For the preservation of an intact natural world:
Increase climate protection, reduce resource consumption

An intact natural world is an essential prereq­uisite for the future viability of our business: coffee, cotton, wood and other natural raw materials form the basis of our product ranges. So it is very important to us that climate change be limitedand natural resources be conserved. Accord­ingly, we are expanding our climate protection measures at our sites, in our supply chain management, and in employee mobility. We are working to minimise our use of resources, increase recycling, and offset unavoidable CO₂ emissions.

As a trading company that requires raw materials for the production of its products, we contribute to the consumption of resources. We also cause CO₂ emissions when we transport, store and deliver our products, as well as at our admin­is­trative offices and Tchibo Shops. At the same time, our company is directly affected by the reper­cus­sions of climate change and impending resource scarcity. Raw materials such as wood, coffee, cotton and other natural resources are important founda­tions of our product lines and therefore of our business. Climate protection and resource conser­vation signif­i­cantly help in enabling us to offer our customers high-quality products into the future. That is why we are contin­ually working to minimise our CO₂ emissions and use of natural resources. Based on our extensive insights and many years of experience, we focus on activ­ities that are related to our product ranges, and on action areas that we can directly influence – our sites, mobility and resource efficiency.

Legal and social require­ments are on the rise

Increasing regulation, legis­lation and voluntary initia­tives are aimed at boosting climate and resource protection – at national level as well as throughout the EU and around the world. One of the major regula­tions that impact Tchibo as well is the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act, which has been in force since 2015. It stipu­lates that retailers must take back old devices. A new German Packaging Act is also in planning, and is due to enter into force in 2019 with the aim of conserving resources and increasing recycling rates. Besides legal direc­tives, policy­makers are also formu­lating targets like the inter­na­tional climate protection targets, and other require­ments. One partic­u­larly relevant one for our business is the Extended Product Respon­si­bility approach as specified in the German Waste Management and Product Recycling Act: it stipu­lates that manufac­turers continue to be respon­sible for their products even when they are scrapped. This refers first and foremost to take-back and recycling rules, but also require­ments for devel­oping more durable products, and using secondary raw materials during production.

One major voluntary initiative is the European Union’s call to its member states to reduce the per-capita consumption of plastic bags. Campaigns and initia­tives mounted by civil society also serve to boost public awareness of environ­mental issues. Apart from plastic bags, textiles, coffee capsules, and disposable takeaway coffee cups are among the products or packaging where the propor­tion­ality of resource consumption is being questioned. And so, for example, reusable cup systems across multiple vendors are now available in an increasing number of cities.

Meeting challenges system­at­i­cally

We are tackling these and other legal and social require­ments and are proac­tively working on solutions to make a signif­icant contri­bution to more climate and resource protection. Particular challenges lie in estab­lishing mecha­nisms and struc­tures for increased environ­mental and climate protection across all the relevant phases of a product’s lifecycle: from the production and selection of raw materials to the design and manufac­turing processes, to the packaging and recycling of waste.

In order to find the best solutions, especially for industry-wide and global issues such as countering climate change, we partic­ipate in the social discourse of business, politics and civil society on a sustainable further devel­opment of the economy, primarily through organ­i­sa­tions such as the German Trade Associ­ation (HDE).

Effective protection of our climate and resources

We system­at­i­cally reduce CO₂ emissions to counter climate change. To do this, we design our processes to be as energy-efficient and low-emission as possible. We start with the causes and focus our engagement on action areas where we have the most influence and can make the biggest difference: in the transport and shipping of our products, at our production plants. Roadmap 2020 is the guideline for our actions; in it, we have further increased our climate-protection targets for 2015. To identify and realise additional savings potential, we included even more sites and processes in the calcu­lation of our 2016 carbon footprint.

Packaging accounts for a large share of our resource require­ments. In our quest to contin­ually reduce our consumption of raw materials, we are resolutely imple­menting our packaging policy, which we updated in 2015. We further tightened our already ambitious environ­mental require­ments, and formu­lated clear guide­lines to avoid, reduce, reuse, improve and offset packaging – in that order of priority. When intro­ducing new packaging or optimising existing packaging, we always base our decision-making on this system in order to find an environ­men­tally friendly solution – for product packaging, as well as packaging for transport and shipping. We are also contin­u­ously increasing the use of recycled and FSC®-certified paper. Under our Closed Loop Strategy’, we work on designing products as well as material cycles, from the start, so that the valuable materials they contain can be upcycled or at least recycled at the end of their use.

