Perceptions of consumers on sustainability communication in the forest sector : case wooden floor materials

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Title: Perceptions of consumers on sustainability communication in the forest sector : case wooden floor materials
Author: Suojanen, Hannele
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Marknadsföring av skogsprodukter
Forest Products Marketing
Abstract: Ongoing structural changes within the forest sector, competition with substitute materials in construction business and rising stakeholder pressure towards actions of environmentally sensitive forest sector are pushing extra challenges to the communication efforts of forest sector. Communication has an essential role when promoting the favorable characteristics of wood products and influencing perceptions of stakeholders but inapplicable messages or channels may cause obstacles for effective communication. The purpose of the study is to examine what kind of information forest sector provides to consumers related to sustainability features of wooden floor materials. Sustainability communication is defined using sustainability dimensions. Additionally, aim is to evaluate how important different type of information is for consumers purchasing wooden floor materials and to find the meaning of various communication channels for consumers in obtaining sustainability-related information. Additionally, also the communication planning is approached in the study by scrutinizing, what communication should be and could be. Data collection was conducted using quantitative questionnaire survey. Consumers of wooden floor materials were included as a consumer group of interest and survey was conducted to 52 respondents in a special wooden floor material store using exit method. Communication was approached from the theoretical view of communication process. Results of this study underline the significance of the personnel as the method to tailor the communication of sustainability. When communicating the benefits of wooden floor materials, focus should be on health aspects of wooden floor and additionally in safety issues as these were most appreciated by respondents. According to the results of this study, communication efforts should be put on tailoring communication according to the content of the sustainability messages, as there seemed to be no significant dependency in sustainability communication perceptions between different stakeholder segments.
Subject: sustainability communication
forest sector
stakeholder perception

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