Protecting the climate, preserving resources, securing the future
For our core business it is vital that we succeed in countering climate change and conserving natural resources. This is the only way to ensure that the natural raw materials we need, such as coffee, cotton and wood pulp, continue to be available in future. Protecting the environment and countering climate change is therefore a key component of Tchibo’s business strategy and is firmly embedded in the Tchibo DNA. We take a good hard look at all our business processes to see what measures we can take to most effectively reduce CO₂ emissions and the consumption of resources.
On the path to becoming a 100% sustainable business, we focus our environmental and climate protection efforts not only on measures in the countries where our Coffee and Consumer Goods value chains begin, but also on processes we can directly influence: the transport and shipping of our products, the operation of our site and Tchibo shops, and the mobility of our employees. In our efforts to counter climate change, we are working to reduce CO₂ emissions by minimising fuel and energy consumption, especially across our supply chain and at the roasting plants. We are improving our resource efficiency first and foremost by continually reducing the use of materials for stationery, advertising and packaging, and by obtaining indispensable materials from responsible sources.
Well organised: environmental and climate protection at all levels
Environmental and climate responsibility are firmly anchored in the Tchibo DNA. One of our principles is: “We take responsibility for the ecological and social impact of our actions.” This principle guides our work – from the design of our product ranges and supply chains to our operational processes and customer communications. The Tchibo Code of Conduct defines binding rules of eco-conscious behaviour for all staff, Based on our DNA. At our sites we work with an environmental management system based on the ISO 14001 standard that defines all responsibilities and instruments in our environmental and climate protection efforts.
Our environmental experts from the various divisions and departments are responsible for the company’s environmental protection efforts. Environmental targets are agreed with them each year. The Corporate Responsibility department coordinates the associated cross-departmental and cross-divisional activities, and ensures that the environmental measures initiated in the divisions and departments are in line with the overarching strategic goals as well as with each other. To do this, the department monitors and analyses social trends, breaking events and legislative initiatives, with the aim of responding to new developments as early as possible and helping to shape them.
Where can we achieve the most? Our priorities for improvements
In what areas is action particularly urgent? And where we can make the biggest difference? Based on these key questions, we have determined the following priorities for activities in our operations:
- Countering climate change – make our processes as energy-efficient as possible and minimise emissions
- Resource efficiency – minimise the consumption of all materials, especially paper and cardboard, and cover the remaining demand from responsible sources
Climate-friendly processes to slow down climate change
We systematically work to reduce the CO₂ emissions of our processes. To this end, we carefully analyse our CO₂ emissions and focus our work wherever we identify the greatest potential for influence and savings. Important levers for this are continually improving the efficiency of our logistics processes, reducing energy consumption at our locations and the reduction of our vehicle fleet fuel consumption.
Transport-related CO₂e emissions are an important action area for us. We can significantly reduce emissions through proper process design. This includes an intensified use of low-emission transport modes such as rail or ship, and improved efficiency through intelligent management of our logistics processes. Since 2006 we have reduced our CO₂e emissions by approximately 30% in relative terms with the “LOTOS” (“Logistics Towards Sustainability”) programme. With new ambitious goals for 2020, we will achieve another 10% relative reduction in transport emissions (g CO₂e per ton-kilometre) compared to 2006. In addition, we have resolved to reduce our distribution centres’ emissions by an additional 15% compared to 2013 over the next five years (Logistics).
Due to the high energy requirements of our roasting processes, in 2013 and 2014 we focused on making the processes at our coffee-roasting plants in Hamburg and Berlin even more energy efficient. To this end, in 2013 we introduced an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001. In 2014, we were able to reduce our energy consumption per ton of roasted coffee by 2.3% over the previous year, thereby clearly exceeding our savings target of 1.5% (Tchibo sites & shops).
We also pursue a systematic approach with our fleet strategy in the area of employee mobility. We place limits on the CO₂ emissions of newly purchased company cars and simultaneously offer our employees incentives for choosing as environmentally friendly models as possible. For instance, in 2014 we were able to further reduce the average CO₂ emissions of our vehicle fleet to 119g CO₂/km. By 2020 we will reduce the average emissions of our vehicles to below 95 g CO₂/km, as set out in the EU regulation for manufacturers’ fleets (Mobility).
Resource efficiency: Reduce consumption, expand sustainable sourcing
As in our efforts to protect the climate, we primarily protect valuable resources by making our own processes more efficient. In recent years, we have focused our activities on systematically reducing the need for paper in our internal processes, and for packaging materials. At the same time we are switching to buying our purchase paper and cardboard packaging from sustainable sources.
Since 2014 we have obtained almost all the paper for our office and customer communications from sustainable sources. We use paper that is labelled as recycled according to the Blue Angel standard, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), or bears the EU Ecolabel (Paper from Pulp).
We also take care to reduce resource consumption when designing our retail and transport packaging. Our packaging policy, which contains both quality-related and environmental requirements, stipulates clear guidelines that our suppliers must also adhere to: packaging waste is systematically avoided or recycled. In early 2015 we further developed this approach with our packaging strategy, which has the goal of systematically improving the eco-friendliness of our packaging by avoiding, reducing and recycling materials as well as continuously improving its design. By 2020 we aim to reduce paper and cardboard consumption in shipping and delivery and will further increase the use of sustainable paper and cardboard grades. At the same time we are reducing the volume of waste generated across all processes and ensure that all remaining waste is systematically separated and recycled (Packaging and Waste).