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John Molson School of Business, Concordia University



Learning Methods

In the face of the climate crisis, consumers are experiencing increased pressure to buy sustainably. Students at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business investigated what motivates consumers to go green in a course on Consumer Behaviour. The students presented their research at Concordia’s 4TH SPACE.
Prof. Darlene Walsh worked with marketing lecturers Shaun Lynch and Richard Sejean to build in an experiential learning component by taking the final presentations out of the classroom. The project goal was to get students to think about real-world sustainability challenges and recommend impactful strategies based on consumer research.
Students teamed up to select one of the UN SDGs around which to focus their research questions. Thirty-five teams presented their findings to an audience of peers and industry judges from Metso, L’Oreal Canada; Genesis Motor North America and Centre Québécois du droit de l’environnement.
Tom Sassen, a first-year marketing and finance student, tackled SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production with his teammates. The team developed a survey to understand how likely consumers are to participate in a lateral recycling program offered by a prominent clothing brand. These programs divert products from landfills by repurposing, reselling or otherwise reusing them.
Second-year marketing student Samantha Sarazen’s team chose SDG 5: Gender Equality, focussing on the “pink tax.” The term refers to the gender-based price disparity in which products marketed toward women are more expensive than the same products marketed toward men. The team surveyed women about this issue and found that 45%of respondents weren’t familiar with the concept.
Everyone was impressed by the quality of the presentations and the level of the students’ engagement.

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