Facts & Figures

Lead Market Sustainable Consumption

The main market of sustainable consumption was able to maintain its employment figures from the previous year at a stable level (+0.3 %).

However, with a total of 121,160 employees, the percentage of total employment declined slightly further to 6.8 %. More than half of the employees (61.0 %) work in the core area of retail trade with short-lived consumer goods.

A regional focus of the main market is the Wesel district. The company and turnover figures declined in the period under review (company: -1.5 %, turnover: -3.4 %). The decline in turnover is primarily related to the core area of production of short-lived consumer goods (-12.0 %), especially meat processing, milk processing, production of oils and fats and other processing of fruit and vegetables.

Key Insights

to the Lead Market

121,160 (+0.3%)


10,516 (-1.5%)


67.61 bn. € (-3.4%)


A major part of resource consumption and environmental pollution is due to the consumption behaviour of private households. The consumption of products or services enables consumers to satisfy their needs. However, current patterns of consumption leave their mark all over the world, manifesting themselves in many ways, e.g. through precarious living and working conditions in some production locations, extinction of species, plastic islands in the sea and the emission of greenhouse gases. Sustainable consumption attempts to minimise these negative effects, so that future generations are able to meet their needs without exceeding the earth's capacity limits.

Consumer awareness regarding sustainable brands is changing rapidly. Critical consumers were previously considered exotic, but today more and more customers let their conscience decide what to buy. This means that in several households the chocolate cream containing palm oil gives way to a palm oil-free alternative, milk is bought from regional producers, the colourful plastic toothbrush is replaced by a compostable bamboo toothbrush, the reusable coffee cup becomes a trendy accessory on the way to the office and vegetable meat substitutes (e.g. Beyond-MeatBurger) nowadays ease the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Awareness of fairly produced fashion is also growing and becomes more and more a topic of discussion in social networks. Brands or companies that are not clearly positioned in this development are not likely to survive this competition in the long term. With regard to climate change and the associated change in awareness, the demand for environmentally and socially compatible products and therefore also the importance of the main market of sustainable consumption is likely to increase in the future.

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