Creating and upholding values

As a family-owned company, Tchibo places a high priority on values-driven corporate gover­nance, which forms the basis for sustainable growth. At our company, corporate gover­nance is synonymous with consci­en­tious, trans­parent management and super­vision with a view to long-term value creation. This includes fair trade, uncom­pro­mising compliance with the law, monitoring and control of potential risks, and a consci­en­tious handling of infor­mation entrusted to us by staff and customers.

Long-term value creation can only be achieved if we combine commercial and ethical skills and work to ensure that neither people nor the environment are harmed. Tchibo’s share­holders and management stand by this respon­si­bility. The efficient struc­tures and processes of our compliance, risk management, and data protection schemes ensure that employees, suppliers and other partners adhere to guide­lines and that we can take counter­mea­sures at an early stage if there are devia­tions.

Management in close collab­o­ration: ongoing dialogue at management level

The Tchibo GmbH management, Super­visory Board and works council interact closely with one another and with the maxingvest ag Executive Board and Super­visory Board. The collab­o­ration of these bodies and their constant, close dialogue are charac­terised by openness and trans­parency. Respect for stake­holder interests and a clear assignment of respon­si­bil­ities play a big role here. The Tchibo GmbH Super­visory Board is appointed by the share­holders' meeting and nominates the [executive] management of Tchibo GmbH. The latter regularly and promptly informs the Super­visory Board of all matters relevant to the devel­opment of the company, its value, and its risk situation. A guideline specifies when which concerns are to be brought to the attention of the management or Super­visory Board. The company’s strategic direction is coordi­nated with the Super­visory Board, and major decisions require its consent. The maxingvest ag Super­visory Board has formed various specialist committees to address complex subjects and do its own work as efficiently as possible.

Tchibo Compliance Programme: obser­vance of rules of conduct

The guiding principle of our business activity is the Tchibo Code of Conduct (CoC). It is binding for all Tchibo GmbH employees and its inter­na­tional business units and governs our dealings with business partners and customers. The CoC is based on the conven­tions of the Inter­na­tional Labour Organ­i­sation (ILO) and among other things prohibits all forms of corruption, and granting or accepting of an undue advantage. If an employee violates any of the principles, they face sanctions under labour law. In addition to the Code of Conduct, the compliance programme is comprised of various policies that regulate cross-sector and cross-company processes via proce­dural and organ­i­sa­tional instruc­tions. They also list the respon­si­bil­ities of Group companies, divisions, depart­ments and employees.

We regularly train our managers in the appli­cation of our Code of Conduct. Once a year, the managers confirm, in writing, that they under­stand and have complied with the rules of the Code of Conduct, and have reported any viola­tions that came to their attention. With their signature, they also assure that they have explained the Code of Conduct to their employees and that they monitor compliance with it. Each new employee receives a copy of the CoC. We inform our employees about new devel­op­ments via the intranet as well as directly, through their super­visors.

Compliance with the require­ments is verified in internal audits by the maxingvest ag Corporate Audit department. A whistle­blowing hotline operated by an independent body also serves as an anonymous point of contact for employees, suppliers and customers to report possible cases of misconduct. If necessary, infor­mation is anony­mously passed on to the ombudsman council for processing. The ombudsman council is our internal inves­ti­gation committee consisting of various department heads from maxingvest ag, Tchibo GmbH and Chairman of the Works Council. There are other ways to report grievances via the works council, the Human Resources department, the Legal department, the Direc­torate of Corporate Respon­si­bility, and the Group Audit department.

Beyond this, Tchibo has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2009 and has among other things committed to actively fight corruption. We contin­u­ously conduct anti-corruption training for employees in relevant depart­ments, such as Procurement and Sales, and report on anti-corruption measures in an annual progress report, which is integrated into this Sustain­ability Report (UN Global Compact).

Risk management: identi­fying and minimising risks

Our business is subject to various risks – e.g. from currency fluctu­a­tions or environ­mental incidents that can have an impact on commodity prices. As part of our integrated risk management system, we identify these risks and take preventive measures to limit their potential negative impact on our business objec­tives. We make a funda­mental distinction here between company risks and supply chain risks.

Company risks
When drawing up risk inven­tories, we take stock of all signif­icant risks and categorise them into three clusters: short-term opera­tional risks, one-off risks and strategic risks. A further differ­en­ti­ation then takes place within these categories. Acute and serious risks are promptly reported to the management as soon as they arise so that we can quickly bring potential risks under control. The latest infor­mation about risk devel­opment is fed into Tchibo’s management and planning systems several times a year. The internal audit department regularly reviews the effec­tiveness of the risk management system, and informs the management and Super­visory Board about the risk situation in regular risk reports that determine the scope of the internal audit. Infor­mation about serious risks is immedi­ately commu­ni­cated to these bodies. For example, as a retailer Tchibo is subject to the risk that its core markets become saturated or shrink, leading to stagnating or declining sales. We guard against this danger with an innovative product policy and through inter­na­tional growth. Because the global retail landscape and customers’ buying behaviour are changing, we have further strengthened the e-commerce sector, and intro­duced cross-channel services and an attractive permanent product range.

Supply chain risks
Tchibo hedges against risks in the procurement of goods and services by integrating environ­mental and social require­ments in its procurement and quality processes. We have codified these in our Social and Environ­mental Code of Conduct (SCoC), which all of Tchibo’s suppliers and business partners have to acknowledge and sign as part of the contract. Our Issues Management regularly analyses all relevant product groups for their social and environ­mental impli­ca­tions and priori­tises them according to their social and environ­mental risks and oppor­tu­nities. On this basis, we have developed measures to limit the risks and boost oppor­tu­nities. For instance, we are gradually reducing the number of suppliers we use for our consumer goods and are devel­oping the remaining suppliers into strategic partners, helping them implement the SCoC with the Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality (WE) quali­fi­cation programme. As part of our issues management, we also contin­u­ously analyse our the relevant concerns of our stake­holders. In this connection, in 2014 we decided to integrate Green­peace’s DETOX standard into our purchasing and quality processes. Beyond this, we system­at­i­cally monitor our suppliers as part of our risk management, using customised review processes (audits) for each of the three risk categories (Sustainable supply chains).

Data protection: respon­sible handling of personal infor­mation

Many customers entrust their personal data to Tchibo every day as part of the ordering process. We see the protection of the infor­mation entrusted to us as an integral part of our corporate respon­si­bility. That is why we give top priority to principles such as data minimi­sation, trans­parency and security.

Data minimi­sation and trans­parency: Our goal is to offer our customers the best possible product range and compre­hensive service while using only a minimum of personal infor­mation. Therefore, we are very circum­spect about processing our customers’ personal data, going beyond the legal require­ments. We also explicitly do not sell address data. We only disclose personal data to other companies or entities if this is absolutely necessary to provide the services requested by the customer, or if the customer has consented to the disclosure.

Security: At Tchibo, we consider it our duty to give data entrusted to us the best possible protection against unautho­rized access. Not least because of the rising diversity, quality and quantity of cyber attacks on corporate and government networks, it is important to invest in one’s own security infras­tructure, check it regularly and optimise it. Our own require­ments for safeguarding the data are also the benchmark for the security infras­tructure at our service providers.

In the reporting year 2014, we continued to develop our data protection management, adhering to the principles of awareness-building, testing and consul­tation. Especially in retail, where customer require­ments as well as technical and legal condi­tions change contin­u­ously and rapidly, employee awareness and training is a prereq­uisite for a respon­sible and legally compliant handling of customer data. In addition, we have expanded and enhanced both our internal and external monitoring activ­ities (Privacy policy at