Decreased consumption as part of a business strategy

Kasper Folnæs

Student thesis: Master thesis


In a world increasingly focused on sustainable development, growth and consumption are bysome appointed to being the overseen parts of the equation. This study investigates the role ofconsumption as a contributor to unsustainable living. The study does so within the scope ofbusiness strategies, as it uncovers ways for companies to merge the goal of decreasedconsumption with the goal of caretaking for the interests of the business. This is done throughthe use of a quantitative study in which consumer behavior and consumer culture is mapped, aswell as a qualitative study of the Swedish axe producer Gränsfors Bruks, which has attempted tocombine decreased consumption and growth. The research has resulted in an outline ofconsiderations for other companies about to embark upon the journey into sustainabledevelopment beyond the low hanging fruit. This includes considerations of the macroeconomicforces as dictators of unsustainable growth, consumer ambivalence and the psychologicalweaknesses that enforce consumption, leadership mindset and values as indicators of successfulsustainable implementation, and how to combine dematerialization, efficiency, quality anddurability in order to promote sustainable consumption in the consumer. The study concludesthat consumption is indeed an important determinant of sustainable development, and that thereis both an opportunity for companies to approach the issue of decreasing consumption, as well asa range of tools to do this, and a likelihood of consumer cooperation. Overall this amounts to abroader perspective of sustainable development, and contributes the field with a fresh set of eyesfor a brighter future.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages76