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Müller-Pérez, J.; Acevedo-Duque, �.; Llanos-Herrera, G.; García-Salirrosas, E.E.; Ovalles Toledo, L.; Sandoval Barraza, L.A.; Álvarez-Becerra, R. The Mexican Ecological Conscience. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 25 June 2024).
Müller-Pérez J, Acevedo-Duque �, Llanos-Herrera G, García-Salirrosas EE, Ovalles Toledo L, Sandoval Barraza LA, et al. The Mexican Ecological Conscience. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 25, 2024.
Müller-Pérez, Jessica, Ángel Acevedo-Duque, Gonzalo Llanos-Herrera, Elizabeth Emperatriz García-Salirrosas, Luiz Ovalles Toledo, Lidyeth Azucena Sandoval Barraza, Rina Álvarez-Becerra. "The Mexican Ecological Conscience" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 25, 2024).
Müller-Pérez, J., Acevedo-Duque, �., Llanos-Herrera, G., García-Salirrosas, E.E., Ovalles Toledo, L., Sandoval Barraza, L.A., & Álvarez-Becerra, R. (2022, June 15). The Mexican Ecological Conscience. In Encyclopedia.
Müller-Pérez, Jessica, et al. "The Mexican Ecological Conscience." Encyclopedia. Web. 15 June, 2022.
The Mexican Ecological Conscience

The number of Mexicans who buy sustainable products has been increasing, which has led to sustainable trade. According to Vargas-Hernández and Cervantes-Guzmán (2019), “eco-conscious” consumers are a fast-growing niche in Mexico; moreover, there is also some research on green products in Mexican academia, such as the TNS Research Green Study (2010), which notes that almost 50% of Mexicans are more willing to buy green products, so further research on Mexican consumers and their sustainability intentions is needed. 

sustainability ecological awareness moral obligation purchase intention

1. Introduction

Recent consumer behavior towards eco-friendly or green products is a prominent issue for governments and companies [1]. Today, companies apply sustainable marketing strategies to gain a competitive advantage by creating ecological awareness among consumers [2], focusing on economic, social, and environmental values to achieve a balance between people, profit, and planet [2]. The Brundtland report describes sustainability as the process of meeting today’s needs without compromising tomorrow’s resources [3]. According to [4], awareness of green consumption is necessary regarding concern for the health of the planet. Indeed, the Earth is considered a system that connects space and time, so it is important to promote and support sustainable development in Mexico so that the rest of the world can follow [5].
Many studies describe a person’s motivation through extrinsic means, i.e., perceived behavioral control, subjective norms, and attitude, and subsequently study their effect on green purchasing behavior [4][5]. However, a consumer may be willing to buy green products due to their interest in environmental care (intrinsic motivation), because they realize how important it is to consume green products (identified motivation), because they feel uncomfortable not buying them (introjected motivation), or because their partner wants them to buy green products (external motivation) [6][7].
According to Vargas-Hernández and Cervantes-Guzmán (2019) [8], “eco-conscious” consumers are a fast-growing niche in Mexico; moreover, there is also some research on green products in Mexican academia, such as the TNS Research Green Study (2010) [9], which notes that almost 50% of Mexicans are more willing to buy green products, so further research on Mexican consumers and their sustainability intentions is needed. In a previous study, the variables considered predictors of intention—attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived purchase control—which, according to Ajzen (2011) [10], did not have a significant effect on intention; however, environmental awareness was an additional variable in ongoing behavioral studies [11][12], while moral obligations have been shown to be the opposite [13].

