Thesis - Volunteer opportunity: VU Marketing Sustainable Innovations


VU Marketing Sustainable Innovations - Meike Morren


Transforming consumers’ behaviors towards being sustainable-oriented is the key to achieving sustainable development. Recently sustainable practices such as reducing single plastic usage have been in momentum but how to stimulate this kind of sustainable behavior among more people remains a societal and scientific challenge.

In this proposal, we utilize geo-information science with the latest insights from behavioral science to explore how spatial information, convenience, combined with price premium affect consumers’ lack of action in reducing plastic use on fruit and vegetables. The spatial perspective on top of conventional behavioral analysis can break the bottleneck of lacking sustainable actions in a large population by providing a spatial configuration of sustainable stores and their role as potential interventions.


Through the Green Action Lab, you will collaborate with VU’s researchers and help them by:

-Understanding consumer behaviors responding to three key factors, distance, information and price in relation to socio-demographics. This can be researched using an online survey.

- Building a dynamic survey, in which respondents can find the supermarkets nearby their home and learn about the use of plastic wrappers in these stores.

- Develop experimental conditions in the survey. For instance, generate a message to approach people to change their behavior.

- Develop measurement of shopping behavior. How can we best measure the shopping behavior of the respondents and specifically the plastic waste that is generated by these habits?

Throughout your assignment, you can tap on the knowledge of VU’s researchers. Furthermore, through the Green Action Lab, you will have access to a network of sustainability practitioners in Amsterdam and elsewhere, who you can contact for e.g. expert interviews.

Depending on your academic background and personal interests, you can choose to focus on physical, behavioural or other aspects.


- You are interested in the people aspect of Sustainability and

- You are a bachelor/master student at VU Amsterdam for the duration of the appointment

- You can come to VU on a regular basis

- You have good oral and written command of the English language

- You are open towards interdisciplinary collaboration and show a welcoming and tolerant work attitude.

- Desired background: Psychology, Economics, anything sustainability related

What are we offering?:

By joining the project team, you will gain experience in:

*Sustainability consulting experience

*Professional & personal skills workshops with certificate for your CV

*Flexible desk and a study spot at the Green Office-VU

*Peer reviewed publication in “Science for sustainability” open access academic journal (when thesis is graded above 7.5)

*Certificate on climate action (SDGs agent)

Duration: From 1 February until 30 June 2023 (flexible)

Working hours: 8 hours per week of practical work, research possible for the rest of the week

Place: VU Amsterdam and remote

Supervision: Meike Morren

Application process:

Are you interested in this position? Apply until 1st February 2023 (THESIS) OR anytime before the end of the academic year 2022-2023 (VOLUNTEER) by filling your information below and the Green Action Lab coordinator will contact you in 2-3 business days.

We are looking forward to receiving our application!

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