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).

Employee mobility

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).