2011–12 Project Summaries: My Sustainable Canada Incorporated

743 Avondale Avenue
Kitchener, ON  N2M 2W6
Tel.: 519-623-8139

1. Identifying Gaps in Consumer Protection in the Repair, Resale and Reuse Market in Canada

This research study will identify and investigate gaps in consumer protection policies and practices in the repair, resale and reuse market in Canada and provide recommendations on interventions that will enhance consumer confidence in the purchase of second hand or re-conditioned products.

The key research questions to be addressed strive to identify information from the consumer's perspective:

  • What consumer protection policies and practices are in place within the repair, resale and reuse market in Canada?
  • What second hand or re-conditioned products pose potential risk related concerns for consumers?
  • What gaps exist in consumer protection policies and practices in Canadian markets?
  • What types of interventions will enhance consumer confidence in the purchase of second hand or re-conditioned products?
  • What are the consumer perceptions of the degree of risk associated with the repair, resale, and reuse market in Canada?

Expected outcome

Based on the outcomes of this study, My Sustainable Canada will be able to advise governments, at all levels, on the types of interventions that could lead to enhancing consumer confidence in the repair, resale and reuse market. This information could also be used by various stakeholders who are interested in promoting the reuse of second hand and re-conditioned products.

2. Assessing the Degree to which Retailers are Currently Shaping Consumer Preferences for Energy and Water Conserving Products

Influencing consumers to change their purchasing behaviours is one of several key strategies to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, a key anthropogenic cause of global climate change. This project aims to bridge the gap between end consumers and energy and water conserving products by examining the role of retailers in shaping consumer preferences.

This MSC study will focus specifically on retail stores and products that require direct interaction between sales associates and consumers. MSC will attempt to answer the following research questions:

  1. How do market intermediaries affect consumer decision-making of energy and water efficient products?
  2. What barriers and incentives exist for consumers at the point of purchase when assessing whether to purchase these products?

Expected outcome

This research will open up academic and public discourse on the ways in which retailers can have an impact on shaping consumer preferences for more sustainable products. Findings from this study will also permit insights into the newly evolving energy and water efficiency markets, helping to inform policymakers regarding future conservation and demand management strategies.