Who Do We Trust for Being a Smart Green Consumer?

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Hiroshi KOMATSU, Matsuyama University, Japan
Mikiko SHINOKI, Chuo University, Japan
Koji ABE, Yamagata University, Japan
Michio UMINO, Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University, Japan
Japanese Government has been encouraging to introduce Home Energy Management System(HEMS) since 2012. The government says HEMS changes our life style (e.g., solar power generation device on your house saves electric bills). HEMS may be effective for low-carbon societies, but it costs much higher than daily green consumption. We need to see if HEMS is worth both for society and our daily life. For being a smart green consumer, we need to have reliable information on environment. Whose sayings do we trust for? Governments? Mass media? Friends?

The aim of this study is to examine relations between reliabilities for other people’s sayings and green consumption (including HEMS). We conducted an internet survey in 2015 in Japan. We got 2,500 respondents over 18-years-old proportionate to gender and age.

The results are as follows. 1) We got three factors from factor analysis on 18 types of organizations’ and individuals’ reliabilities. Those were reliabilities to mass media, government and academic institutions. 2) Reliabilities to those three informants’ sayings were related positively to respondents’ daily green consumption (e.g., to eat locally produced food etc.). Especially the reliability to mass media was strongly related to the consumption. 3) Those who already introduced HEMS were about 7% of the respondents. They tended to trust mass media and academic institutions. Those who were in reviewing to introduce HEMS were about 15% and they tended to trust government. And over 50% of the respondents wouldn’t even have a plan to think about introducing HEMS. They had less reliability to all three informants’ sayings than other respondents.

Those results suggest that mass media have strong leverage both on daily green consumption and introducing HEMS in Japan. For being a smart green consumer, we need to have an ability to evaluate sayings of mass media.