, by how much. The study identified challenges that institutions are likely to face in switching to sustainable consumption practices and whether they saw any potential benefits in promoting such a change.
The paper concludes with strategic recommendations for marketing sustainable products to institutional consumers.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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