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Consumer Perception of the Circular Economy as the Most Visible Environmental Pillar of Corporate Social Responsibility

Authors
  • Ungerman, Otakar
  • Gryszel, Piotr
  • Dědková, Jaroslava
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Landscape Ecology
Publisher
De Gruyter Open Sp. z o.o.
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2023
Volume
16
Issue
3
Pages
76–93
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/jlecol-2023-0018
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The world today is on the verge of exhausting its primary resources. In this situation the circular economy is undoubtedly a means of eliminating the shortage of raw materials faced by the Czech Republic and the whole of Europe. The development of the circular economy requires a change in how it is perceived by businesses as well as consumers. This paper is devoted to the perception and relationship between consumers and the circular economy. The potential offered by consumer behaviour as regards involvement in the circular economy lies in repairing, recycling and using products for other purposes, instead of discarding them in a landfill and then buying a new product. However, one fundamental prerequisite for this is that consumers decide to engage in the circular economy, a decision that can be motivated by economic conditions or personal incentives based on their own attitude to the environment. Two-level research was carried out in order to determine how the circular economy is perceived by consumers, where the qualitative method was first used to identify the concepts that consumers perceive as constituting the circular economy. The concepts were used to compile an original definition of the circular economy from the perspective of consumers. The concepts were subjected to quantitative data collection, identifying the importance of the concepts ascertained. The subsequent statistical evaluation served to detect differences in the perception of the importance of the identified concepts depending on consumer behaviour. The research shows that if consumers are aware of the importance of the circular economy, they themselves behave in a socially responsible manner. The assessment was intended to reveal differences in responses depending on the following demographic characteristics: age, gender, education and place of residence. It was apparent that only the respondents’ education is statistically significant, with consumers with a higher education assigning greater importance to the circular economy and thus being more likely to get involved in this concept.

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