Majority of Germans attaches great importance to an ethical principle – eCommerce magazine


The results of a study commissioned by OpenText show that a majority of 81 percent of German consumers attach great importance to buying products that come from ethical and sustainable production processes. 74 percent of the 2,000 respondents want to know where and how the products they buy were originally made. The information about the supply chain can significantly influence your purchase decision.

In order to receive ethical products, the majority (81 percent) would even give up comfort factors such as fast delivery. In addition, 78 percent of those surveyed would spend more money on buying ethically harmless products: a quarter of those surveyed would pay up to ten percent more, and a third would even pay 25 to 50 percent more.

Supply chain: The responsibility rests with businesses and governments

From the consumer’s point of view, the responsibility for the ethical procurement of products lies with the companies themselves. 63 percent of those surveyed state that companies have to ensure that their suppliers adhere to a set ethical code of conduct. 47 percent judge companies not only on the basis of their actions and behavior, but also on the basis of the procedures of their suppliers. Three out of five respondents (59 percent) think that companies who can’t see where their goods come from and who don’t know whether their suppliers are ethically sourcing their goods need to rethink their supply chain.

Further results of the study show:

  • 47 percent of German consumers would never buy from a brand again if they were accused of working with unethical suppliers. Instead, they would look for an alternative brand that is committed to responsible sourcing.
  • For better assessment of brands and products 81 percent of consumers want online retailers to clearly state whether their products meet ethical requirements.
  • To strengthen the establishment of these standards Governments must step in, in their opinion. You need to define regulations to make companies more accountable (60 percent)

New law sets ethical standards in the supply chain

“On June 11, the Bundestag passed the new Supply Chain Due Diligence Act in order to enforce ethical standards within the entire supply chain of a company. After the general election, this decision must be effectively implemented. Because consumers are increasingly demanding that companies procure and manufacture their products in a sustainable, socially and ethically responsible manner, ”explains André von de Finn, Regional Vice President Sales DACH at OpenText.

“Above all, the key to an ethical supply chain is access to data and information. Various tools like the OpenText Business Network Cloud offer companies the opportunity to network their data in real time. This gives them clear insights into their partners’ performance, practices, and certifications. This makes it easier to set up and operate an ethical supply chain, ”says André von de Finn.

OpenText supply chain
André von de Finn is Regional Vice President Sales DACH at OpenText. (Image: OpenText)

The impact of the pandemic on ethical shopping

Even before the Covid 19 pandemic, most consumers were consciously shopping. For example, when buying consumer goods such as clothing, electrical appliances or food, 74 percent of German consumers preferred those providers who obviously pursue an ethical sourcing strategy. Despite the restrictions and the resulting restricted selection of goods, 58 percent of those surveyed maintained this purchasing behavior during the pandemic.

41 percent even state that the crisis has made them even more aware of where they shop and the ethical, social and environmental impact of their purchases. As a result, the majority of respondents (81 percent) plan to buy mostly from companies with a strong ethical sourcing strategy as soon as life has normalized after the pandemic.

About the methodology of the study: The global consumer study was conducted by OpenText commissioned and in April 2021 by 3Gem carried out. A total of 27,000 consumers from twelve countries took part in the survey. Around 2,000 participants in Germany, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, India, Singapore, Japan, Australia, USA, Canada and Brazil. (sg)