For instance, approximately 33 per cent of Thailand's water sources are categorized as having poor quality and the phenomenon is considered a serious environment problem. Moreover, Thailand is ranked among the last Asian countries based on amounts of fresh water available per capita (WWF, 2010).
In this context, the Thai government and the Thai people have commenced to pay more attention to the effect of the environmental problems, as well as to the adjacent economics of the problem. People make an effort to buy products which are environmentally harmless and, through them, to minimize the negative environmental implications of consumption. A first effort in this direction was the introduction of the Thai Green Label Scheme in 1993 and its formal launch one year later (Green Label Thailand, 2010). In short, the scheme supports the development of the green products sector by introducing information for consumers and standards for businesses. More details will however be offered throughout the following section.
In order to satisfy the green consumers, the item must be produced and delivered in a means that it is less harmful to the environment (Grankvist et al., 2007). These products do not only respond to consumers' needs and wants but they also generate long-term sustainability for the environment (Follow and Jobber, 1999). Beyond that, the consumer's choice towards environmentally friendly products would present green producers with an opportunity that allows them to demote less pro-environmentally products from the market (Thogersen, 2002).
On the other hand, Radman (2005) found that green products are more expensive than general products so people choose to purchase alternatives products and considered as a barrier. This virtually means that the price of the green products is a major barrier and an even greater factor in the purchase decision. Economic agents are themselves faced with several barriers in the going green processes. For instance, the replacement of the current technologies with more environmentally friendly ones is estimated to generate cost increases. Then, the implementation and maintenance of a green system is significantly more complex than the implementation and maintenance of a traditional system. Third, economic agents are limited by their lack or reduced expertise with green operations. Finally, the implementation of a green system is associated with loses in operational productivity and organizational profitability (Bernowksi, 2008).
As the background of the study gains a clearer contour, a question is being raised relative to several specific elements of the research project, namely its research questions, aims and objectives. These are presented below.
To start the dissertation, Researcher refined five questions below in order to ensure the understanding and the objectives of this research.
1. What is the perception of young Thai consumers over environmental stability?
2. What is the level of environmental consciousness revealed by the young Thai consumers?
3. Does environmental consciousness impact the green product purchase decision?
4. What are the most important reasons which support the green product purchase decision?
5. Which are the most important factors which drive the decision to purchase green?
This research is challenge to provide answers to these questions in order to understand the green purchasing criteria of young consumer in Thailand.
The aim of this research is to examine the green-purchasing behavior of Thai young adult consumers and to identify the factors which influenced them. This research aims to help marketers understand how consumers make choices in purchases of green products and to offer recommendation for developing marketing strategies for green products in Thailand.
In order to complete the research aim as presented above, it is necessary for the following research objectives to the gradually met:
1. The assessment of green marketing in Thailand.
2. The critical identification of the factors and criteria which impact the decision to purchase green products in young Thai individuals.
3. The thorough analysis of the Thai consumer perspectives through the construction of a questionnaire and the investigation of the answers.
4. The issuing of valid recommendations for green businesses on how to better respond to customers' needs, wants and features.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
This chapter assists the researcher to understand about the topic of the perspectives of young Thai consumers regarding green products is rather narrow, meaning as such that the availability of sources specifically dealing with this topic is limited. Nevertheless, the specialized literature does introduce the reader to the various issues related to the research question. In other words, the role of this section is that of offering a starting point in the research endeavor. The information would be structured onto four distinct sections, as follows: (1) green marketing in Thailand; (2) the green consumers; (3) characteristics of the green consumers, and (4) the green consumers' purchase decision.
2.1. Green marketing in Thailand
Green marketing is a more common practice not only in the Western hemisphere, but in Thailand as well. This section focuses on several elements of interest within the Thai industry and which define the framework for the implementation of green strategies. Gurau and Ranchhod (2005) claim that green marketing is regarded as one of the most important trends in modern business. According to Walter (1993), green marketing can be defined as a business practice that captures consumer concerns about conservation and preservation of the environment. Its components include concerns over global warming, environmentally friendly consumption and advances concerned over the purchase decisions to conserve and preserve the environment.
Laroche et al. (2002) argue that green marketing is a force of consumers in the meaning that the consumers have become more environmentally responsible and they are such forcing economic agents to develop and implement greener strategies. "Consumers' environmental knowledge is of paramount importance because the green revolution is primarily consumer driven. This implies that if consumers possess a superior understanding of environmental issues and channel it into ecologically conscious consumption behaviors, it is likely that profit-driven enterprises will be strongly motivated to apply the concept of green marketing to their operations" (Laroche et al., 2002).
Currently, green marketing is viewed as a widely used business strategy in Thailand. It seems to be definitely acceptable as the management responsible for anticipating and satisfying customers' need and society manages to attain these objectives in a profitable and sustainable way (Peattie and Charter (1997:389). Green marketing helps consumers become more responsible individuals by raising their awareness of environmental threats. This represents the reason due to which the perception of green products as niche sectors. Thailand started to increase its launch of green products within the market.
Despite the fact that the features of the green products will be discussed throughout the following section in more detail, it is at this stage of the paper necessary to offer at least a generic definition of green products for purposes of clarity. In this order of ideas, According to Cooper (2000) states that green products are items with a low environmental impact.
In the beginning, His Majesty The King Bhumibol Adulyadej emphasized on the environmental and natural resource and developed the philosophy of the "Sufficiency Economy" to lead the Thai people to balance their way of life and with the well-being of the environment. Through this approach, he created the main sustainable development theory for Thailand. Starting in 1961, His Majesty the King initiated the Royal Chitralada Agricultural Projects and the aim of the projects was to promote higher quality standards for the manufactured items and delivered services. They also included agendas on the production of cost efficient products in Thailand, the use of natural materials to support Thai agriculture -- which in fact represents the backbone of Thailand's economy -- and set the basis of green marketing in Thailand (The Royal Chitralada project, 2010). This is considered as a start of the emergence of environmental and economic issues in Thailand. As a result, Thai society has commenced to emphasize on environmental conservation and the business community has started to focus more on the development and implementation of environmentally sustainable strategies.
As it has been mentioned throughout the Background and objectives section, the Thai Green Label Scheme was created in 1994 by The Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD) in association with The Ministry of Industry of Thailand. The Green label scheme is an environmental certification awarded to products that are shown to have a less harmful impact onto the environment. The lenses through which the impacts are assessed include both the consumption of material as well as the actual production process, followed by disposal. The products are assessed one against the other and are categorized based on their competitive levels (The Green Label Thailand, 2010). This Green Label Scheme helps to guide consumer in making purchase decision towards green products and helps marketers develop their products in accordance to consumers' needs, with the result of built in environmental stability. The objectives of the Thai green label scheme include:
1). The provision to provide reliable information for the consumers.
2). The creation of green purchasing opportunities for…