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SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2014

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  • 2006
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Aligned our business activities according to the principles of corporate social responsibility (April 2006)

Since April 2006, the consultants in our Corporate Responsibility department have assisted Tchibo employees in systematically aligning their activities according to environmental and social criteria. The unit reports directly to the CEO and also works together with our Corporate Communications Department as a point of contact for the company’s various stakeholders.

Revised the Social Code of Conduct (SCoC) for suppliers (April 2006)

We revised our SCoC again in April 2006. Key changes were the requirement of written contracts for employees and the limitation of the working week to a maximum of 48 hours. The new SCoC also makes direct reference to the different source ILO conventions so that everybody concerned fully understands the underlying requirements.

Seat on the Social Accountability International (SAI) advisory board

Our SAI membership enables us to launch an ongoing exchange of knowledge and experience regarding ‘social responsibility in the supply chain’ with our most important international stakeholders in society.

Coffee Service first introduces sustainable coffee products (June 2006)

Founded in 1972, the Tchibo Coffee Service supplies up to 4 million cups of coffee every day to international business customers and bulk consumers in the restaurant and hotel business, as well as in workplace and community catering. In June 2006, we first included sustainable coffee varieties in our out-of-home range, under the Vista brand. Our Vista Brazilian, Vista Dark Roast and Vista drinking chocolate carry the Fairtrade seal, and our Vista Espresso is Fairtrade as well as certified organic. At least 30% of the coffee beans processed for our Piacetto-branded products are produced on farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance™.

Participated in the Logistics Towards Sustainability (LOTOS) project (November 2006)

From November 2006 until May 2009, Tchibo was a partner in the Logistics Towards Sustainability (LOTOS) project. LOTOS was established by TU Hamburg-Harburg and backed by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment. The project involved reviewing the processes in Tchibo’s procurement and transport chain for their resource use, climate impact and opportunities for optimisation, drawing up possible courses of action, and finally deriving specific measures for reducing transport-related CO₂ emissions. After the joint stage of the project ended, Tchibo continued its LOTOS process with the aim of reducing our CO₂ emissions, by the year 2015, by 30% compared to our 2006 figure. We achieved this target in 2011. We are therefore currently working on defining new targets and further developing our logistics programme.

Introduced the Code of Conduct for Employees (July 2007)

In July 2007, we introduced a code of conduct for our staff to ensure that Tchibo employees around the world feel bound to ethical business practices, fair workplace habits and strict compliance with all laws. It contains various basic rules for working with our business partners, and has served as a manual and guide for our employees since its introduction. In cases of infringements, our staff can contact an independent ombudsman.

Launched the WE programme with GTZ (now GIZ) (September 2007)

In September 2007, Tchibo and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) (today GIZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) set up the World Enhancement of Social Quality (WE) project. All of the project participants – plant owners and managers, employees and their representatives as well as buyers at Tchibo – engage in dialogue with each other to work towards significant progress in the working conditions at participating production sites in China, Bangladesh and Thailand. After the successful completion of the pilot phase, which was funded by Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the project was expanded to other production sites and countries in 2010.

Electricity from 100% renewable sources (January 2008)

Since 1 January 2008, our German offices, roasting facilities and warehouses only use green electricity. At the start of 2009, we also switched all of our German shops to green electricity. This means that 100% of the electricity bought for these locations is now produced from renewable power sources.

Participated in the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) pilot project (April 2008)

In 2008 and 2009, Tchibo took part in the German pilot project Product Carbon Footprint (PCF). The project is overseen by the WFF, Germany’s Öko-Institut, the Potsdam Centre for Climate Impact Research and the THEMA 1 think tank, and one of its objectives is to calculate the product-related carbon footprint of different consumer goods. Tchibo has continued this commitment by joining in the follow-up project, ‘Plattform Klimaverträglicher Konsum’ (Platform for Climate-Compatible Consumption).

