Is there a green premium?  New report from Germany says “Ja!”

March 29, 2018 |

In Germany, almost 70% of industry experts are reporting GreenPremium prices for bio-based products, based on a survey on prices for bio-based products conducted by nova-Institute in partnership with the European project BIOFOREVER.

This study asks, Are there differences along the value chain? Differences between distinct applications and sectors? Does the feedstock question, first or second generation biomass, play a relevant role? What do market participants expect in terms of how long Green Premium prices for their products are going to last?

Complete resutls are contained in a paper which can be downloaded here.

The hard data

Almost 70% of industry experts report GreenPremium prices for bio-based products. Most of the participants (42%) considered the GreenPremium to range between 10-20%, while 22% indicated a price premium of 20-40%. 32% of the participants report no GreenPremium prices. About 4% of the respondents see a willingness to pay even more than 50%.

Time limits? Almost 60% of the respondents expect no time limit for a GreenPremium at all.  30% see a limitation to the next five years, 8% to the next ten years.

Changes in attitude? A comparison of results of the different surveys from 2013, 2016 and 2017 shows that overall, the response patterns have changed only little.

The drivers? The highest ranked factor determining the GreenPremium price is the “Higher bio-based share of the product“ (64%), followed by “Lower greenhouse gas emissions” (46%) and “Biodegradability” (46%).

A positive green image has been identified as the most important reason for GreenPremium prices being paid (41%). But there were also other relevant drivers found in the survey: Touch of innovation (23%), enhanced attention at media can be achieved using bio-based materials instead of standard materials (18%) and expectations for higher prices (18%).

The importance of “Sustainability certification of the biomass feedstock” (24%) is ranked differently throughout the application groups, for packaging the importance (36%) is higher than for consumer goods (11%). “2nd generation biomass” and “GMO-free biomass” are the lowest ranked factors. GMO-free biomass is named only by 20% of the participants as important value-adding factor. An exception seems to be packaging, where GMO-free biomass (41%) reaches the same level of importance as “Biodegradability” and “Lower greenhouse gas emissions”.

The respondents. The 50 participants of the survey were identified by nova institut as “as true insiders who either produce or trade bio-based products (or intermediates) themselves or consult for related companies, with have in-depth market knowledge,

Learn more.  The study will be presented by Michael Carus, Managing Director of nova-Institute, at the 11th International Conference on Bio-based Materials 15-16 May in Cologne, Germany (

The BIOFOREVER backstory

The main objective of BIOFOREVER (BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes) is the technical and economical demonstration of five different value chains from feedstock to final product. The BIOFOREVER project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 720710.

The Bottom Line

Several years of market analysis and manifold contacts to bio-based producers have shown that bio-based products achieve GreenPremium prices in many applications. Also the vigorous activities by big players to establish the “biomass balance approach” on the market clearly show that there is a relevant number of customers who are willing to pay a GreenPremium price for a bio-based material and product.

The Visual Results

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