2. Mexican Consumers and Their Purchase Intention

Over the last decade, several studies have been conducted to understand how consumers react when given the opportunity to purchase green or sustainable products, and what aspects consumers consider important for purchasing these products [3]. Consumer behavior is seen as an activity that enables consumers to purchase, consume, and acquire products and services, including the decision-making stages before and after a purchase [14]. The above reflects the interesting analysis presented by the World Bank concerning consumer price inflation (annual %) in Mexico [15]. Inflation is a phenomenon observed in the economy of a country related to the disorderly increase in the prices of most of the products in a market that can be fixed or variable at given intervals, e.g., annually (See Figure 1). The Laspeyres formula is generally used.
Figure 1. Inflation, consumer prices (annual %) in Mexico. Source: World Bank data 2022.
Green consumer behavior refers to the purchase of environmentally friendly products, the conservation of natural resources, and the shift towards recycled products [7]. According to Ghose and Chandra (2020), a green product is beneficial for human beings, and does not harm the environment; furthermore, it can be perceived when some of these are made of recyclable materials or if their packaging is made of biodegradable materials. For example, LUSH cosmetics replaced standard wrapping paper with reusable fabric wrapping, and when they ship some products that are sold online, they send them in biodegradable bags cushioned by compostable renatured peanuts, packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes [8]. On the other hand, an example of products that do not harm the environment is energy efficient appliances (EEAs) since they promote energy efficiency to cut total greenhouse gas emissions globally [9]. For example, LG India launched an LED E60 and E90 series of monitors that consume 40% less energy than conventional LED monitors [10]. At the same time, in the fashion industry, clothing made of cotton, linen, silk, or wool can be recycled into fibers or resold, donated, repaired, adapted, or redesigned [11]. For example, the company “Indi-green” in India use 100% eco-friendly cotton, bamboo material, and hand-woven khadi in their products [12][13][14][15]. Furthermore, the purchase intention for these products indicates the extent to which consumers are willing or prepared to buy environmentally friendly products, or at least adopt greener practices [16]. Additionally, in the construction, textile, gardening, landscape architecture, and energy sectors, bamboo is used to replace conventional materials, since it has a positive environmental impact, as well as economic benefits, playing a key role in economic development from environmental protection as a key green material.
In this sense, refs. [17] mentioned that purchase intention for environmentally friendly products is considered as the desire to buy environmentally friendly products, rather than conventional products. Furthermore, ref. [18] pointed out that intention is the most important predictor of human behaviour, and that humans are rational in their systematic use of available information.
Furthermore, purchase intention for these products indicates the extent to which consumers are willing or prepared to buy environmentally friendly products or, at least, to adopt greener choice practices [16]. Therefore for, refs. [17][18][19] mention that purchase intention for green products is considered as the desire to buy green products, rather than conventional products. Furthermore, refs. [20][21][22] point out that intention is the most important predictor of human behaviour and that humans are rational in their systematic use of available information.

3. Moral Obligation

According to Fu et al. (2019) [23], moral obligation refers to a person’s sense of pride or guilt in performing a particular action. Furthermore, moral obligation is an important variable for measuring intention, especially in terms of environmental protection and green consumption behavior [24]. For example, consumers may feel that they should use products and services in a sustainable way because they may feel guilty if they do not [25]. However, Schwartz (1977) [26] was one of the first to propose the concept of personal duty, defining it as a moral feeling that manifests itself to enforce some form of pro-social acceptance. Schwartz (1977) [25] emphasized its effect on an individual’s tendency to help others. Generally, ethical or green consumers tend to be conscientious, and tend to buy green products to contribute to caring for the environment [24]. Similarly, Chen (2016) [27] described moral obligation as an important variable in understanding a person who has the intention to take care of the environment and consume green products. Similarly, Bergquist (2020) [28] mentions that people have a positive moral self but, to maintain it, they face social and ethical dilemmas, which motivate them to take pro-social actions when their moral self is threatened. Generally, ethical or green consumers are looking to buy green products or other products that do not cause much harm to the environment or society [24]. Furthermore, ref. [24] mentions that previous studies have found that moral obligation can greatly enhance the explanatory or predictive power of consumer intentions. This was demonstrated in a study conducted by Si et al. (2020) [25] in China, where moral obligation was one of the most important elements that increase intention.

4. Environmental Awareness

Landry et al. (2018) [29] stated that environmental concerns are widespread, but many are reluctant to take environmental action. Other studies have found a correlation between environmental awareness and green purchasing behavior, which increases consumers’ willingness to spend [30]. Environmental awareness lies in understanding that environmental problems exist, and that these problems can significantly influence individual behavior to be more environmentally friendly [31]. According to Taufique and Vaithianathan (2018) [32], the environmental impact of products and services purchased by environmentally conscious consumers is positive (or negative). Similarly, Han et al. (2017) [33] demonstrated that environmental awareness indirectly affects behavioral intention through three fundamental variables: attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived purchase perception. Similarly, Paul et al., (2016) [34] mentioned that when consumers know about the environmental and health benefits of consuming green products, they exhibit higher purchase intentions. Furthermore, Saleki et al., (2019) [35] showed that environmental awareness impacts purchase intention for organic products.
Finally, Paul et al., (2016) [34] reveal that there are more and more studies related to the effect of consumers’ environmental awareness concerning various issues and, above all, the direct and indirect effect of environmental awareness on other variables considered predictors of intention (See Figure 2). Sustainability 14 07050 g002 550
Figure 2. Conceptual model. Source: Own elaboration.


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