Certified sustainable approved coffee products in our range (May 2008)

Since May 2008, Tchibo has offered an extensive range of coffees that bear the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade or Bio (certified organic) seals, to make it clearly visible to customers that these coffees are produced and traded in accordance with the respective standard’s requirements. For instance, since 2008, all ‘Privat Kaffee’ blends and our ‘Frische Ernte’ products have carried the Rainforest Alliance seal. In June 2008, our BioGenuss product was our first coffee to be certified organic with the ‘Bio’ seal, and in October 2008, we included our first Fairtrade espresso blend in our Tchibo shop range.

Cotton produced by “Cotton made in Africa” and “Textile Exchange” (June/October 2008)

Since autumn 2008, Tchibo has included items made with cotton from two programmes – Cotton made in Africa and Textile Exchange – in select weekly ranges. The former is a project managed by the Aid by Trade Foundation, with the aim of improving the yields and sales markets of cotton growers in sub-Saharan Africa. Our “organic cotton” items are made from cotton produced in line with the internationally accredited standards of the Textile Exchange NGO.

Published our first Sustainability Report (December 2008)

In December 2008, Tchibo published its first sustainability report as an online version. In the report, the company presented its first in-depth, transparent account of its activities in all major sustainability-related areas. The Global Reporting Initiative audited our sustainable development report in December 2008 reviewed and awarded it an A, the highest possible grade. Since then, we have issued a sustainability report every year.

Introduced Privacy Protection / Data Protection management (June 2009)

Since June 2009, data/privacy protection has been codified in Tchibo’s processes through a comprehensive management system. Cross-departmental taskforces examine various matters of data security under the supervision of our data security officer. Coordinators in each department help to identify privacy-related issues at an early stage and make sure that data protection is a core element in all of our processes.

Expanded the sustainability system to sales companies in Eastern Europe (July 2009)

In 2009 we began to involve the Eastern European subsidiaries in our existing sustainability management systems, step by step. The first step involved drawing up a mission statement for our Eastern European subsidiaries based on our Tchibo DNA, and our ‘Stärken stärken 2010’ and ‘Zukunft braucht Herkunft’ corporate strategies. To put it into practice, we developed a sustainability management system adapted for these regions, and started introducing it in 2010. Since then, we have made further progress. For instance, our national subsidiaries in Eastern Europe have developed their own sustainability programmes and successfully carried out various measures. Our subsidiaries in Austria and Switzerland have also carried out a variety of activities in the area of sustainability, recorded them in an inventory, and appointed central sustainability officers.

FSC certification (August 2009)

In 2009, Tchibo became the first major German retail company to obtain certification for its wood and paper products in accordance with the strict requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) standards. In this context, we also initiated a project to expand our sustainability-related activities to the sourcing of products and packaging, as well as internally used material made from FSC-certified paper and wood. Since then, we have, for example, steadily increased the proportion of environmentally compatible paper grades and now print our magazines and advertising materials on FSC®-certified paper. For packaging, we have established guidelines for increasing environmental compatibility, which our suppliers commit to as part of contractually stipulated packaging specifications.

Joined the Global Compact (November 2009)

On 18 November 2009, Tchibo joined the UN’s Global Compact, thereby committing to the Global Compact’s ten core principles regarding human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption measures, as well as their inclusion in its business processes. We publish our Communications on Progress in line with the publication rhythm of our sustainability reporting.

Tchibo Coffee Bars: only sustainably produced coffee grades (end of 2009)

Since the end of 2009 our Tchibo Coffee Bars throughout Germany and Switzerland have only used certified coffee blends for our caffeinated coffee beverages and specialties. The beans that go into our espresso-based specialties carry the Fairtrade seal of approval, while our filter coffee is made from beans grown on Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.

Membership in the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

Through project-oriented participation in the ETI we cooperate with relevant social stakeholders on solutions to particular challenges relating to social responsibility issues that arise within the supply chain of consumer goods. These include in particular the sub-themes of living wages, freedom to join trade unions and the right to collective bargaining.

