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Browsing by Subject "kuluttajatutkimus"

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  • Järvinen, Jasmin (2019)
    Climate change is one of the most major environmental challenges of our time. The upcoming decades will be crucial for delimiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5 - 2 degrees, as pointed out by the IPCC. Tackling climate change requires system-wide changes, emission reductions from all sectors and a shift towards low-carbon society. The global food system is responsible for circa 20-30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, achieving the goal of carbon neutrality necessitates profound changes in the food system, i.e. in the ways our food is being produced and consumed today. This, in turn, necessitates a transition towards more plant-based diets. There is a scientific consensus that plant-based diets are - in addition to human health - also beneficial for the climate, as they produce less greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon-intensive lifestyles are especially characteristic for people in industrialized countries. Food covers roughly one fifth of the annual carbon footprint of a Finn. Finnish diets produce relatively large emissions mainly due to high consumption of meat and dairy. As food choices contribute to climate change, it is crucial to seek solutions in order to steer sustainable food consumption. In addition to the efforts of the public sector, proactive companies are also capable of steering or “nudging” sustainable food consumption also by other than conventional means, such as information provision and financial incentives. These means and their acceptability are addressed in this thesis. This thesis explores how Finnish consumers allocate responsibilities between the government, companies and consumers for mitigating climate change. In addition, this thesis elucidates how Finnish consumers perceive food manufacturers’ role and contribution (means) in steering food consumption towards more climate-friendly choices. The study conducted for this thesis was a consumer survey (n=504) and the target population was Finnish consumers aged between 18-74 years. The material was collected during August 2019, and statistical methods were mostly applied to analyze the results. One of the key findings of this study is that half of the survey respondents perceive a shared responsibility between the government, companies and consumers in mitigating climate change. While least responsibility is assigned for consumers, their role is not, however, underestimated. It also seems like food manufacturers play an important role in steering climate-friendly food consumption in the respondents’ opinion. In addition, the respondents seem to be relatively accepting towards the fact of being steered by food companies in order to make more climate-friendly food choices. Also the means to steer consumer behaviour, which were addressed in this study, received a promising level of support from the respondents. The findings of the study shed light on the food industry’s opportunities to influence climate-friendly food consumption and can help to develop policies that aim to mitigate climate change and promote more sustainable culinary culture.