Ethical Consumption In Business Ethics

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Governnance, Politics and Corporate Accountability How effective is ethical consumption and/or civil society campaigning as a means to promote sustainable business practice? Student ID: u1628418 Word count 1992 Introduction In today’s business world, the concept of ethical consumption has gained an increasing amount of popularity in many wealthy capitalist nations across the world (Lewis & Potter,2011). More businesses are beginning to realize and consider human welfare and ecological implications when acquiring sustainable development principles (Chow and Chen,2012). Ethical consumption can be simply defined as “the purchase and use of a products and services chosen freely by an individual consumer that concern a…show more content…
363). It is essential to understand that the term ‘ethical consumption’ refers to a wider array of processes – from purchases of free-trade products and organized consumer boycotts to ethical investments. Being an ethical consumer therefore, directly refers to buying products which are not considered harmful to society and the environment. A simple example of ethical consumption would be purchasing free-range eggs .The mainstream choice of consumers are increasingly “marked by questions of care, solidarity and collective concern” (Barnett et al.2005a,p 45). The following examines the extent to which ethical consumption is considered effective and argues that despite its positive mark in the contemporary world of business ethics; there are controversies raised by marketing scholars which questions its actuality. Furthermore, an analysis on both sides of the coin- the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of ethical consumption will be conducted. To…show more content…
From small entrepreneurs to huge multinationals, more companies are incorporating ethical choices to the modern consumer markets (Tridos Bank, 2016). The range could be a single individual who chooses organic food products to use in their kitchen to the latest range of Nissans’ electric cars. UK recorded a growth from 3.2% to $81.3 billion in 2017- recorded as the highest total(, 2017). This marked the thirteenth consecutive year for growth of the ethical purchase section- revealing an ongoing interest of ethical markets in the UK. As rising inflation leads to an increase in retail price further affecting the personal budgets negatively, one could predict a decline in ethical spending. However, according to the Ethical Consumer Markets Annual Report, consumers in the UK continued to show support to ethical businesses and initiatives through their purchasing decisions. YouGov survey conducted recorded that almost a quarter (24%) of respondents stated that they purchased products in the last year only because of their ethical reputation (, 2017). Consumer boycotts has become a popular weapon of choice for many consumers. Further supported by Gelb (1995), who stated that the power of consumer boycotts is rapidly increasing as more buyers are refusing to purchase a branded

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