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Sustainability and Consumer Well-being Project

Well-Being & Sustainability

The spillover effect of social corporate responsibility practices on consumers' adoption of sustainable behaviors and on the consumption of sustainable products

This research project analyzes the impact of socially responsible strategies undertaken by companies on consumers’ preferences towards their products, and on the potential spillover effect on consumers’ adoption of similar sustainable and socially responsible behaviors.

Our team of researchers analyzes to what extent the embracement of sustainable measures by companies contributes to the adoption of similar practices by consumers (e.g., if a manufacturer or retailer develops a campaign to stimulate in-store recycling behaviors does it impact consumers’ overall recycling practices?). This is an issue of major relevance since it is critical that consumers start engaging in more sustainable behaviors in order to protect the world for future generations, and improve current generations’ well-being. The relevance of this topic is enhanced if one considers the findings from several studies that show that despite the majority of consumers expressing sustainability concerns when confronted with ethical consumption issues, this is often not reflected on their consumption behaviors (White et al. 2012; Luchs et al. 2010).

Moreover, companies working with sustainable production methods and technology become disincentivized, without consumers’ adoption and consumption of social and environmentally-friendly products.

Our research aims at changing the way companies operate across different sectors (food, energy, services, etc.), as well as the way they communicate with their consumers. This will also influence regulators and legislators from different industry domains, which ultimately will foster more socially responsible consumption behaviors amongst consumers.

The present research is thus, relevant for all priority areas and societal challenges related with sustainability, the efficient use of natural resources and environment protection.

Our team 

Rita Coelho do Vale

Associate Professor, Católica Lisbon- School of Business and Economics
Academic Director for Undergraduate Programs
LERNE - Laboratory of Experimental Research iN Economics and Management

Rita Coelho do Vale is Associate Professor of Marketing at Católica-Lisbon where she is the Academic Director for Undergraduate Programs and Director of the Executive Masters- Strategic Marketing Specialization. She is also coordinator of the Advanced Program in Marketing for Executives (PAME), coordinator of LERNE - Laboratory of Experimental Research iN Economics and Management, coordinator of PEO - Online Research Panel, and coordinator of OSP - Observatory of the Portuguese Society.

She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Tilburg University (the Netherlands), an MBA from Faculdade de Economia-UNL, and a ‘Licenciatura’ in Economics- specialization in Business Administration from Faculdade de Economia- Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Her main research interests are on decision-making processes, self-regulation and its impact on choice and consumption decisions, impulsive buying behavior, and ethical and sustainable behaviors. She teaches currently both in the Masters of Science, the Executive Masters, as in several executive education courses, conducting simultaneously several studies for companies. 

Vera Herédia Colaço

Researcher at CUBE – Católica Lisbon Research Unit in Business and Economics

Vera Herédia Colaço, Senior Researcher and Assistant Professor (Adjunct), received a Ph.D. in Management (specialization in marketing) from NovaSBE and a M.Sc. in Textile Marketing from Philadelphia University. Her research interests focus on consumers’ ethical decision-making processes, sustainable consumption and prosocial behavior. Vera has published her research in such journals as the Journal of Business Ethics. She teaches Corporate Social Responsibility and Purpose-Driven Consumption at the Bachelor level. She also supervises Master Research Theses in Marketing and Consumer Behavior.
As part of her teaching methodology, Vera has a strong experience in establishing university-industry relations with such companies such as Aga Khan Foundation, Fundação Oceano Azul, McDonald’s, National Geographic, Starbucks.
Prior to joining academia, Vera worked for the textiles & apparel industry and has a solid international experience working with brands and start-ups such as, Timberland, the Benetton Group, the Trade Commission of Portugal in NYC and more recently, Manifesto Moda, a start-up company that develops health-related protective clothing solutions aiming to prevent diseases like Malaria, Zika and Dengue.

Pedro Verga Matos

Associate Professor, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics & Management (Universidade de Lisboa)
Researcher at CSG/Advance - Research in Social Sciences and Management

Pedro is Associate Professor at ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics & Management (Universidade de Lisboa) and researcher of CSG/Advance - Research in Social Sciences and Management. Pedro holds a PhD in Business and Management Studies from University of Porto, an MBA and a Master in Management from Nova School of Business and Economics, and a Licenciatura in Economics from Catolica Lisbon - School of Business and Economics. His research interests include corporate governance, social innovation, retailing and multicriteria analysis. His research has been published in academic journals including the Journal of Business Research, Economic Modelling, Applied Economics and Journal of Product & Brand Management.