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. 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, 8.6 % of turnover was generated with particularly environmentally friendly products.
  • The Federal Government has set the target of increasing the market share of environmentally friendly products to 34 % by 2030.
  • Further efforts are needed to achieve this target, especially in the food sector.

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 2016, environmentally friendly products had a 8.6 % market share in the product groups investigated. Thus the indicator shows dynamic growth beginning at a low starting point. Market shares vary considerably within the various product groups. In household appliances for example, washing machines in the highest efficiency class most recently had a market share of 85 %. In contrast, electric cookers and ovens in the highest efficiency class had a market share of less than 1 %.

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. First and foremost, this target requires the existing dynamic growth of energy-efficient products to be maintained. Sales of organic foods must also increase substantially. Therefore, the Federal Government has adopted a National Programme for Sustainable Consumption (BMUB 2018). This sets out a range of measures aimed at further promoting sustainable consumption.



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).