Successful implementation of Corporate Responsibility (CR) programmes
In 2014, the international business units again successfully contributed to the achievement of our company-wide sustainability targets, and put measures from their own national Corporate Responsibility programmes into practice.
In their national Corporate Responsibility programmes, our international business units mainly focus on regional issues, with an emphasis on the Tchibo action areas Customers & Products, Environmental Protection in our Operations, and Employees.
Customers & Products: external and internal sustainability communication
Sustainability communication are an important element in explaining the benefits of sustainably produced products to our customers in all sales regions. In addition to materials developed in Germany, all international business units use their own innovative formats that are adapted to their respective national customer and stakeholder requirements.
Examples include the social media campaign on sustainability labels of our business unit in Poland as well as the animated film “Mr Coffee Bean in the land of Coffee” that was used by several countries in 2014. It communicates how people and the environment benefit from sustainable coffee cultivation in an entertaining way. In 2015, the film “Mr Coffee Bean in the Forest”, which explains the benefits of sustainable forest management, will also be synchronised and disseminated through social media channels by the several business units.
Simple explanation of sustainability labels
Labels identifying sustainable products must be credible and understandable for customers and have a high recognition value. We want to further increase customer awareness of the sustainability aspects of our products in order to promote sustainable consumption. One example of the social media campaign of our business unit in Poland that told customers more about the sustainability labels used on Tchibo products. In a separate flyer in our Tchibo Shops and on Facebook, customers were given information about what the labels represent, on what products they can be found, and their benefits for consumers.
The campaign was so successful that it won the PRCH Retail Award 2014 in the Media Sales Network 2014 CSR Campaign category by the Polish Council of Shopping Centres.
Internal communication also play an important role in the success of the Corporate Responsibility programmes: some business units have created separate sections on their intranets where they regularly inform their staff about new and ongoing sustainability activities. Beyond this, employees are systematically trained on sustainability topics. The focus here is on the staff in our Tchibo Shops, to enable them to explain the sustainability aspects of our products and competently answer customers' questions.
In addition to our Coffee and Consumer Goods range, the business unit in Austria offers their PrivatCard customers an especially sustainable product: Naturstrom [green electricity] by Alpen Adria Energy (AAE).
Green electricity for the home
For several years now, Tchibo has offered its customers in Germany ‘ok power’ certified green electricity from renewable energy sources. Tchibo/Eduscho in Austria is taking a similar path. Since 2013, the i business unit has offered its PrivatCard customers an exclusive sustainable product in cooperation with the family-owned company Alpen Adria Energy (AAE) in Carinth (Kärnten): “Naturstrom” contracts at special rates featuring environmentally friendly electricity from domestic [Austrian] sources. Since 2014, all Tchibo/Eduscho Tchibo Shops and the headquarters in Vienna have been fully powered by climate-friendly green electricity from AAE.
Quote Manuela Schneider (Head of Corporate Communications & Corporate Responsibility at Tchibo/Eduscho Austria): “This offer gives our customers a way to switch to 100% natural electricity in their homes – mainly from wind and solar power, and certified with the Austrian eco-seal. So they not only get an eco-friendly energy mix at an attractive price, but also promote the production of sustainable energy in Austria.”
Protecting the environment in our operations: low-consumption offices and Tchibo Shops
In addition to selling sustainable products, the international business units are also working hard to reduce adverse environmental effects caused by the operation of their own Tchibo Shops and offices. They take measures to reduce the water, paper and electricity consumption of their administrative departments. Our companies in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary had their measures successfully audited and accordingly certified in 2014 by external environmental organisations. Similar programmes are planned in Turkey and Slovakia in 2015.
In 2012, Tchibo Poland and the “Partnership for the Environment” foundation jointly developed a certification standard for “Green Shops” and introduced it for all Polish Tchibo Shops. It is the first environmental certificate in Polish retail. In cooperation with the foundation in 2013 the standard was further developed for e-commerce. The Tchibo Poland web portal became the first online shop in Poland to be awarded the “Green Shop” certificate.
