Strong Growth in Biodiversity Awareness in Germany over the last 10 years

European Business & Biodiversity Campaign - News

Strong Growth in Biodiversity Awareness in Germany over the last 10 years

Consumers expect companies to respect biodiversity in their operations - but confidence in business is low

Paris, France / Bonn, Germany, 20.06.2018 – A new consumer survey from the non-profit Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) shows that biodiversity awareness is growing fast among Germany’s consumers; awareness went up from 29% to 53% over the last decade. The majority (74%) of German respondents feel that "companies have a moral obligation" to have a positive impact on people and biodiversity in their sourcing of natural ingredients, but only 43% feel "confident that companies pay serious attention" to these issues.

UEBT published the 2018 edition of the Biodiversity Barometer. The report offers new insights as well as lessons from a decade of research on biodiversity awareness among more than 60,000 consumers in sixteen countries.

Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, said about the report "It is promising to see that consumers want action from business. This trend shows the opportunity for businesses to embrace biodiversity at the core of their business models. The Biodiversity Barometer shows we are heading in the right direction to reach the global target of making people aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably. However much more still needs to be done."

Alnatura and Weleda the most known brands
When asked to name a brand that respects people and biodiversity, Alnatura was mentioned most often, with 17% of all respondents naming the company. Weleda ranks first among female consumers, with 21% of them mentioned the brand.

Stefan Hörmann, Head of Business and Biodiversity at the Global Nature Fund, said: "Companies must become aware of the great - also economic - importance of biodiversity. A good biodiversity strategy opens up opportunities for market differentiation, more efficient procurement strategies and, above all, helps to meet the growing consumer demand." The Global Nature Fund is working with UEBT and other partners from the food sector in the EU LIFE Food & Biodiversity project to strengthen the biodiversity performance of standards and labels in the European food industry. "Labels and standards can contribute to strengthening biodiversity, for example in the food industry. They offer managers and consumers valuable orientation in their purchasing decisions and encourage companies to adjust their production processes towards biodiversity-friendly sourcing," said Hörmann.

The UEBT survey also reveals that Germans have a strong personal connection to biodiversity. 71% of respondents agree that it would "personally affect them" if biodiversity disappears. They find biodiversity conservation important for their personal well-being and that of future generations: more than 80% of respondents in Germany say that biodiversity is important to their quality of life. The findings also show that people want to personally contribute to biodiversity conservation, although they don’t know how. 68% of German respondents agree that buying products that respect biodiversity makes them "feel good".

"Growing awareness, along with a clear disparity between what consumers want from brands, and how few brands they can actually name that are ‘walking the talk,’ shows an incredible opportunity for business to take concrete action to position their brands as leaders in sourcing with respect for biodiversity and people," said Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT’s Executive Director and a leading global expert on ethical sourcing.

The report was unveiled at the Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference, an annual event in Paris that brings together executives from global beauty brands, as well as company leaders from the natural pharmaceutical, specialty food, and personal care sectors, in addition to non-profit experts, policymakers and others.

Biodiversity Barometer
UEBT commissions independent market research companies to conduct consumer research for the UEBT Biodiversity Barometer. Interviews are conducted with national representative samples of 1,000 persons per country. To correct sampling disparities, a post-stratification weighting of results, based on socio-demographic variables, is applied. To access the full report and more key takeaways, quotes and statistics by country, consumer group as well as top brands cited go to
About the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT)
UEBT is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. It supports and verifies companies’ commitments to innovation and sourcing that contribute to a world in which people and biodiversity thrive. More information can be found at:
About Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Global Nature Fund is a non-profit international foundation for the protection of environment and nature, headquartered in Germany. Since 2010 the foundation is supporting companies from all industries in integrating biodiversity into their corporate management. The current project "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry", funded by the EU LIFE programme, aims to improve the biodiversity performance of standards and labels within the food industry. More information can be found at:
Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference
Since 2008 UEBT has been organizing the Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference annually. The conference is organized on a non-profit basis. This year’s edition is supported by UEBT members (Natura, Symrise, Weleda), and partners such as L’Oréal, ABS Capacity Development Initiative of GIZ, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). For more information please visit the UEBT website: