Identifying sustainable population segments using a multi-domain questionnaire: A five factor sustainability scale

Marieke Haan*, Elly A. Konijn, Christian Burgers, Allison Eden, Britta C. Brugman, Pieter Paul Verheggen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This study presents the creation of a measurement device to determine and define sustainability attitudes into identifiable sustainability segments. These segments were profiled with behavioral and sociodemographic data. Based on previous literature, key sustainability topics were identified from which a 31-item questionnaire was developed, the Five Factor Sustainability Scale (FFSS). With the FFSS, multiple domains of environmental sustainability can be assessed. We present results validating this measure using a factor–cluster segmentation approach in a nationally representative sample (N = 508). Five sustainability factors emerged: (1) sustainable spending, (2) sustainable skepticism, (3) sustainable responsibility, (4) sustainable support, and (5) sustainable mobility. A cluster analysis on this sample yielded four segments in which people were grouped according to their sustainable attitudes: (1) Convinced Sustainers, (2) Sustainable Wannabes, (3) Sustainable Non-Believers, and (4) Non-Sustainers. Results linking these segments to behavioral and demographic data show discernable differences between the segments, making the FFSS a valuable tool for future intervention studies aiming at sustainable behavior change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-280
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • environmental sustainability
  • lifestyles
  • multi-domain sustainability segments
  • scale construction
  • segmentation


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