Value chains: Countering and adapting to climate change in the countries of origin

In addition to our own processes, we also deal with climate change in the upstream value chain, because our core business as a trading company is directly affected by its conse­quences: rising temper­a­tures and extreme weather events can negatively affect crop yields in our source countries for raw coffee. Cotton culti­vation is also affected by the effects of climate, such as drought, which makes it all the more important that we commit to protecting the environment and counter­acting climate change in our procurement markets for raw coffee and consumer goods.

In the source countries for coffee, adapting to the conse­quences of climate change is the primary task. In the source countries of our consumer goods we focus on environ­men­tally friendly cotton culti­vation, respon­sible forest management, and the reduction of CO₂ emissions generated during production.

Coffee value chain: Safeguarding yields and quality by adapting to the climate

Helping coffee farmers adapt to climate change is of existential impor­tance both now and in the future. In major coffee-growing regions climate change has already led to longer and more intense droughts, more violent and more frequent storms, and heavy rainfall resulting in soil erosion. All this has a negative effect on the quality and harvests of raw coffee. As part of our Tchibo Joint Forces!® quali­fi­cation programme, we provide local assis­tance to help farmers secure their liveli­hoods in spite of these challenges. We also work with the Coffee & Climate devel­opment partnership to support coffee farmers in switching to sustainable farming methods adapted to climate change (Environment & Climate).

Consumer goods: Reducing CO₂ emissions in production

Reducing green­house gas emissions is an important part of our commitment to a sustainable Consumer Goods value chain. Around a third of all CO₂ emissions released during the lifecycle of consumer goods are generated during production. That is why we use our influence as a trading/retail company to build our producers’ awareness about countering climate change and help them to switch to more energy-efficient manufac­turing processes.

On the one hand, we focus on an environ­men­tally friendly culti­vation of natural raw materials. In the production of our textiles, we already mostly (around 85%) use cotton grown according to the speci­fi­ca­tions of the EU Organic Farming Directive (organic cotton) or the Aid by Trade Foundation (Cotton made in Africa). In our sourcing of wood and paper, we are contin­u­ously increasing the proportion of wood from forests managed according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) standards. This figure was over 30% in 2014. Secondly, we work with our suppliers to reduce production-related emissions. For this purpose, an online tool developed by the Carbon Perfor­mance Improvement Initiative (CPI₂), which was co-founded by Tchibo in 2012, gives them specific recom­men­da­tions on how to reduce their energy consumption and CO₂ emissions (Ecological Aspects of Production).