Monday, November 13, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Exploring Customer Perceptions of Green Business: An Experiment
Session ID
C2 - Green Businesses

As customer interest in socially responsible and sustainable brands continues to grow, we wanted to know if opting into a 100% renewable energy plan could help local businesses by shaping the way people perceive them. We tested this in an experiment that asked participants to think about their favorite local restaurant and rate them on how often they visit, how likely they are to recommend it, and the degree to which it’s committed to the local community and to sustainability. They were then asked to imagine that their favorite restaurant had opted into a renewable energy plan with one of the following messages: (1) CCA framing, (2) renewable framing, (3) CCA + renewable, (4) sustainability champion, and (5) all above. We found that perceiving a restaurant as committed to sustainability positively correlated with visiting the restaurant and recommending the restaurant to a friend. Similarly, perceiving a restaurant as devoted to the local community displayed similar associations, relating to increased frequency of visits and increased likelihood of recommending the restaurant to a friend. We also found that notifying customers that a restaurant opted into any of the sustainability plans increased how much they thought the restaurant was committed to the local community and sustainability and they also indicated that they would visit the restaurant more often in the future. Among the messages, the Sustainability Champion condition appeared to be the most effective and the CCA only condition the least.

Supporting Document 1