Asian consumers are more aware of biodiversity than German consumers

News in the Framework of the European Business & Biodiversity Campaign


Asian consumers are more aware of biodiversity than German consumers

The Biodiversity Barometer 2019 by the Union for Ethical BioTrade published today shows that Asian consumers have an increasing awareness of the planet’s biodiversity. They want companies to show more commitment to ethically responsible sourcing.

The Biodiversity Barometer 2019 by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) shows that Asian consumers have an increasing awareness of the planet’s biodiversity and want to see companies protecting it. 83 % of Asian consumers have already ‘heard of biodiversity'. In fact, awareness is higher than that of consumers in Germany, where 53 % of those surveyed last year said they knew the term. A majority of Asian consumers surveyed also feel that ‘companies have a moral obligation to assure [us] they have a positive impact on people and biodiversity’ and most Asian consumers surveyed said they have more faith in brands ‘whose commitment to ethical sourcing biodiversity is verified by independent organisations.‘
UEBT today published the new edition of the Biodiversity Barometer 2019. The Barometer has interviewed more than 68,000 consumers over 11 years, asking what they know and understand about biodiversity, and what they expect from brands. This year’s edition focused on consumer insights from four countries in Asia: China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. One major takeaway from the research has been that Asian consumer awareness of biodiversity is very high.
In Western countries surveyed in the 2018 report, the research found a gap in consumer confidence related to a company’s actions: in other words, consumers have higher awareness of biodiversity and think it’s important, but they have lower confidence that companies are protecting biodiversity. The 2018 report showed 38 % Western consumer confidence in brands. In the 2019 report, South Korea and Japan showed similar support. In Vietnam and China, however, consumer confidence in companies' positive impact on biodiversity is significantly higher.
"This year's survey shows again that consumers mainly trust companies whose commitment has been verified by independent organisations. Labels and standards can help to strengthen biodiversity. Seals attest to ethical procurement practices and provide consumers with valuable guidance in their purchasing decisions. In addition, companies are motivated to make their procurement and production more biodiversity-friendly," says Stefan Hörmann, Head of Business and Biodiversity at the Global Nature Fund (GNF). GNF works with UEBT and other partners from the food sector in the project EU LIFE Food & Biodiversity to promote the conservation of biodiversity on farms.

Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said "In line with our 2020 biodiversity targets, we see consumer awareness rising every year, including in Asia. Businesses must embrace conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in response to consumer expectations on biodiversity, and assure a livable future for all. This is also is underpinned by the IPBES' 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services released earlier this month. It provides a fundamental baseline of where we are and where we need to go as a global community to reach the 2050 Vision of the UN Biodiversity Convention of 'Living in harmony with nature".

The research was shared today with company leaders at UEBT’s annual Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference held in Paris for 300 executives from the cosmetics, natural pharmaceutical, specialty food, and personal care sectors, in addition to non-profit experts, policymakers and others. "We felt the time was right to dive deeper into consumers’ insights from Asia. In 2020, China will host the UN Summit on Biodiversity, which will define the global plan on biodiversity for the next decade. Chinese leadership in this major global event underscores the role that Asia has in protecting the world's biodiversity. This also means there is an opportunity for business to take concrete action to position their brands in Asian markets as leaders in sourcing with respect for people and biodiversity," said Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT’s Executive Director and a leading global expert on ethical sourcing.


Biodiversity Barometer
To access the full report and more key takeaways, quotes and statistics by country, consumer group as well as top brands cited go to or download a summary PDF of the 2019 report.

About the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT)
UEBT is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. They support and verify 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:

About the UEBT 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 L’Oréal, Natura, LVMH Recherche, Symrise and Weleda, ABS Capacity Development Initiative. For more information please visit the UEBT website:

Go to or download a summary PDF of the 2019 report.