Animal Cards, supermarket stunts, and the World Wide Fund for Nature: Exploring the educational value of a business-environmental non-governmental organization partnership for sustainable consumption

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores cooperation between a commercial supermarket chain and an environmental non-governmental organization linking it to consumer perception of the "The Super Animals" collectable cards promotion initiative. The case study focuses on one particular joint project involving Animal Cards that was initiated by the supermarket Albert Heijn and the World Wide Fund for Nature in The Netherlands. Based on this case, environmental non-governmental organizations' strategic choices in the context of contesting discourses of sustainability and consumption, as well as implications for environmental education, are addressed. This article combines three strands of the literature - on sustainable consumption, on strategic cooperation between commercial companies and environmental non-governmental organizations and on environmental education. It is argued that the Animal Cards initiative presents an ambiguous case by both attempting to enhance environmental awareness and promoting consumption, opening up questions about the value of such cooperative ventures to the objectives of environmental education. It is concluded that cross-sector partnerships have the potential to lead to improvements in corporate social responsibility and environmental awareness among consumers but simultaneously pose the danger of undermining the critical stance toward consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-947
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date5 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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