Sustainable Consumer Behaviour

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Group leader
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Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Specific themes and goals
  • Last-mile delivery: The customer perspective on sustainable delivery is often ignored in the last-mile delivery research and practice. When e-commerce customers place online orders nowadays, they choose between different last-mile delivery options only based on economic factors. Retailers currently do not provide information on the environmental and social impact of the different delivery options. Thus, even if e-commerce customers wanted to choose a more sustainable delivery option, they are currently faced with only economic differences, ignoring environmental and social impacts. Dr Chankov’s research investigates whether e-commerce customers change their preferred last-mile delivery, when offered additional information on the sustainability impact of the available options. His results clearly show that transparent information sharing makes e-commerce customers more likely to choose a more sustainable last-mile delivery. 
  • Flight selection: Popular flight search engines have recently started to display the CO 2 emissions of different flight options. However, several aspects still remain unclear, such as whether the display of CO 2 emissions changes consumers’ behavior towards more sustainable flying; how consumers choose between the flight’s environmental impact and traditional concerns such as price, duration, and comfort; and which display of a flight’s CO 2 emissions results in more sustainable flight selection. Dr Chankov’s results showed that displaying environmental attributes such as CO 2 emissions does influence consumer intention and can hence be used to increase consumers’ pro-environmental behavioral intention. 
  • Smartphone selection: The current linear economic model of buying products and then throwing them away is not sustainable. The circular economy, which involves reusing, repairing and recycling products rather than disposing of them, is necessary. This economy hinges on product repairability. European policy makers have started giving consumers the “right to repair” and France has introduced a legally binding repairability index that has to be displayed on the packaging of certain electronic devices. This repair index shows consumers how repairable products are on a scale from 1 to 10, so consumers can use this information when choosing which electronic device to purchase. Still, there is a lack of research on the consumer attitudes towards repairability and on the trade-offs consumers are willing to make between repair - ability and traditional electronics’ attributes such as price and functionality. Our results showed that consumers significantly value repairability. Displaying the repair index influenced consumer behavioral intention and can hence be used to increase pro-environmental behavioral intention amongst consumers. Consumers wanted products that could be repaired, irrespective of their demographic group. The detailed analysis of consumers’ thoughts around repairability found no significant differences between age, gender, education level and income level.
Highlights and impact
  • Dr Chankov’s research on sustainable last-mile delivery showed promising results. Two-thirds of the people were willing to wait longer for a delivery once they understood that a fast delivery might have negative environmental impacts. Almost half of the participants were willing to pay more for a more environmentally and socially sustainable delivery. 
  • The results from the sustainable flight selection indicate that air travelers are willing to pay more (6.7-21.2 €/100 kg) or travel longer (13-41 minutes/100 kg) to reduce the environmental impact of their trip. Moreover, displaying CO 2 emissions as a percentage of an individual’s annual carbon budget increased air travelers’ perceived monetary and temporal value of environmental sustainability, to 11.8-26.3 €/100 kg and 22-65 minutes/100 kg respectively. 
  • The research on smartphone repairability showed that the average consumer in the collected sample would pay an extra 65 €, forgo 1.1 hours of battery life and 47 GBs of digital storage capacity for a one-point increase in the smartphone repairability rating.
Selected publications
  • Bianca Ignat and Stanislav Chankov. 2020. “Do E-Commerce Customers Change Their Preferred Last-Mile Delivery Based on Its Sustainability Impact?” The International Journal of Logistics Management 31 (3): 521–48. 
  • Valeria Núñez Alfaro and Stanislav Chankov. 2022. “The Perceived Value of Environmental Sustainability for Consumers in the Air Travel Industry: A Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis” [Accepted for Publication]. Journal of Cleaner Production. 
  • Leul Y. Bisenebit and Stanislav Chankov. 2023. “The Value of Product Repairability: A ChoiceBased Conjoint Analysis on Smartphone Prefer - ence [Under Review].” IFACPapersOnLine. 
  • Georgiana Ciobotaru and Stanislav Chankov. 2021. “Towards a Taxonomy of Crowdsourced Delivery Business Models.” International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 51 (5): 460–85. 
  • Simona Koleva and Stanislav Chankov. 2022. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on ECom - merce Consumers’ Pro-Environmental Behaviour.” In International Conference on Dynamics in Logistics, 474–85