Dear Readers,

for 65 years, a focus on long-term success and the paradigm of the honourable Hanseatic merchant have guided Tchibo’s conduct as a family-owned business. Based on this corporate culture, we first named sustainable business opera­tions as an explicit goal in our corporate strategy in 2006. As a business, we want to
consis­tently integrate sustain­ability in our processes, thereby contributing to the devel­opment and enforcement of inter­na­tional social and environ­mental standards.

Tchibo relies on the principle of voluntary commitment. Since 2009 we have subscribed to the principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations, a voluntary alliance of companies and organ­i­sa­tions that advocate human rights, fair working condi­tions and environ­mental protection around the globe. Beyond this, we
partic­ipate in other voluntary alliances such as the Bangladesh Accord, which we co-developed in 2012, and the Alliance for Sustainable Textiles in 2015, with which Germany has assumed a pioneering role inter­na­tionally.

Devel­oping and enforcing inter­na­tional social and environ­mental standards requires the involvement of many stake­holders: govern­ments that provide the necessary regulatory framework; scien­tists who contribute their expertise; as well as civic society groups and trade unions that advance the issues and put them on the public agenda. Consumers also play a key role: with their purchasing decisions, they determine the value of social respon­si­bility on a daily basis.

2014 gives us reason for optimism. The year was strongly influ­enced by this sense of ‘shared respon­si­bility’: govern­ments in key buyer countries for consumer goods estab­lished new rules for globally connected supply chains. The UN principles for business and human rights have started being trans­ferred into national action plans. The industry is called on to partic­ipate.

Sustain­ability Balance Sheet 2014

In the past year, we made important progress on this path. Our long-term partner­ships with producers, suppliers and other stake­holders is an important success factor in this endeavour.

In 2014, we increased the share of sustainable green coffee, i.e. validated or certified by standards organ­i­sa­tions, to around 35%; we expect this to increase to 40% for 2015. Tchibo doesn’t just rely on certi­fi­ca­tions and standards as it works to further increase this share. We partic­ipate in various alliances to improve framework condi­tions, such as the Sustainable Coffee Program, and are also increas­ingly relying on direct, close cooper­ation with local producers and suppliers. Our Tchibo Joint Forces! ® (TJF) programme helps coffee farmers and co-opera­tives to act entrepreneurially, to improve the efficiency of their opera­tions, and increase their sales oppor­tu­nities. More than 30,000 coffee farmers have success­fully completed this programme to date.

In our textiles range, the shift to using only sustainably grown cotton is nearly complete at 85%. Already, Tchibo is the world’s third-largest vendor of organic cotton textiles.

We support the manufac­turers of our consumer goods with the supplier quali­fi­cation programme WE (Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality). It involves the management and employees entering into dialogue to develop concrete solutions for improving local working condi­tions and environ­mental protection. 320 factories had partic­i­pated by the end of 2014: we now cover around 75% of our consumer goods purchasing volume with suppliers from risk markets whom we have helped meet the necessary quali­fi­ca­tions.

I cordially invite you to take a first-hand look at these and other advances and challenges. Let us know your wishes,
sugges­tions and any criticism you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours sincerely,

Dr Markus Conrad