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Title: Purchasing products with sustainable palm oil: designing and evaluating an online intervention for Australian consumers
Contributor(s): Sundaraja, Cassandra Shruti  (author)orcid ; Hine, Donald W  (author)orcid ; Thorsteinsson, Einar B  (author)orcid ; Lykins, Amy D  (author)orcid 
Early Online Version: 2022-06-27
DOI: 10.1017/aee.2022.27
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Widespread tropical deforestation and biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia due to the oil palm industry can be addressed by encouraging consumers to purchase sustainable palm oil (SPO). An online experiment was conducted to assess whether addressing barriers relating to education, motivation and product availability would increase purchasing of SPO. Australian adults (n = 628) were randomly assigned to either: (1) a newly developed interactive educational website on palm oil and SPO; (2) an existing educational video on SPO; or (3) an interactive website on differentiating between real and fake news (an attentional control condition). All participants completed pre-intervention and immediate post-intervention measures. Most participants (n = 403) completed follow-up measures two weeks later. Multivariate analysis revealed that the interactive website and educational video increased both knowledge and the intention to purchase SPO (compared to the attentional control), but neither significantly impacted follow-up self-reported SPO purchasing behaviour. Low perceived product availability might help explain the intention-behaviour gap. Our results suggest that, in addition to increasing consumer knowledge and motivation, promoting sustainable consumption requires creating opportunities for people to engage in the desired behaviour.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Environmental Education, p. 1-18
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2049-775X
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520505 Social psychology
300606 Food sustainability
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 190201 Consumption patterns, population issues and the environment
190203 Environmental education and awareness
190301 Climate change mitigation strategies
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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