Ethical Consumers: Strategically Moving the Restaurant Industry Towards Sustainability

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Ethical Consumers: Strategically Moving the Restaurant Industry towards Sustainability Duan JingJing, Li Xinze, Renate Sitch
School of Engineering Blekinge Institute of Technology Karlskrona, Sweden 2008 Thesis submitted for completion of Master of Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden.

Abstract: Consumerism plays an important role in the development of society, and consumption can be a driving force to shift society into a sustainable future. This paper defines ethical consumers and the restaurant industry as the research field, after analysing the current reality of restaurant industry, and the existing tools for ethical consumers to make their purchasing decision, we bridge the gaps by creating an ideal eco-labelling process for the restaurant industry. Eco-Etiquette is our ideal sustainable tool to better inform ethical consumers in their purchasing decisions. This paper also discusses other ways to assist ethical consumers, and identify some aspects for further research. Keywords: Ethical consumer; sustainability; restaurant industry; eco-labels; consumerism

Statement of Contribution
This thesis was created in a collective effort by team members that shared a similar passion for the topic, bringing different strengths and perspectives to the project. During the research process ideas regarding the research design, research questions and methods emerged through a reflective dialogue in weekly group meetings. In carrying out methods, each member participated in literature review. In written report duties, the planning and outline of the thesis was agreed upon and then carried out individually after our group meetings and daily communications. In order for us to focus more deeply on a specific area, the overall responsibility of the three main processes in our research work was divided accordingly: Duan Jingjing coordinated the writing of the introduction; Li Xinze was in charge of the organization in establishing scientific content and flow throughout the thesis; and Renate Sitch communicated with the expert panel and lead the creation process of Eco-Etiquette, final editing, and standardizing the language flow. We had the opportunity to present our project‟s progress at different points. This role was divided equally among us. Together we shared responsibility for observations and feedback, compiling, tracking and analyzing data. The experience of writing a group thesis deepened our knowledge, perspective and patience. We realize and appreciate that the lessons we have learned will help with our future endeavors in sustainability professions, where we can assist in making some needed changes in how people base purchasing decisions that can contribute to sustainability. Karlskrona May 2007 Duan Jingjing Li Xinze Renate Sitch

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Acknowledgements
This thesis owes its existence to the help, support, and inspiration of many people. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our primary advisor Tamara Connell whom we were grateful and blessed to have assigned to our group. Tamara was tremendous and patient for supporting us throughout this process, by keeping us on track and assisting in the perspective and focus of our topic. Our secondary advisor, Merlina Missimer, was invaluable in assisting us with the structure and flow of our paper. We want to thank our peer groups: Karen Miller, Augusto Cuginotti, and Freek van der Pluijm; and Tim Nash, Nick Blanford, and Andre Winter for their support, valuable feedback and comments during the creation of our tool and the structuring of our thoughts for writing this thesis. We attribute the quality of Eco-Etiquette to the valuable feedback received for our expert panel: Pete Sims, Damian Kettlewell, Bill Paradis and Andre LaRiviere. Without these conversations with such professionals in the restaurant industry, the quality of Eco-Etiquette wouldn‟t be as it is today. We also want to acknowledge the...
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