Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Deserai Anderson Crow

Second Advisor

Keith Stockton

Third Advisor

Dale Miller

Abstract

Consumer demand for products is increasing all around the world and putting pressures on the environment through the extraction and production of these products. In particular, the demand for aluminum is increasing. The large scope of aluminum products and the environmental impacts of aluminum production give rise for the need to investigate the impacts of consumption. This research aimed to question if consumer awareness of environmental issues reflected in corporate environmental policy in the aluminum industry. Two main methods were used in order to investigate this relationship: an evaluation of the internal perspective from aluminum industry representatives and an evaluation of the relationship between two indicators. Media was used as an indicator for consumer awareness and corporate environmental spending was used as an indicator for environmental policy. The internal perspective was that consumers do in fact pass demand for environment quality along a complex supply chain. While there was a relatively strong relationship between media coverage and corporate environmental spending, the data from this research showed that changes in corporate spending generally lead to the changes in media coverage. These findings raise new questions about the relationship between producers, media, and consumers.

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