Making SENS: Exploring the Antecedents and Impact of Store Environmental Stewardship Climate

Niek Hensen*, Debbie I. Keeling, Ko de Ruyter, Martin Wetzels, Ad de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Retailers increasingly recognize that environmental responsibility is a strategic imperative. However, little research has investigated or identified the factors that facilitate the successful implementation of environmentally responsible strategies across a network of customer-facing sales units (stores). We propose that a store manager’s ability to lead by example facilitates this process by fostering a supportive climate for store environmental stewardship (SENS-climate). By examining the influence of store managers’ actions on sales associates’ perceptions of the SENS-climate, as well as the subsequent impact on their performance—measured by margins, as well as sales of green and regular products—this study demonstrates that store managers can foster a SENS-climate by articulating their prioritization of environmental responsibility in their operational decisions. These positive effects are sustained by relational factors, such as the moderating effect of the store manager–sales associate dyadic tenure. In contrast, when store managers display high variability in their environmental orientation, it hinders the development of SENS-climate perceptions among sales associates. If sales associates perceive an enabling SENS-climate, they achieve higher margins and more green but fewer regular sales.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)497-515
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental stewardship
  • Responsibility
  • Articulation
  • Sustainability
  • Store climate
  • Green products

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