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J Environ Manage. 2013 Oct 15;128:335-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Influence of energy alternatives and carbon emissions on an institution's green reputation.

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Department of Marketing and Economics, Valdosta State University, 103F Pound Hall, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA.


Institutions' reputation for being environmentally friendly or 'green' can come from many sources. This paper examines how the attributes of alternative energy management plans impact an institutions' 'green' reputation by focusing on the interaction between 'external' and 'internal' influences. Some 'external' influences on environmental reputation we studied include the institution's mix of fuels, energy conservation effort, carbon emissions targets, investment time-frame, and program cost. The 'internal' influences on institutions' green reputation we examined include altruism (respondents' concern for the welfare of others) and environmentalism (respondents' concern for the environment). Using a stated-preference conjoint survey, we empirically examine how attributes of alternative energy management plans influence a large, research university's 'green' reputation. Our results show that constituents benefit from their institution's green reputation and that the energy management choices of the institution can significantly influence its perceived green reputation. Furthermore, integrating internal and external influences on reputation can create more informative models and better decision-making.


Academic institution; Carbon footprint; Conjoint analysis; Pro-environmental behavior; ‘Green’ reputation

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