‘Our contribution – Taking the lead in green’ week (August 2010)

In August 2010, we dedicated an entire weekly range to the topic of efficient resource use at home. Under the heading ‘Our contribution – Taking the lead in green’, we offered our customers an extensive range of consumer goods to help them save water and energy and reduce CO2 emissions produced in the home. These products included timer switches, digital radiator regulators and shower accessories for cutting water consumption. We also provided customers with additional aids, such as advice on saving energy with no obligation to buy.

Added ‘green’ energy products to our range (October 2010)

Since October 2010, Tchibo has offered its customers ok power-certified green electricity generated 100% from hydropower, and in January 2011, Tchibo also started marketing a climate-friendly natural gas. This gives our customers a way to switch to a climate-compatible and secure energy supply, In 2012, we also offered three different versions of an energy concept house by Heinz von Heiden GmbH that enables energy-efficient living in your own home.

Helping people to help themselves: school project in Benin (year-round, including project preparation)

As part of its Cotton made in Africa efforts, Tchibo sponsors a school project in Benin launched in 2010. Together with the Aid by Trade Foundation, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Investment and Development Organisation (DEG) and our local partners in Benin, we work to improve the educational infrastructure and quality of schooling in regions where the Cotton made in Africa project is active. A lot has been achieved since 2010. Among other things, by the end of 2012 six wells were built, 20,000 school uniforms distributed, and 10,000 textbooks ordered. Two of the seven school buildings have also been completed.

Coffee projects in Guatemala and Kenya

We support coffee farmers in switching from conventional to responsible coffee-growing methods. In 2010, we initiated two projects, in which ten coffee farmers from Guatemala and 13,000 smallholder growers from Kenya who form a cooperative prepare their businesses for certification in line with the Rainforest Alliance’s standards. In Kenya, we also launched the Mount Kenya Project, which supports women farmers and their families in the four areas of ‘water’, ‘education’, ‘farm animals’ and ‘construction materials’. We also contribute to the development of a sustainable coffee sector with a number of other projects.

Expanded the WE qualification programme

115 production plants are now covered by our WE qualification programme (Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality), which we launched in 2007 in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). With this programme, we pursue the goal of improving working conditions in Asian production plants through dialogue.

Reduced CO₂ emissions

In our procurement and transport chain, we cut CO₂ emissions by 30% between 2006 and 2011. We laid the foundations for this in 2006 with the LOTOS project (Logistics towards Sustainability). In cooperation with the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg and the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), transportation routes and methods were analysed, approaches for the targeted protection of the climate were identified and measures for avoiding CO₂ were implemented.

Increased sustainably produced green coffees in the range

In 2012, over 25% of the green coffee we process annually came from sustainable sources – nearly twice as much as in 2011. In our Privat Kaffee range, we have converted all varieties to 100% sustainable grades. Since 2012, we were also the first coffee capsule supplier on the German market to exclusively use sustainably grown coffee for our Cafissimo capsules. In this connection, we have also started working with UTZ Certified, an organisation whose coffee-growing standards focus on environmental and economic aspects.

Increased sustainably grown cotton in the textile range

With 12.5 million textile items from certified and validated sustainable cotton production in 2012, we are one of Germany's leading vendors of products made from responsibly grown cotton.

Further expanded the WE qualification programme

By the end of 2012, we expanded our WE qualification programme in Asian production plants once more and included around 200 production plants.

Conversion to FSC grades

In the WWF rankings, Tchibo was named one of the best retailers in Germany for its certified wood and paper product range. Since 2012 we have exclusively printed our magazines, catalogues and advertising materials in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on FSC®-certified paper.

Climate-friendly fleet (July 2012)

The German environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. awarded Tchibo a ‘Green Card for credible climate awareness’ for our fleet policy, which focuses on a continual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Business Ethics Award from the German Business Ethics Network (DNWE) (November 2012)

The German Business Ethics Network (DNWE), a coalition of representatives from science and academe, business, and associations, awarded Tchibo its 2012 Business Ethics Award, thereby recognising our efforts on our path towards sustainable business conduct – especially in the area of consumer goods.

