SDG 15

Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


Forests, mountains, soils, rivers – they are the basis of our lives and a scarce commodity. They provide us with food, clean water, clean air. Humanity should operate in such a way that these vital goods are preserved for future generations.

In 2020, 337 million tons of meat would be produced worldwide. The ECD and FAO forecast global meat production to grow by almost 13% over the ten-year period from 2019 to 2029. In the past decade, the figure was just over 12%. This means more animal husbandry, more fodder, more agricultural land, water and energy consumption. In the long term, therefore, there is no way around agriculture that improves its productivity while reducing land and resource consumption.

Ecosystem services – understood to mean all the effects of ecological systems that benefit humans – can only be provided by nature in the long term if the functioning of ecosystems is maintained. Their ability to function is closely linked to biodiversity. Due to deforestation, resource extraction and climate change, large areas, such as the rainforest in the Amazon region, are threatened in terms of their biodiversity, even their existence.

Examples of our contribution


We are aware that our business involves opportunities and risks related to biodiversity. This includes the loss or preservation of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, including microbial organisms. Disruptions to supply chains and the standstill of our production due to the loss of biodiversity and damaged ecosystems must be avoided. The starting point for our engagement with biodiversity are classic environmental issues – such as emissions into water and air as well as responsible water and waste management.

In our business sustainability analysis, we address the following aspects of biodiversity: water, eutrophication, acidification, land use, use of renewable resources, emissions of critical and persistent chemicals, and microplastics. We bundle our contributions to the conservation of biodiversity in the Sustainability Focus Area (SFA) Safeguard Ecosystems.

Products and solutions from Evonik:

Dwindling biodiversity is having an adverse effect on Evonik's business activities. At the same time, our business activities can have a negative impact on biodiversity. Products and solutions from Evonik also contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and enable the preservation of habitats.

Peracetic acid from Evonik is used as an effective alternative to existing biocides in the disinfection of wastewater: Before treated wastewater is discharged into the environment, pathogenic bacteria are removed in a disinfection process. This step prevents the bacteria from reaching natural bodies of water that people use for recreation or fishing. A major advantage of peracetic acid over chlorine-containing disinfectants is that it decomposes and produces very little to no toxic byproducts.

In the healthcare sector, Evonik offers products that are an alternative to animal-based substances for pharmaceutical applications and thus make a positive contribution to circularity and biodiversity: PhytoChol®, for example, is a plant-based cholesterol. This is an essential component for the production of lipid nanoparticles and an important technology in the field of drug delivery. PhytoSquene® is a squalene made from amaranth oil. In this way, we offer an alternative to the traditional production from shark liver oil and thus contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, as many shark species are currently endangered.

Sustainable palm oil production: Commitment with WWF and Beiersdorf expanded:

The ongoing deforestation to establish new palm oil plantations is a major challenge. In a joint project with WWF Germany and Beiersdorf, we want to support the sustainable development of the Malaysian region of Tabin in Sabah on the island of Borneo. Based on the three pillars of Protect, Produce, Restore, the aim is to promote more sustainable production of palm oil and stop deforestation. By 2026, small farmers and medium-sized producers are to have their palm oil cultivation certified according to RSPO on an area of around 15,000 hectares of land. In addition, a political framework for sustainable agriculture and forestry is to be created. In addition, at least one ecological corridor will be built to enable wildlife to move to other habitats. The project also aims to stabilise the population of endangered and endangered animal species – such as the rare Borneo elephant or orangutan – in Tabin and to protect their habitat.

In addition, since 2022, Evonik has been involved in another WWF and Beiersdorf project in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, also in Borneo. As part of this, 200 independent palm oil farmers with a total area of 300 hectares of land are to be certified according to RSPO. The aim is for smallholder farmers to have direct market access to a palm oil mill by 2026. This is an important building block for Beiersdorf and Evonik, which are committed to sustainability along their entire supply chain of palm (kernel) oil derivatives.