Sustainability, tolerance and art: Buddy Bear Berlin


Since 2001, the colourful Buddy Bears have been an integral part of Berlin's cityscape. With the Buddy Bear, Eva and Klaus Herlitz created more than just a decorative bear sculpture: this two-metre tall Berlin bear represents cosmopolitanism, tolerance and international understanding - values that embody the German capital and the country as a whole.
Born from the vision of bringing art to the streets of metropolises, the Buddy Bears have quickly won the hearts of Berliners and tourists from all over the world. As the unofficial symbol of Berlin, they communicate the message of peace, freedom, tolerance and mutual respect far beyond the city limits.

Our sustainability strategy 

Buddy Bear Berlin stands not only for artistic creativity, but also for tolerance, intercultural understanding and a comprehensive commitment to charitable causes. These friendly bears are symbols of hope that bring people together and build bridges between cultures, generations and ideologies. Our sustainability strategy reflects these values and emphasises our aim to bring about positive change in the world.               

Buddy Bear Berlin represents a world where art opens hearts, breaks down barriers and provides a platform for tolerance and intercultural exchange. Our sustainability strategy goes beyond environmental awareness to encompass social responsibility, charitable engagement and the promotion of peace and understanding worldwide. With our bears as ambassadors of this hope, we strive to create a brighter, more inclusive and caring world. This is already evident in the following ways: 

1. message of tolerance and international understanding: Each Buddy Bear carries an important socio-political message. They stand for tolerance, peace, freedom and international understanding - values that should be indispensable in today's world. These values are an integral part of social sustainability and contribute to the creation of a harmonious global community.

2. longevity and durability: Each Buddy Bear is a work of art whose basic material and external design are durable and of high quality and whose essence is geared towards sustainability. 

3. historical significance: Some of the United Buddy Bears, but also several of the bear sculptures in front of embassies and foreign missions worldwide, as well as those scattered throughout Berlin's urban space, have been part of Buddy Bear Berlin for over two decades. Each bear is individually unique. If damaged, they are not replaced but carefully restored by our artists. 

4. charity campaigns for children in need: some of the Buddy Bears have been and will be auctioned off for charitable purposes. This money goes directly and without deductions to various children's aid organisations. We communicate transparently and publicly about how the money is used. Over the past 20 years, we have already collected a total of over 2.5 million euros and passed it on directly to children's aid organisations.

5. fixed donation share: In addition to charity campaigns, we donate part of our income directly to our partner aid organisation Buddy Bear Help e.V. 

6. promotion of national cultures in the United Buddy Bears: Each bear sculpture is designed by artists from their respective country, which takes into account and promotes the national culture and artistic heritage of each country. 

7. support of the local art scene: The bears that are created and sold in Berlin are designed by local artists. This strengthens the local art scene and promotes cultural diversity.Our relationships with these artists are characterised by trust and friendship.

8. long-standing relationships with our suppliers: We have worked hand-in-hand with some of our partners from the very beginning, sharing expertise and supporting each other. We regularly take the time to visit our production facilities and workshops in person.Not only to convince ourselves of the quality, but also to ensure that everything is carried out according to the highest ethical standards and legal requirements. 
9. thriftiness: At Buddy Bear Berlin, we attach great importance to thriftiness and restrained consumption in order to save resources and avoid emissions. 

10. equal pay structure: At Buddy Bear Berlin, we are committed to gender equality, especially in terms of pay. Women and men are paid the same for the same work, which sends a clear signal in favour of fairness and equality.

11. Commitment to human rights: We actively ensure respect for human rights in all aspects of our business by maintaining responsible partnerships and constantly reviewing our practices to ensure a positive impact on the community. More details can be found here

In sum, Buddy Bear Berlin stands not only for art and culture, but also for a far-reaching commitment to sustainability - environmentally, socially and culturally. Through our work and our commitment, we want to create a world that is richer, more colourful and more peaceful for everyone.In addition to what we have already achieved and realised, we have set ourselves further goals for the future. 

Economic component:  

  • Continuing our tradition of charity work by regularly donating part of the proceeds to children in need, with the aim of continuously increasing our previous contributions of over 2.5 million euros.
  • Creating a transparent and digital donation mechanism that enables art lovers and all interested parties to contribute directly to our charitable projects, regardless of purchases or campaigns.
  • Organising charity events and art auctions to raise additional funds for children's aid organisations or specific projects

Ethical component: 

  • Collaborate with multicultural groups to create inclusive artworks that represent different perspectives and promote respect for all cultures.
  • Organising intercultural events and workshops that promote dialogue and understanding between different communities.

Ecological measures: 

  • We regularly review our product range to ensure that our products are produced under fair conditions. We have already begun to examine the extent to which the use of more environmentally friendly materials is possible and feasible. In future, we will do more research into sustainable practices and materials in the production of our sculptures and miniatures and enter into co-operations in this area. 
  • We will examine whether we can close the gap through suitable offsetting projects. 

Social measures:

  • Increased collaboration with schools, institutions and educational establishments to promote art education and creative expression.
  •  Organising cultural events that celebrate Berlin's diversity and contribute to social cohesion.

Communication of the strategy:

Buddy Bear Berlin is committed to communicating openly about progress and challenges on the road to sustainability in order to encourage dialogue. We aim to achieve this through:

  • Engaging our community through art initiatives and collaborative decision-making processes.
  • Maintaining an active social media presence to create awareness and engage the public in our sustainable journey.

Buddy Bear Berlin has been certified as a Sustainable Partner of visitBerlin, the official tourism organization of the city of Berlin, which follows the strict criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). 



Compliance - adherence to laws and guidelines
Dr Klaus Herlitz 
Viviana Plasil 

Environmental Management 
Viviana Plasil 

Promotion of biodiversity 
Daniela Görgens 

Quality management 
Guillemette Jaeger 

Complaints management 
Daniela Görgens 

Participant safety, occupational health and safety 
Patrick Pulfer 

Diversity Management & Equal Opportunities 
Andrea Nohut 

Mitigating impact on local community and cultural heritage 
Viviana Plasil 

Sustainability Strategy 
Viviana Plasil