Majority of people in Germany would compensate carbon footprint caused by online shopping
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Majority of people in Germany would compensate carbon footprint caused by online shopping

Katharina Schiller
Translation: Eva Francis

Almost 60 percent would welcome the chance to make up for the carbon emissions caused by their online purchases. More than half (59 percent) of consumers feel that retailers and manufacturers don’t provide sufficient information on the subject of sustainability. * 65 percent of respondents don’t know where to find information about the carbon footprint caused by products and services.

Sustainability is on everyone's lips, especially in wealthy industrial nations. The demand for environmentally friendly products is increasing, as consumers strive to minimise their carbon footprint. According to a recent Appinio survey commissioned by the online shop Galaxus, two thirds (68 percent) of people in Germany are convinced that they, just like every individual, can do something for the climate. This percentage is particularly high among women: 73 percent share this opinion, while 63 percent of men do.

There are also differences in age: among the baby boomers*, i.e. those over 55 years of age, 70 percent believe in the power of the individual, whereas only 63 percent of the Z generation * (under 25 years of age) do.

Around 80 percent of Gen Z want to compensate their carbon footprint

The demand for more sustainable consumption has reached online shopping: almost 60 percent of those surveyed would welcome the chance to make up for the carbon emissions caused by their online purchases. This desire is particularly strong among online shoppers under 25 years of age. Almost 80 percent of this age group would welcome such a feature.


Over two thirds (68 percent) of consumers are prepared to pay an additional one to five percent of the purchase price of products to make up for their carbon footprint – that’s across all age groups. Only a small percentage of consumers are willing to contribute a higher prcentage of the purchase price to climate protection (5-10% of the price: 9%, 10-20% of the price: 2%, more than 20% of the price: 1%).

Consumers want climate transparency

The carbon footprint indicated whether a product is sustainable or not. This includes all emissions that occur during the product life cycle, from extraction of the raw material and production to disposal.

Although more than half (57 percent) of people in Germany attach importance to retailers and manufacturers taking sustainability into account in their business processes (e.g. raw materials, production, delivery), more than half (59 percent) of consumers feel that they’re not sufficiently informed about the subject. Moreover, more than 65 percent of those surveyed don’t know where to find information on the carbon footprint of products and services. In the age group over 55, the figure is even higher: over 72 percent of these people said they were unsure where to find this information.

Energy efficiency, recycling and packaging are leading sustainability awareness

For over 20 years, manufacturers have been obliged to label the energy efficiency of their appliances with the classes G to A+++. As the survey shows, over 62 percent of people in Germany are mindful of the energy efficiency class of appliances. On top of this, more than half of those surveyed watch out for the proportion of recycled materials (59 percent) and sustainable packaging (53 percent). More than half of those surveyed (59 percent) see packaging as the greatest opportunity to act more sustainably in the future.

Among the baby boomers and 45-54 year-olds, awareness of energy efficiency, the proportion of recycled content and packaging is particularly high. More than half of them pay attention to sustainability (energy efficiency 45-54 years: 72 percent, 55-72 years: 66 percent; proportion of recycled content: 45-55 years: 57 percent, 55-72 years: 70 percent; packaging 45-55 years: 56 percent, 55-72 years: 62 percent).

The compensation model of Galaxus

Galaxus has recognised the wish of consumers to compensate the carbon emissions caused by their online purchases and, as the first online shop in the German-speaking world, has introduced a novel carbon compensation model, which is applied to its entire product range. This offers customers the chance to make up for the carbon footprint caused by their purchases during the checkout process. The compensation amount depends on the carbon intensity of the product, the weight and the transport distance, among other aspects. The details of the compensation model are decribed in this article. «With this new feature, we want to offer our customers the chance to be conscious of what they consume and make a contribution to climate protection. We see our strength in inspiring and informing. Weather or not to compensate is entirely up to our customers,» says Galaxus Managing Director Frank Hasselmann. The compensation funds go towards climate protection projects in Africa and Asia.

Information on the survey

  • Conducted by the institute: Appinio GmbH

  • Number of participants: 1,013 women and men in Germany

  • Age groups: 16 to 72 years

  • Method: online survey

  • Duration: 5-7 June 2020

*Definition of age groups

  • Baby boomers: born in 1946 to 1964

  • Generation X: born in 1965 to 1979

  • Generation Y: born in 1980 to 1993

  • Generation Z: born in from 1994

(Source: PFH Private Hochschule Göttingen)

Company portrait

Galaxus Deutschland GmbH is the German subsidiary of the Swiss e-commerce market leader Digitec Galaxus AG. The business group Migros has a 70% ownership of Digitec Galaxus AG. In Germany, Galaxus was launched in 2018 at The high-quality range currently comprises 300.000 products at consistently low prices in the field of consumer and home electronics, computing, toys, DIY and gardening. Galaxus is more than an online shop. It’s also an active community and a trade journal. The editorial team at Galaxus is independent, tests products with a critical eye and is honest about the result – nice or not. Whenever Galaxus customers have questions, they’re answered by the Galaxus Community within a few hours. Galaxus offers free delivery in Germany from a minimum order value of 30 Euro. Punctual deliveries are guaranteed thanks to their own warehouse in Krefeld.

Contact for media representatives

Galaxus Deutschland GmbH
Katharina Schiller
Digital Communications Manager
Schützenstrasse 5, 22761 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 334 614 776

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Communication is my passion – whether in German, English or French. I'm interested in a broad range of topics but like the colourful ones best. Travel and food never fail to excite me.

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