Joined the ‘Biodiversity in Good Company’ initiative (December 2012)

In 2012 we joined the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative. Launched in 2008 by the German Federal Department of the Environment, it is a cross-sector platform for businesses that are especially committed to protecting biological diversity and integrate this into their environmental and sustainability management.

Increased the share of sustainable green coffee

We increased the proportion of validated and certified green coffee that we process during the year from 27.3 % in 2012 to 30.4 % in 2013. This increase resulted from a resolute development of our sustainable product ranges. In 2013, we offered the first two Grand Classé editions made from 100 % FAIRTRADE coffee in our Cafissimo range. With Barista Espresso and Barista Caffè Crema, we also introduced a new FAIRTRADE-certified premium product range in 2013. The green coffee in another new range, ‘Mein Privat Kaffee’, comes from coffee farms that meet either the requirements of the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ Certified standards (Sustainable resources and products).

Increased share of sustainably produced cotton in the textiles range

In 2013, more than 40 % of our cotton textiles range contained cotton from validated or certified sustainable sources; in 2014, this figure increased to over 70 %. In July 2013, we introduced a lingerie collection made from 100 % organic cotton and certified according to Textile Exchange’s OE 100 and OE Blended standards (Sustainable resources and products).

Wood and paper from responsible sources

Since 2013 the wood and paper products we purchase comes from responsible sources. Around 30 % of it is FSC®-certified (Forest Stewardship Council), almost 70 % corresponds to the FTS standard (Forest Tracing System). In 2013 we offered our customers a garden furniture and crafts range consisting entirely of products made with FSC®-certified wood and paper (Sustainable resources and products).

Launch of the ‘Enjoy and do good’ promotion

In 2013, we invited our customers to join us in promoting our education project in Guatemala under the heading ‘Enjoy and do good’. For each packet of Privat Kaffee sold, we donated 10 cents to our local project partners. The proceeds were used to open six day-care centres in the Chiquimula region in November 2013 (Sustainability Communications).

More energy-efficient roasting

Due to the high amount of energy required in roasting processes, in 2013 and 2014 we focused on increasing the energy efficiency of the processes at our coffee-roasting plants in Hamburg and Berlin. To this end, we introduced an ISO 50001 energy management system in 2013 (Strategy and management).

Joined the ‘Fur Free Retailer Programme’

We take animal welfare very seriously, and banned the sale of fur products more than nine years ago. This also applies to ‘trimming’, for example coat collars. To reaffirm this commitment, we became a member of the international ‘Fur Free Retailer Programme’ set up by the animal protection organisation ‘Vier Pfoten’ in 2013 (Sustainable resources and products).

Re-certification as a ‘family-friendly employer’

In August 2010, Tchibo became the first retail company in Germany to be certified as a ‘family-friendly employer’ by the Hertie Foundation’s berufundfamilie gGmbH initiative. In 2013 we were re-certified through 2016. This entails other binding target agreements whose achievement is reviewed annually by an independent auditor (Work and Life).

Awards for our efforts

In 2013 we received awards from various organisations for our commitment to sustainability. In 2013, Tchibo won the CSR Award of the German Federal Government as well as the European Commission’s CSR Award. We also received the 2013 Logistics Sustainability Award and for the second consecutive year the German environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe’s ‘Green Card for credible climate awareness’. More information about the awards can be found here (Awards and rankings).

Increased share of sustainable green coffee again

We are systematically increasing our share of validated and/or certified sustainable coffee. In 2014 it accounted for approximately 35 % of our total green coffee. The coffees are certified according to the criteria of the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ Certified and the organisations behind the EU Bio label, or are validated to the baseline standards of the 4C Association (Purchasing Sustainable Green Coffee Qualities).

