Do independent sustainability audits provide a competitive advantage?

  • Cazier J
  • Corley K
  • Gora D
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Abstract. This study explores the value of sustainability information on consumer behavior and addresses two questions. First, can a sustainability report positively influence consumer behavior? Second, does a sustainability report from an independent, third party auditing agency have a greater impact on consumer behavior than an organization's self generated sustainability report? We conducted a lab experiment in which participants were randomly assigned to two treatment groups. Participants in both groups were given general information about a fictional retailer of digital music, movies, and MP3 players and consumer behavior data were collected. Following this initial data collection, a summary of a sustainability report for the company was presented to participants. Based on group assignment participants were told the sustainability report was generated by either an independent auditing agency or the company itself, and consumer behavior data were collected again. The results indicate a positive and si...

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  • Joseph Cazier

  • Ken Corley

  • David Gora

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