Communicating the added value of sustainable products

For our customers to opt for respon­sible consumption, we need to ensure high product quality and explain sustain­ability aspects in a credible, under­standable way. We want our customers to realise that respon­sible consumption is easy and can be fun. That is why we further expanded our sustain­ability commu­ni­ca­tions in 2014 and standardised the labelling of our products. We also enter into dialogue with our customers online – including on critical sustain­ability-related issues.

Our goal is for Tchibo to be perceived as a respon­sible company and a sustainable brand. Above all it is important to convince customers of the added value of our sustainable products. To achieve this it is crucial to speak with one voice across the company, and avoid contra­dic­tions. A number of different depart­ments are involved in our sustain­ability commu­ni­ca­tions: Marketing, Corporate Commu­ni­ca­tions, our Tchibo shop staff, field sales staff and other depart­ments. They coordinate their messages carefully, and are supported by the Corporate Respon­si­bility department in the process.

Our sustain­ability commu­ni­ca­tions are subject to the basic Tchibo commu­ni­cation require­ments set out in our Brand Manual. When commu­ni­cating environ­mental aspects, we follow the guide­lines of the ISO 14020 standard for commu­ni­cating, labelling and declaring the environ­mental aspects of products.

Compre­hensive infor­mation on all channels

We deliver compre­hensive, trans­parent infor­mation about sustain­ability to our customers, using all means of commu­ni­cation available to us. Our customers will find key product-related infor­mation – such as sustain­ability labels – right on the packaging. We provide additional infor­mation wherever customers buy our products – in our Tchibo shops, Depots and the online shop. In the Tchibo Magazine and on the Internet we have the oppor­tunity to explain more detailed background and the benefits of sustainable products in inter­esting, easy­to­under­stand and enter­tain­ingly presented stories. On social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter we seize the oppor­tunity to open a dialogue and especially take part in the discussion of critical issues (Customer Dialogue). The Tchibo Sustain­ability Report and our company websites offer extensive and detailed infor­mation.

Tchibo employees are given extensive training in matters of sustain­ability and receive ongoing infor­mation updates – regardless of whether they work in sales, have contact with customers, or are personally inter­ested in the subject. The “Sustain­ability at Tchibo” brochure, topical articles on the intranet, events, and other dialogue formats help to meet the various require­ments.

Easier identi­fi­cation of sustainable products

Sustain­ability labels make it easier to make respon­sible purchasing decisions – but too many different labels can also make it difficult for the customer to choose. We want our customers to be able to recognise sustainable products right away. That is why, at the end of 2014, we began to develop our own labelling system that integrates existing seals and is immedi­ately recog­nised by customers. The aim was to present sustain­ability in a credible, consistent and stringent way: at the point of sale – i.e. in our Tchibo shops, Depots and the online shop – but also on packaging and in the Tchibo Magazine. So the label had to have a high recog­nition value, needed to be eye-catching and unique, and flexibly usable with all sustain­ability labels. Since spring of 2015, we have used the ‘sustain­ability ribbon’ to identify our sustainable products. For example, on organic cotton products the words “with organic cotton” are placed very visibly next to the Organic Cotton Standards seal.

Open and trans­parent dialogue on the Net

Our point-of-sale commu­ni­ca­tions are supple­mented by infor­mative and enter­taining online commu­ni­ca­tions, especially on our various social media channels. Our own YouTube channel in particular allows us to easily convey sustain­ability in pictures. For instance, in early 2015 we showed the impor­tance of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) seal on wood and paper products in a fun and easy­to­under­stand way with our animated film “Mr Coffeebean in the Forest”, which explains the condi­tions we and our suppliers have to meet in order to be able to affix the seal to our products. This is the second YouTube video in our Mr Coffeebean series to deal with the standard organ­i­sa­tions’ seals – after ‘Mr Coffeebean in Coffee Label Land’ in 2014, in which we informed people about our coffee label partners.