Intellectual properties

Sustainable Growth Associates GmbH is a licensee of The Natural Step intellectual property including brand, logo, registered trademark, copyrights and patents under the terms of the constitution of The Natural Step Association represented by TNS-we member council which is comprised of The Natural Step local country office members.

The Natural Step and The Natural Step Germany encourage the reproduction and distribution of our materials, electronic products and/or services, including our name and logo. However, there are limits on these uses, and it’s important to know the following ground rules.

In general

Our materials hosted at are free to use for personal or educational purposes. If you want screen shots to use in a text book, or you want to reproduce an article in your community newsletter, there’s no need to ask, provided you read and abide by our ground rules.

We expressly forbid the use of any The Natural Step Germany material appearing at this site, and/or the The Natural Step name and logo, for:

  • personal or corporate financial gain except by express permission as noted below;
  • party political advertising or the suggestion of endorsement by The Natural Step of any candidate for public office;
  • any suggestion of The Natural Step endorsement of a product or policy where such endorsement has not explicitly been made by The Natural Step itself;
  • any suggestion of The Natural Step endorsement of, or connection with, websites that The Natural Step, in its sole discretion, finds to be of an illegal or objectionable nature, which includes obscene, violent, intolerant, denigrating or containing sexually-oriented content or materials;
  • any false representation of yourself as a The Natural Step office, employee, agent or official spokesperson, or any false representation that you are raising funds or donations for The Natural Step.

Linking to our website

We love it when you link to us and help spread the word about our campaigns for sustainability. You don’t need permission, and there is a collection of infographics and logos that you can use. You are welcome to link to our main site or any of the issue areas you find there.

The Natural Step logo

„The Natural Step“, including The Natural Step logo, is an internationally registered trademark belonging to The Natural Step International Association. Use of the trademark is granted on the condition:

  • that it shall be purely for referential and non-commercial purposes;
  • you may not use the name and/or logo in any way that indicates or creates the impression that The Natural Step endorses, approves, sponsors or is affiliated with any products, services or goods available on your own website where such usage has not explicitly been approved of by The Natural Step itself;
  • banners bearing the name and/or logo may only be used for the purpose of linking to The Natural Step website as designated within the link, and these links should always be active links;
  • the name and/or logo may not be combined with any other graphic elements; nor may they be altered in any way including size, proportions, font, design, arrangement, colours or elements; nor may they be animated, morphed or otherwise distorted in perspective or appearance;
  • the name and/or logo may not appear more prominently than your personal website name.

If you do use the logo, please include „Trademark of The Natural Step“ in the alt tag or visibly on the page.

The trademark remains the exclusive property of The Natural Step, and by using it you agree that you shall not, in any way whatsoever, register or attempt to register the trademark or challenge the same.

Copyright of articles and text produced by The Natural Step and The Natural Step Germany

Some rights reserved. All text, images, charts, sound, animation, and videos, and their arrangement on The Natural Step Germany website, are protected by copyrighted by Sustainable Growth Associates under Creative Commons  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ( unless otherwise stated. Articles and text produced by The Natural Step and The Natural Step Germany are free for personal or educational use only. Please always include a note saying: „Source: The Natural Step (“ and reproduce any by-line or copyright information provided in the original.  If you want to use materials beyond what the license allows or with different conditions, please contact us.

Copyright of content produced and provided by third-party

Articles and text from third party sources remain the intellectual property and copyright of those third party sources, and permission for use should be sought from these original sources.

Certain images and visualised data provided on the webpages originate from third-parties. General license terms and credits are declared as follows within this .pdf-file.

If you have any questions regarding the use of intellectual property from our website or from other sources, please contact us.

Any image which is copyright of The Natural Step that appears on our website can be freely copied for personal or educational use, provided you reproduce the copyright information in its entirety.

Any other use (such as using images for personal or corporate gain) require permission from The Natural Step Germany (contact information appears below). Commercial use of any The Natural Step image without permission would constitute a copyright infringement and may infringe upon other rights.