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  • Int. J. Environ. Res., 6(1):323-334, Winter 2012ISSN: 1735-6865

    Received 7 March 2011; Revised 1 July 2011; Accepted 10 July 2011

    *Corresponding author E-mail:


    Structural Equation Model for Environmentally Conscious Purchasing Behavior

    Arslan, T., Yilmaz, V. and Aksoy, H. K.*

    Department of Statistics, Eskiehir Osmangazi University, Eskiehir, 26480 Turkey

    ABSTRACT: In this study, the effect of environmental concern, attitudes and behaviors of the universitystudents on the environmentally conscious purchasing behavior was investigated with the help of StructuralEquation Model (SEM). SEM is an effective data analysis tool that expresses the complicated causativerelations between the latent variables. In this study, we collected the data from 400 university students bymeans of a survey. The results of this research showed that environmental attitudes, environmental behaviorand green product awareness have a positive effect on environmentally conscious purchasing behavior. Thedeveloped model showed that, environmental concern explains 48% of the variation in the environmentalattitudes and 28% of the product recovery awareness; environmental attitudes and product recovery awarenessexplain 55% of green product awareness; environmental attitudes explains 44% of the variation in theenvironmental behavior; environmental attitudes, green product awareness and environmental behavior explain74% of the variation in the environmentally conscious purchasing behavior.

    Key words: Structural Equation Model, Latent variable, Environmental consciousness, Green product, Product recovery, Consumers behavior

    INTRODUCTIONPublic consciousness on environmental issues and

    recent more strict environmental legislations have beencompelling manufacturers from various industries andconsumers to produce and dispose of used productsin an environmentally conscious manner. The rapidexhaustion of raw materials and growing amount ofsolid waste also fuel this trend. Gungor and Gupta (1999)reviewed the literature and emphasized the two majorobjectives of the environmentally consciousmanufacturing and product recovery. These objectivesare environmentally friendly product generation anddevelopment of product recovery and wastemanagement technologies. The objective of productrecovery management, as stated by Thierry et al. (1995),is to recover as much of the economic (and ecological)value as reasonably as possible, thereby reducing theultimate quantities of waste. In a subsequent paper,Ilgin and Gupta (2010) expand the environmentallyconscious manufacturing and product recoveryliterature and examined it under four major categories;environmentally conscious product design, reverse andclosed-loop supply chains, remanufacturing, anddisassembly. Environmental problems and theaccelerating changes in living conditions have becomea fundamental part of the world in general andmetropolises in particular. Earlier, environmental

    problems have been considered as technical andeconomic problems; while in the recent decades thesocial dimensions of environmental problems such aspublic attention and peoples attitudes towardsenvironment have became one of the areas ofenvironmental sociology and environmentalpsychology (Kalantari and Asadi, 2010).

    Environmentally conscious manufacturing andproduct recovery efforts are directly related with theconsumers awareness and involvement into thisprocess. Taking different factors into consideration,the researchers develop many environmental attitudeand environmental behavior models. Hini et al. (1995)examine the relationship between environmentalattitudes and behaviours. Environmental behaviorincludes actions which contr ibute towardsenvironmental preservation and/or conservation (forinstance, energy conservation, water conservation,consumerism, etc). On the other hand the object ofones environmental attitude is either the naturalenvironment itself or conservation behavior (Axelrodand Lehman (1993), Kaiser et al. (1999) and (2007)).

    The literature in the area of environmental attitudeand behavior involves various models which arearising from the perspective of the researchers towardsthe issue. Some of the researchers used environmental

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    attitude as the estimator of the environmental behavior(Chan, 1999; Kaiser et al., 1999; Fraj and Martinez, 2007;Steg and Vlek, 2009). Alternatively, both environmentalattitude and environmental behavior are alsoconsidered simultaneously as the estimator of theenvironmentally conscious purchasing behavior(ECPB) (Mostafa, 2007; Tilikidou and Delistavrou,2008).

