COVID-19 and dynamics of environmental awareness, sustainable consumption and social responsibility in Malaysia

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Oct;28(40):56199-56218. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-14612-z. Epub 2021 May 28.


Despite a profound evidence of the human unsustainable behaviours' impact on the environment, stark disparities prevail on this narrative especially in the context of the current epidemiological situation ushered by the COVID-19. The ongoing pandemic is a global public health concern due to its sagacious impacts on environmental sustainability, social responsibility and people's quality of life. This study primarily focuses on analysing the impact of COVID-19 (COV) on the environmental awareness (EA), sustainable consumption (SC) and social responsibility (SR). Additionally, we aspire to investigate the impact of demographics of generations and religion on the proposed nexus in this study. The data was collected from 700 participants of different age groups and religious backgrounds in Malaysia, and structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse this data and test the hypotheses. The findings indicate that COVID-19 has a significantly positive impact on EA, SC and SR, and the generations and religiosity moderate the relationship between COVID-19 and its impact on sustainable behaviours. This study contributes to analyse the difference in the perception of EA, SC and SR among the people that eventually will stimulate the scientific reasoning among the governments, policymakers and scientists to develop a holistic framework to combat unprecedented event such as COVID-19 and ensure the authentication of sustainable environment and exceptional quality of life. The policymakers in Malaysia may use the findings of this study to inspect the social and environmental aspects of the people during the transformation events.

Keywords: COVID-19; Environmental awareness; Malaysia; Pandemic; Social responsibility; Sustainable consumption.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Sustainable Development