THE BIODIVERSITY AWARENESS MAP
Biodiversity awareness has been measured in 16 countries around the world since 2009. A total of 68 000 consumers were surveyed. This 2019 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer focuses on Asian consumers (China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam), which are rapidly becoming the world’s most powerful economic force.
BIODIVERSITY AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING
In 2019, 83% of consumers claim they heard of biodiversity but only 39% provided a correct definition.
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).
WHY CONSUMERS CARE ABOUT SOURCING WITH RESPECT
Consumers participating in the UEBT Biodiversity Barometer say they prefer to buy products from companies that respect people and biodiversity. Why? Because this has a positive impact on society (81%), and it makes them feel good (78%). This is particularly the case with Chinese and Vietnamese respondents, with Japanese proving more reluctant (around 25% responds ‘I don’t know’, which brings down country numbers).
CONSUMERS EXPECTATIONS TOWARDS COMPANIES
In Asia, as in the Western countries previously surveyed, a large majority of respondents believes that companies should have a positive impact on society, people and biodiversity. Consumer confidence that companies are having such impact is high in Vietnam (76%, up 16 points from 2014 on total agree) and China (74%).
With 45% confidence rates, respondents in Japan and South Korea are more skeptical. This is in line with UEBT Biodiversity Barometer findings in Western countries (37% in 2018). Almost a quarter of Japanese respondents (24 %) don’t know if companies pay serious attention. However, the high confi-dence of wealthy and educated consumers in Asia stands out compared to those in surveyed in Europe and the Americas.
Surveyed consumers in all countries have more faith in companies whose sourcing practices are verified independently.
TRANSPARENCY - WHAT CONSUMERS EXPECT
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.