Does Responsible Consumption Benefit Companies More Than Consumers

A bit of a boost for anyone disheartened but wanting to make a difference.

The Banner Newspaper

With the Rise of Sustainable Living, Everyone Benefits

By Jean-Claude Quintyne

It’s worthwhile to examine whether or not responsible consumption—the purchasing of items such as energy-efficient light bulbs and hybrid vehicles that are supposed to solve our environmental issues—makes a meaningful difference.

In a new paper authored by researchers Markus Giesler and Ela Veresiu, it is argued that responsibility for taking care of pressing issues is shifted to consumers from corporations, which leaves the corporations free to continue as usual and puts policy makers in a compromising position.

“When businesses convince politicians to encourage responsible consumption instead of implementing policy changes to solve environmental and social problems,” write Giesler and Veresiu in Moralistic Governance Regimes and Consumer Subjectivity, “business earns the license to create new markets while all of the pressure to solve the problem at hand falls on the individual consumer.”

These markets are targeted to health-conscious consumers, financially…

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