Back to search

Just published: Biodiversity barometer. Discover the results of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) survey conducted in 2019

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 has increased over the last decade.

Asian consumers claim high awareness of biodiversity, higher than those in the UK, USA or Germany. Awareness of biodiversity has risen in Japan since 2010, and also in that country - as in China and Vietnam – more respondents say they exactly know what the term means. Provided with different definitions of biodiversity, most respondents correctly choose ‘biodiversity concerns the diversity of plants and animals’. Much fewer think it refers to different sources of energy (coal, wind, solar).

  • New report shows majority of Asian consumers feel companies morally obligated to positively impact biodiversity
  • Asian youth better informed about biodiversity than other age groups.
  • Asian consumers have higher awareness of biodiversity than consumers in UK, US or Germany.

Did you know:

Among different kinds of information available on product packaging, respondents in Asia attach most importance to the origin of product ingredients. This scored just higher than the list of ingredients, which was number one in Western countries. Additionally, Asian respondents say they would like information on the impact on biodiversity (e.g. no deforestation, support for bees, wild flowers, replanting). As in Western countries, this is given more importance than the social impact (working conditions, health and safety of local workers), or the fair compensation of supply chain actors. For example, in Brazil, respondents mentioned the impact on biodiversity as the most important issue.

10 TAKEAWAYS: TAKING STOCK OF 10 YEARS OF Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) biodiversity BAROMETER

  1. Awareness and understanding of biodiversity grow year after year, around the world. Consumers with lower incomes show particular growth. Young consumers remain the best informed. Biodiversity is becoming a mainstream concept for consumers.
  2. Consumers find biodiversity conservation important for their personal well-being and that of generations to come. They want to personally contribute.
  3. Respecting people and biodiversity in purchases is a growing concern. Consumers understand their potential to make a positive contribution to society – this makes them feel good.
  4. Consumers expect companies to respect biodiversity, but don’t trust they do.
  5. Consumers call more and more for transparency on ingredient and their origin. They want more information – preferably externally validated – on how products respect people and biodiversity.
  6. Authentic stories, proof of good practices on the ground, and clear communication are key to convince consumers of companies’ respect for people and biodiversity.
  7. Young consumers (Gen Next, Millennials) have the highest awareness of biodiversity and can identify brands that respect biodiversity and are most demanding on companies. They can identify brands that respect biodiversity and value companies that ‘walk the talk’ by taking action.
  8. Opportunities exist for brands that wish to position themselves around sourcing with respect for people and biodiversity. To date, only Natura Cosmetics is clearly recognised in relation to biodiversity – and only in Brazil, where it has over 50%consumer recognition rates.
  9. Corporate communication on biodiversity by beauty, food, and beverage companies continues to rise year-on-year. It is becoming industry practice, though the information provided is often superficial.
  10. Consumers are increasingly interested in naturals, and companies are investing in biodiversity based R&D. Complying with evolving rules on Nagoya Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) legislation is becoming an increasingly important factor in reputation risk management.

Check out the Summary reports ( 2009-2019)

Biodiversity Barometer: To access the full report and more key takeaways, quotes and statistics by country, consumer group as well as top brands cited: www.biodiversitybarometer.org , or download summary PDF of 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 at: www.uebt.org.

biodiversity