Sustainable Devel­opment Goals: for sustainable global devel­opment

At its 2015 General Assembly, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Devel­opment Goals (SDGs), which replace the eight Millennium Devel­opment Goals. 193 countries agreed on 17 goals, comprising 169 sub-goals. The SDGs combine the social, environ­mental and economic dimen­sions of sustain­ability. Their targets go far beyond the Millennium Goals, which are regarded as a global frame of reference for jointly combating poverty and hunger in indus­tri­alised, devel­oping and emerging countries. 

Their content provides a framework for action, among other things for ensuring a sustainable approach to the production of goods and devel­opment of services, for estab­lishing fair incomes and wages, preserving the environment and biodi­versity, safeguarding a secure food supply, for equality of women and men, and boys and girls, and for the right to education.

Sustainable Devel­opment GoalMeasures

As an inter­na­tional trading company, we operate within global struc­tures and take advantage of/benefit from/make use of the global division of labour. Therefore, we consider it part of our corporate respon­si­bility to make our contri­bution to the imple­men­tation of the SDGs. For us, the SDGs are partic­u­larly relevant in regard to product definition and the inter­na­tional value chains. With our environ­mental and social programmes in the key areas of our business, we not only safeguard the future viability of our company, but also contribute to the imple­men­tation of the global devel­opment targets, as the following examples demon­strate:

Sustainable product devel­opment: Coffee

On our way towards becoming a 100% sustainable business, we are supported in the coffee-growing regions by inter­na­tionally recog­nised organ­i­sa­tions that have pooled their expertise into environ­mental and social standards. In 2016, the share of certified or validated sustainable green coffee used for Tchibo products was 36.3%. With our Tchibo Joint Forces!® quali­fi­cation programme, which we developed and intro­duced in 2012, we support small­holders in gradually transi­tioning from conven­tional to environ­men­tally and socially acceptable and econom­i­cally sustainable coffee farming. In cooper­ation with green coffee exporters and traders, standards organ­i­sa­tions, govern­mental and other non-govern­mental organ­i­sa­tions, coffee farmers are system­at­i­cally supported with training and quali­fi­cation modules. By 2016, quali­fi­cation measures were carried out at more than 30,000 of the coffee farmers who are part of the Tchibo value chains in Central and South America, East Africa and Asia. Add to that around 50,000 small­holders who are earning Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners (ICP) quali­fi­cation, with compa­rable focus areas. This already covers about one third of the coffee farmers who work for us all over the world. We will continue these programmes in future, and put them on an even broader base with devel­opment measures.

Our inter­ven­tions for sustainable product and process devel­opment of coffee contribute in total to eleven of the 17 SDGs. At the same time, we must emphasise the reduction of poverty and hunger, the promotion of healthcare and equality as well as measures for the protection of the climate and environment.

Sustainable product devel­opment: consumer goods

In Non Food, our focus in expanding our sustainable product ranges is on textiles made of cotton and viscose, and furniture and handi­craft utensils made of wood and cellulose. We apply the environ­mental and social standards of inter­na­tionally recog­nised organ­i­sa­tions. In the sales year 2016, for example, the percentage of textiles containing cotton from certified or validated sustainable culti­vation amounted to 80%. By 2020, we intend to use 100% sustainable cotton for our Tchibo cotton textiles. Tchibo is already the world’s third-largest processor of organic cotton.

Besides using sustainable materials in our products, we are increas­ingly working to implement closed-loop concepts. We strive to use more and more recyclates in the production of our products, thereby conserving resources. Our closed-loop concept also includes imple­menting the targets of the Detox Commitment initiated by Green­peace to detoxify the production of consumer goods and reduce water pollution. At this time, the main focus of our activ­ities is on Chinese textile production.

Tchibo has consol­i­dated its supplier pool in the predom­i­nantly Asian and eastern European procurement markets with a view to social accept­ability, limiting it to suppliers with the best quality, delivery, environ­mental, and social perfor­mance. In this way, we increase trans­parency and our influence on the enforcement of social and environ­mental standards. We work closely with local producers as part of our WE (Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality) supplier quali­fi­cation programme, which was launched in 2007. Through a moderated dialogue between factory owners, management and employees as well as their repre­sen­ta­tives and Tchibo Procurement, our suppliers are supported in imple­menting compre­hensive social and environ­mental require­ments at their factories and, step by step, in the upstream supplier stages. 75% of Tchibo’s consumer goods are already produced by WE qualified suppliers.

All in all, our inter­ven­tions for the sustainable product and process devel­opment of consumer goods contribute to 12 of the 17 SDGs. The reduction of inequality through our WE quali­fi­cation programme merits a special mention here.