Indicator: Environmentally friendly consumption

A graph shows the market shares of products with official eco-labelling. Between 2012 and 2016 this figure rose from 3.6 percent to 8.6 percent. Since then, the values have been lower. 2019 had a value of 7.9 %. The target for 2030 is 34% market share.Click to enlarge
Weighted market shares by sales of products with official eco-labels
Source: German Environment Agency Figure as PDF

Table of Contents

 

At a glance

  • In the sector of products with official eco-labels, 7.9 % of turnover was generated with particularly environmentally friendly products in 2019.
  • The Federal Government has set the target of increasing the market share of environmentally friendly products to 34 % by 2030.
  • More efforts are needed to achieve this goal, particularly in the food and mobility sectors.
 

Environmental importance

Private households can encourage sustainable consumption both directly and indirectly. Their purchasing decisions influences their own environmental footprint. For instance, energy-efficient vehicles or well-insulated homes need less energy and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, consumers can reward manufacturers who have particularly sustainable production methods by favouring their products.

The indicator records the market shares of products with eco-labelling that sets stringent environmental standards. Up to now, only state-regulated eco-labelling has been considered: Energy labelling (cars, household appliances, lighting and televisions), organic labelling (food) and the Blue Angel label (sanitary tissues, washing and cleaning products). With this indicator it is possible to ascertain whether conventional products are being replaced by environmentally friendly versions. Sustainable consumption is all about replacing non-sustainable consumer habits with sustainable ones.

 

Assessing the development

In 2019, eco-friendly products had a market share of 7.9 % in the product groups surveyed. Although this means that the indicator has halted the downward trend of the last two years, it is still below the previous peak of 8.6 % in 2016. The indicator thus essentially follows the trend in the passenger car market. The market share of A+ passenger cars had declined from 14 % (2016) to 9.6 % (2018), rising slightly to 10.0 % in 2019. For televisions, the market share of A++ appliances has actually declined for the fifth year in a row from 8.3 % in 2014 to less than 1 % in 2019, and market shares for sanitary paper are also declining for the fifth year in a row. In household appliances, the market shares of the most efficient products are increasing, but the growth momentum of earlier years has faded here as well. In some cases, the increase was less than one percentage point in the highest efficiency class. Within the various product groups, the market shares differ significantly in some cases. Take household appliances, for example: Washing machines with the highest efficiency class most recently had a market share of 86 %. By contrast, the highest efficiency class had a share of less than 1 % for electric stoves and ovens or air conditioners.

In the German Sustainable Development Strategy, the Federal Government has set targets for the market share of environmentally friendly products (BReg 2016). These are to increase to 34 % by 2030. This target requires above all a boost to the weakening or in some cases even negative growth momentum in energy-efficient products. Sales of organic food and the market share of particularly efficient cars must also increase significantly.

 

Methodology

To calculate the indicator, particularly environmentally-relevant product groups for which market data are available were identified in each consumer area. Since the market volumes for individual product groups vary greatly, the market shares were weighted by the volume of sales for the respective market as a whole. This guarantees that the indicator is not distorted by high market shares in small niche markets. A description of the methodology can be found in a study commissioned by the German Environment Agency (UBA 2015, in German only), although not all the product groups described there are covered by this indicator.

More detailed information: 'Grüne' Produkte: Marktzahlen (in German only).