Factors influencing green practices amongst South African food retailers.
Ghebrehiwet, Yodit Fisseha.
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The growing population globally and the finite resources on earth necessitated the need for the prudent utilisation of natural resources through sustainable production and use. As a result, it has become common knowledge to business entities to support initiatives towards environmental protection. Food retail stores are amongst the immediate role players that could contribute to shifting ordinary business activities into greener practices. Thus, most retailers are adopting green practices in their daily business operations with varying degrees of success. The specific research questions asked in this study are which factors influence green practices in the food retail sector in South Africa; and what is the level of green practices in the food retail sector in this country. The theoretical section of the study focuses on understanding the underlining literature on the meaning of green and green practice and factors influencing it. The study adopted a mixed-methods research approach. Eight food retail stores participated in the study. The primary data was gathered employing face-to-face interviews with 23 managers and personally administered questionnaires distributed to 105 employees from which full responses were attained. A purposive sampling technique was used to select managers and employees. Content analysis was adopted to analyse the qualitative data and SPSS for descriptive statistics as well as univariate regression analysis to understand the relationship between the different variables. As per the objectives of the study, that is to identify the influencing factors and determine the level of green practices in the South African food retail sector, the findings of the study showed that different driving factors lead the food retail sector to implement green practices. There are also differences in the degree of implementation of green practices. The empirical data suggested that the dependent variable, namely the employee initiative to perform green practice, is significantly influenced by the independent variables. Despite the smaller sample size and limited geographic distribution due to logistical constraints, the study provides enough evidence in the progress made and in the limitations that exist within the food retail sector when it comes to the promotion and implementation of green practices. This study may be used as base-line information for other similar studies that are more comprehensive.