WWF collaboration project in Turkey
Our business unit in Turkey has likewise developed a concept for “Green Shops”: it teamed up with the environmental organisation WWF in 2014 to define Turkey’s first-ever environmental criteria for retailers. They cover the areas of heating and cooling, electricity, water and paper consumption, and waste, as well as architecture, interior design and furniture. The WWF reviews compliance with the criteria twice a year. In our Tchibo Shops, customers are also informed about our sustainability activities in a bid to increase their awareness of sustainability issues. Two Tchibo Shops in Istanbul and Ankara have already been redesigned and successfully audited according to the WWF criteria, with more to follow.
To preserve forests for future generations, we take care to ensure that the timber and wood pulp used for our furniture and paper products come from responsible sources. An important partner for Tchibo here is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), an internationally recognised organisation that campaigns for responsible forest management. The international business units, too, work with the FSC® to implement our sustainability strategy and are successively converting their advertising and communication materials to environmentally friendly paper qualities.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland Tchibo has printed its magazines, catalogues and advertising materials on FSC®-certified paper since 2012, in the business units in the Czech Republic and Slovakia since 2013 and in Turkey, Poland and Hungary since 2014. In addition, except for Romania and Russia, all international business units have been FSC®-certified and are entitled to use the organisation’s seal on wood and paper products (Sustainable products and resources).
Employees at Tchibo: Health management, work-life commitment and volunteerism
International business units set different priorities in their offers for employees. Some are particularly active in the field of health promotion and organise monthly health days, e.g., where they offer information on topics like preventive health or host sports programmes for their employees. Other focus on work-life balance, which the business unit in Czech Republic has been especially successfully with: after being awarded the basic certificate in 2013, it was awarded the “Family & Work Audit” certificate in 2014. The audit project was initiated by the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and is supported by the EU “Human Resources and Employment Operational Programme”.
We not only support our employees with preventive healthcare and in creating a healthy work-life balance, we also seek to encourage the personal efforts of our employees. In Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey, we offer our employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours. In addition to education projects in our sourcing markets for coffee and cotton, which are primarily controlled by the headquarters in Germany, the international business units promote opportunities to help people in need in their own countries. In 2015, these efforts will be extended to Slovakia as well.
Helping people to help themselves
One example of charitable involvement is a pilot project run by our business unit in the Czech Republic, whereby employees from commercial businesses support social enterprises through voluntary work. They contribute their knowledge and professional experience and thus especially help to integrate socially and economically disadvantaged people into society through employment offers. In this context employees from Tchibo Prague support the non-profit company Rettigova in Litomyšl. It operates a restaurant and café, most of whose employees live with a disability. The Tchibo staff offered them free training sessions on coffee expertise, customer communication, and HR topics.
Quote Lenka Mašková, Corporate Responsibility Manager TCZ/TSK: “By participating in the project, we seek to help social enterprises become more competitive and support disadvantaged people in finding a job. Our employees benefit from volunteering as well: they gain valuable experience in dealing with different people, and improve their communication skills. After our first positive experiences, we will continue to expand and develop the project.”
Outlook: Spotlight on communication, efficiency and measurability
In the years ahead, the international business units will continue developing their Corporate Responsibility programmes and expanding their respective activities. Communication with customers and stakeholders remains a key component in all of the programmes. For this purpose, communication and advertising materials from Germany will continue to be adapted to local needs, and own campaigns will be developed. In addition, starting from 2015 the Sustainability Report published in English and German will be supplemented with a ‘Balance Sheet’, which can then be adapted by the business units and translated into their respective local language.
In the area of environmental protection, the focus in the years ahead will be on implementing relevant EU directives, such as the Energy Efficiency Directive and the directive on the reduction of the use of plastic bags. The business unit in Austria has initiated a pilot project in this connection, with the aim of reducing the consumption of disposable plastic bags and encouraging the use of reusable bags. Since 01 July 2015, Tchibo Austria has charged a fee for all disposable plastic bags; a portion of the proceeds from this goes to the environmental protection initiative MUTTER ERDE (MOTHER EARTH).