Cotton: Tchibo is the world’s #3 largest supplier of organic cotton / GOTS certification

We increased our sales of textiles containing sustainably grown cotton from 40 % in 2013 to around 80 % in 2014. As a result, nearly 6,000 tons of organic cotton was woven into Tchibo linens and household textiles. In 2015 around 85 % of our textiles containing cotton were manufactured with responsibly cultivated cotton. We work together with internationally recognised standards organisations that support this goal. In cotton products, we are concerned not only about the raw materials, but about the entire product including dyes, prints and accessories. That is why in 2014 we were certified in accordance with the demanding Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Signed the Detox Commitment

In addition to social issues, ecological requirements are an important aspect of our integrated supplier management system. We check our suppliers for compliance with our environmental standards, share with them important know-how about protecting the environment and climate, and help them make improvements by giving specific recommendations for action. In 2014 we signed Greenpeace’s ambitious DETOX Commitment to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the textile supply chain by no later than 2020 (Ecological Aspects Of Production).

Purchasing freeze on products made from angora fibres

Angora fibres are obtained from the shorn fur of the Angora rabbit. According to research by the animal rights organisation PETA, its production entails unacceptable practices at some Asian farms. Although we were able to rule out the use of the practices shown in the PETA video at our manufacturers, we initially issued a temporary purchasing freeze after learning of the abuses. The freeze will remain in place as long as there are no farming and shearing methods that are inappropriate to the welfare of Angora rabbits (Sustainable resources and products).

Tchibo Joint Forces!® qualification programme expanded (Coffee value chain)

In Tchibo Joint Forces!®, we work with competent partner organisations to help coffee farmers increase their productivity and income in an environmentally sound and socially acceptable way. In 2014, we added a new module called ‘Local community involvement’ to the Tchibo Joint Forces!® offer. The aim is to develop the social structures in the environment of the coffee farms and improve the families’ living conditions (Tchibo Joint Forces!® qualification programme).

Increased the volumes purchased from WE producers (Consumer Goods value chain)

Our WE programme supports managers and employees in meeting social requirements such as health protection, fair wages, non-discriminatory workplaces and reasonable working hours, and helps them implement social and ecological standards through practical training. Since the pilot phase ended in 2011, we have been expanding the WE programme to our strategic suppliers. To date 320 suppliers have completed the WE qualification programme or are in the process of completing it. In 2015, we sourced around 75 % of our consumer goods purchasing volume from WE suppliers in risk markets (Sustainable Supply Chains).

Joined the Advisory Board of the Bangladesh Accord

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a five-year, binding contract for building and fire safety in the garment industry in Bangladesh. More than 200 companies have now committed to the Accord. We were one of its first two signatories in 2012, and have worked with other international trading companies, producers, the government, trade unions and NGOs ever since to assert stricter fire and building safety standards for the textile industry in Bangladesh. Since November 2014, we have sat on the Accord’s Advisory Board together with representatives of five other companies (Social aspects of production).

Launch of the Alliance for Sustainable Textiles

The Alliance for Sustainable Textiles now represents more than 50 % of the textile industry in Germany. Like other major market participants, Tchibo joined the Alliance in June 2015. The partners are currently drafting a joint action plan to advance the implementation of environmental and social standards at all stages of the textile supply chain (Social aspects of production).

‘Lieblings¬stücke’ (‘Favourites’) permanent product range introduced

We are continuously working to improve all processes directed at the customer in the company. This results in continuous new offers such as the ‘Tchibo Lieblings¬stücke" (Favourites) permanent product range, which we introduced in the online shop in 2014. Our aim is to gradually convert the entire ‘Tchibo Lieblings¬stücke’ range to sustainable grades (Responsible business practices).

Third ‘Green Card’ for climate-friendly company car fleet

Thanks to our fleet strategy, we have been able to steadily reduce our emissions over several years. In 2014 we further reduced the average CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet, from 120g CO2/km in 2013 to 119g CO2/km. In 2014, the German environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe awarded Tchibo a ‘Green Card for credible climate awareness’ for the third consecutive year (Mobility).

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