Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Sustainable consumption – Making consumption environmentally and socially compatible

Indicator 12.1.a: Market share of products certified by publicly managed eco-labelling schemes

(Evaluation of the year 2018 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator measures the market share of products with voluntary or mandatory ecolabels which are awarded according to criteria stipulated by government bodies.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Private households can engage in sustainable consumption both directly and indirectly. Not only do their purchasing decisions influence their own ongoing impact on the environment, as energy-efficient vehicles or insulated homes require less energy to use and lead to lower emissions of greenhouse gases, but consumers can also purchase products that have been manufactured in particularly sustainable ways. The aim of the German Government is therefore to increase the market share of products certified by publicly managed ecolabelling schemes to 34% by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-01-28: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The indicator is calculated on the basis of data from the consumer research institute GfK, the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the agricultural market information firm AMI, the Organic Food Production Alliance, the sustainable-mobility association Verkehrsclub Deutschland and the Federal Environment Agency. The latter has been calculating the indicator values for each reporting year since 2012.

The indicator is made up of the market share of products which either bear the highest category of EU energy label within their class or are certified by the EU Ecolabel, the Euro-leaf organic logo or the German Blue Angel. The EU energy label primarily addresses energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while the other three ecolabels also take into account other threats to the environment such as pesticide use and harmful wastewater. The indicator is intended to show whether environmentally friendly product variants are replacing conventional ones in the market. Only a selection of product groups are examined, in part because limited data are available on turnover for products bearing sustainability labels. This also makes it possible to avoid certain products being counted more than once.

The indicator encompasses consumption in the fields of home life, mobility and nutrition. Household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, televisions and vacuum cleaners are assessed, as are light bulbs, foodstuffs, sanitary paper, detergents and cars. Since the markets for the individual product groups are of different sizes, the market shares are weighted according to the total turnover of the market in question. This is intended to prevent the indicator being distorted by products which have high shares of small niche markets. Furthermore, this means expenditure on environmentally friendly products can be considered in relation to the total expenditure of private households.

It is not possible to weight the market shares according to the market relevance of the respective product groups because the environmental labels address different categories (energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, material demand) that cannot be balanced against one another. This also makes it impossible to set out the environmental footprint, or comprehensive evaluation taking in several environmental categories, of each product group. Moreover, the indicator only covers goods newly brought into circulation in relation to the market as a whole. It thereby gives no indication as to whether the enhanced efficiency of an appliance results in a change in consumer behaviour and perhaps to an increase in consumption – the rebound effect. It also describes the market share on the basis of turnover. Given the price differences between products with and without the relevant ecolabels, this means no conclusions can be drawn about their numbers. It follows that a change in the indicator value might have been caused by price alterations within a product group.

Between 2012 and 2018, the market share of products certified by publicly managed ecolabelling schemes increased from 3.6% to 7.5%. This is equivalent to a turnover of EUR 23.8 billion in 2018. The indicator value sank in 2017 and 2018 relative to the previous year, which is not the desired direction of travel. Unless the trend is reversed and the market share is considerably increased, Germany will fall short of the 2030 target.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

12.1.a Market share of products certified by publicly managed eco-labelling schemes (in future: market share of products and services bearing trustworthy and demanding eco- and social labels)

Target

Increase the market share to 34% by 2030

Year

2017

2018

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Source 1

 Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung

Organisation

Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung

Source 2

 Federal Motor Transport Authority

Organisation

Federal Motor Transport Authority

Source 3

 Agricultural Market Information Company

Organisation

Agricultural Market Information Company

Source 4

 Organic Food Production Alliance

Organisation

Organic Food Production Alliance

Source 5

 Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V.

Organisation

Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V.