    The roots of environmental problems lie in humanbehavior, so the solution could lie in changing thebehavior of organizations and groups and so incultural and lifestyle changes, i.e., environmentalawareness is needed from the point of view of bothsupply and demand (Mondjar-Jimnez et al., 2011).The main focus of this research is individuals ECPB,we considered environmental behavior (EB) as anexogenous latent variable of the ECPB. The majorreasons that we have considered the ECPB in the modelas follows;(1) ECPB together with environmentalist behavior canbe seen as significant actions measuring naturefriendliness and protection.(2) Recent consumers trend towards green productsmay direct the enterprises to change their entire wayof production process in an environmentally friendlymanner.3) Companies which fail to put into serviceenvironmentally responsible operation procedures willencounter a loss of competitiveness or loose marketshare. Hereby consumers accompanied by producers/manufacturers will have more effective roles inprotecting the environment.

    In this study, we developed an analytical model toexamine the effect of environmental concern, attitudeand behavior of the consumers on theirenvironmentally conscious purchasing behavior(ECPB). We employed the Structural Equation Model(SEM) to investigate the complex correspondence ofabovementioned factors. SEM describes thecomplicated causative relations between the latentvariables. For this purpose, firstly, environmentalconcern and environmental attitude of the students asthe estimator of the environmental behavior were used.Secondly, environmental concern, environmentalattitude and product recovery awareness were usedas the estimator of the green product awareness.Finally, consumer s environmental attitude,environmental behavior and green product awarenesswere used as the estimator of the environmentallyconscious purchasing behavior of the universitystudents.

    In the literature, the relationship amongenvironmental concern, environmental attitude,

    environmental behavior and environmentallyconscious purchasing behavior were analyzedseparately. On the other hand, the most significantdistinction of this work is SEM comprehensivelycomprises all of the factors in the model, viz.environmental concern, environmental attitude,product recovery awareness, green product awareness,environmental behavior and environmentallyconscious purchasing behavior of individualssimultaneously.

    The paper is organized as follows. Section 2presents mainly relevant literature in the area. Section3 briefly presents Structural Equation Model (SEM)and its analysis. Section 4 presents the results of theanalysis. Finally, Section 5 provides conclusion andSection 6 discusses the findings of this study.

    Kaiser and Shimoda (1999) indicated thatenvironmental concern could be used as the estimatorsof the environmental behaviors. Kaiser et al. (1999)indicated that environmental attitudes could be usedas the estimator of the environmental behavior.Nordlund and Garvill (2002) determined that personalnorm mediated the effects from general values,environmental values and problem awareness onproenvironmental behavior.

    Mannetti et al. (2004), searched the attitudes ofthe Italians towards recycling efforts by means of theSEM. Authors found that, personal judgments have asignificant effect on explaining the product recoveryawareness. Bolaane (2006) determined that educationalstatus considerably affects the contribution to productrecovery efforts. Sidique et al. (2010) pointed out thatdemographic factors like age, educational status,income and number of the individuals in a householdhave an influence on the recycling efforts. Tilikidouand Delistavrou (2006) found that there is a negativecorrelation between the environmental behavior andenvironmental insensitivities among Greek consumers.Also, authors emphasized that females with highereducation contribute the environmental activities more.Mostafa (2007) determined that environmental anxietiesare effective on the attitudes of the people on theconsumption of green products and he found that thereis a weak relationship between the consumers greenproduct awareness and their actual green productconsumption behavior. Fraj and Martinez (2007)depicted that environmental attitudes are the estimatorsof the environmental behavior. Tilikidou (2007) foundthat while environmentally concerned consumption hasa positive correlation with environmental awareness;it has a negative correlation with environmentalunconcern. Tilikidou and Delistavrou (2008) determinedthat the consumers, who behave in accordance with

  • Int. J. Environ. Res., 6(1):323-334, Winter 2012


    environment and who are interested in productrecovery and participate in environment-priorityactivities, are high-educated people. Birgelen et al.(2009) found that env-friendly purchase and disposaldecisions for beverages are related to theenvironmental awareness of consumer and their env-friendly attitude.

    Dono et al. (2009) found that there is a significantrelationship between environmental attitudes andenvironmental behaviors. Steg and Vlek (2009)indicated that whe


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