Sustainable consuming habits



The SHIFT framework - Encourage sustainable consuming habit of everyone


The SHIFT framework is a map of some key aspects that can be used to drive the current consuming habit to a more sustainable one. This framework puts into consideration social influence, habit formation, individual self, feelings, and cognition, Tangibility in order to analyze the factors that shape a person's habit. Thereafter, these points are expected to be used as a tool to encourage sustainable consuming habit.



Social influence:

As part of a society, people's decision making are largely affected by social influence. Specifically, others' presence, behaviors, and expectation. It is no exaggeration to say that social factor is one of the most impactful factors towards people's behavior. Under the social influence category, social norms, social identities and social desirability can shift consumers to be more sustainable.


Habit formation

Most of our normal day habits are unsustainable, so changing the old habit is the core of shifting to a more sustainable consumption. This habit formation includes food consumption, how we decide to transport, use energy and resources, shopping and disposing of products. Since habit is a concept of repetition, sustainable choices should be made as convenient and accessible as possible. Moreover, using prompts, incentives and feedbacks can also strengthen and encourage positive habits.



The Individual Self

More and more people are aware of the self-concept, including self-interest, self-consistency, self-efficacy and individual differences. These concepts have a positive impact on how people are shifting their consuming habit. That is why making use of the factors relating to individual self and encourage people to willingly choose a sustainable consuming habit.



Feelings and Cognition

A decision making process is usually based on two factors. The first one is the affect of emotions that drives people to buy different products in different moods. Another factor is cognition, which considers the information attached on products through eco-labeling and learning of individuals.


Tangibility

One problem that can restraint consumers from buying sustainably is the tangibility, which means that the concept of eco-friendly, outcomes of sustainability seems vague. People cannot find a critical, persuasive reason to shift to a sustainable consuming habit that can only show result in the future while they need to put aside their current interest. As it is unlikely for consumers to act on impalpable issues, driving forward a sustainable consuming habit would require solving this problem, making the benefits of sustainability clear and visible.



Sustainable consuming habit - 2020 trend from young generation

Consumer trends in 2020 suggest that concerned consumers are adopting a raft of different measures to shop and live more sustainably.


The survey on young adults shows that two-third of the respondents are embracing the habit of cutting down on single-use plastics, making it the most popular method of supporting sustainability. Another option chosen is shopping for brands with environmentally sustainable values, followed by reducing overall spend on new items, and the consumption of meat and animal-based products.


Ethical practices in the products and services are carefully considered by over a third of consumers. In response to the concern about the continuous growth in severity of climate change, And as approximately 1 in 5 are opting for low-carbon transport, switching to renewable energy, or cutting back on the number of flights they take.



Source: Deloitte


Younger consumers from 18-34 year olds seem to care more about ethics matter. They are most likely to choose brands for their ethical values, and cut down on their meat and animal-product consumption.


However, cost is a significant barrier to adoption, particularly for switching to renewable energy. The price is also the reason why sustainable choices are not prioritized while shopping. Although young people want to pursue a sustainable consuming habit and lifestyle, they usually feel like they cannot afford it.


Young people are now striving to a more sustainable consuming habit due to the awareness of environment and long-term development. However, the price of sustainable production are normally too high to afford. Aiming to encourage more people from different demographics to change into sustainable consumption, SHIFT framework is then used to analyze many critical factors than can change their decision making procedure.


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White K, Habib R, Hardisty DJ. How to SHIFT Consumer Behaviors to be More Sustainable: A Literature Review and Guiding Framework. Journal of Marketing. 2019;83(3):22-49. doi:10.1177/0022242919825649