Increasing our potential influence through cooper­ation

However, as an individual company, we do come up against the limits of our influence. Systemic and struc­tural challenges can only be effec­tively countered by teaming up with other protag­o­nists. For this reason, we are involved in associ­a­tions and organ­i­sa­tions committed to multi­company solutions for protecting the environment, such as the Clean Cargo Working Group. With a view to the planned packaging legis­lation, we are actively involved in an expert group to develop an incentive system for eco-friendlier packaging. To support the Paris Climate Agreement, we joined ten other German trading companies in signing a decla­ration on savings programmes and measures in December 2015. It stipu­lates the promotion of e-cars and green buildings, as well as the use of efficient lighting and air-condi­tioning technology. 

A binding basis: environ­mental protection is anchored in all processes

We contin­ually develop our activ­ities based on a strong foundation: protecting the environment and the climate is an integral part of our business strategy and firmly anchored in the Tchibo DNA. “We take respon­si­bility for the ecological and social impact of our actions” - this principle guides our work across all business processes. The Tchibo Code of Conduct additionally defines binding rules of eco-conscious conduct for all our staff. At our admin­is­trative and warehouse sites, we use an environ­mental management system that is based on the ISO 14001 standard and logs our signif­icant consumption volumes. This serves as a basis for reducing our use of energy, water, gas and paper consumption, as well as minimising waste and CO2 emissions from our fleet of vehicles and business travel. The energy management at our production sites in Germany is ISO 50001 certified. We also apply other, voluntary guide­lines above and beyond this: ISO 14040ff for lifecycle assessment, ISO 14020ff for environment-related commu­ni­ca­tions, and ISO 16258 for accounting for transport-related emissions, as well as our own Packaging Directive, which contains infor­mation on general proce­dures, KPIs, instru­ments, and guiding principles.

Environ­mental officers handle the integration of environ­mental aspects into business opera­tions in the various divisions and depart­ments. Environ­mental targets are agreed with them annually. The Corporate Respon­si­bility department coordi­nates cross-depart­mental and cross-divisional activ­ities. It ensures that the environ­mental measures initiated in the depart­ments and units are coordi­nated with the strategic objec­tives as well as with each other – by monitoring and analysing societal trends, current events, and legislative initia­tives. The idea is to address new devel­op­ments as early as possible and to help shape these devel­op­ments.

Guiderail for sustainable logistics: Roadmap 2020

In making sure that our logistics processes are sustainable, we are guided by our Roadmap 2020. Adopted in 2015, it builds on the goals already achieved and resolutely continues the path to a 100% sustainable business. In the Roadmap, we have set clear targets for climate protection, which we are contin­u­ously working to achieve: the further reduction of our CO₂ emissions in transport, at the roasting plants, the warehouses, the admin­is­trative offices, and the Tchibo shops.

A framework for resource efficiency: the Packaging Directive

Our Packaging Directive, which has been in force since 2015, follows the maxim: avoid, reduce, reuse, improve, and offset. In other words: we avoid disposable cups, disposable shopping bags, and paper waste. We reduce overall weight of waste, as well as the use of paper and cardboard, and source the remaining require­ments from certified respon­sible forestry and recycled materials. We develop solutions to ensure that our packaging can be recycled or reused.

Lever­aging synergies: voluntary commit­ments

By joining voluntary commit­ments, we create a clear framework for eco-friendly action in the company while also expanding our commitment. In Hamburg and Berlin, we work with an energy management system that is in accor­dance with Tchibo Manufac­turing GmbH & Co. KG’s DIN EN ISO 50001:2011, in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce its consumption. We have joined the voluntary commit­ments of business associ­a­tions in Germany and Austria to no longer give free plastic bags to customers at our Tchibo shop, in order to reduce the number of disposable bags given out. As a member of the Biodi­versity in Good Company initiative, we work with other companies in the industry to find solutions for preserving global biodi­versity. As part of this, we have committed to analysing the impact of our business on biodi­versity, and to include the protection of biodi­versity as well as sustainable use of raw materials in our environ­mental management system.

Keeping an eye on the progress made: ongoing monitoring

Depending on the measure, we develop suitable KPIs which are regularly checked as part of our monitoring – e.g. for electricity consumption at our roasting plants, or for reducing relative packaging volumes. In addition, selected environ­mental indicators are verified by an auditing company as part of the report audit. KPIs per assortment are also verified in annual audits. Based on the results of the latest evalu­a­tions, we keep devel­oping Roadmap 2020, survey consumption and emissions at additional sites with a view to reducing them, and use improved compu­ta­tional logic in calcu­lating the carbon footprint, so as to achieve even more accurate results.