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The Formation of Green Identities - Consumers and Providers.

  • Anna-Lisa Lindén
  • Mikael Klintman
  • Anders Biel
  • Bengt Hansson
  • Mona Mårtensson
Publishing year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 66-90
Publication/Series: Individual and Structural Determinants of Environmental Practice.
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Ashgate

Abstract english

Liberalisation and deregulation of public utility sectors has been introduced in several European countries. In 1994 Swedish municipalities were instructed to reorganise waste collection routines by enlarging the number of fractions to be able to reuse waste fractions in an environmental benign way. The public waste sector have to a considerable extent been diversified and deregulated. At the same time their clients, the households, are supposed to accept and take part in the enlarged sorting activities. There has to be a close relation between providers and consumers to get everything running in a proper order.

The electricity sector was deregulated in 1997. Even before that date some Energy Companies had begun to diversify their supply of electricity. Wind power energy was labelled as environmentally benign. Although green electricity plays a minor role in the supply of energy from all energy companies in Sweden it has played an important role in marketing and labelling firms to be aware of the environment. The “invisible” good green electricity could at least in mental processes be separated from grey electrons.

Consumption of public utilities electricity and waste collection are necessary goods and services in every household in modern societies. There is no possibility to enlarge the stock of consumers as it can be on a free market. The companies in a deregulated electricity and waste collection market are extremely dependent on consumer attitudes to and credibility in their company to keep them and to win new clients from competing firms.

Product and tariff differentiation (PTD) functions as measures for providers to establish a green identity visible for consumers in their evaluations of the provider image. The relation between provider and consumer established through product and tariff differentiation is not only an economic relation but includes as well ecological, environmental and social aspects. The relation is a sophisticated network of shared advantages and disadvantages in creating green images and green identities related to public consumption of visible services, waste collection, and invisible goods like electricity. Relations between providers and consumers in establishing their green identities and green images and the functional aspects of product and tariff differentiation will be analysed theoretically. The empirical analysis relies on interviews with providers and consumers within the waste and electricity sectors in Sweden, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • sociologi
  • consumers
  • sociology
  • providers
  • tariff differntiation
  • electricity
  • waste


  • Utvägar
  • Ways Ahead/Utvägar-lup-obsolete
  • ISBN: 0-7546-3217-2
Mikael Klintman
E-mail: mikael [dot] klintman [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 70 284 55 48

+46 70 284 55 48


Sociologiska institutionen, Paradisgatan 5, Hus G, Lund


Sociologist with a broad, human scientific interest in social, economic and evolutionary dimensions of environmental and health related problems.

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences