Our international business units: one goal, individual programmes
Our commitment to a 100% sustainable business is not limited to Germany. In 2009, we began to involve our international business units in Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe in our sustainability management. At our international sites, we pursue the same sustainability goals that apply to Tchibo in Germany. This includes the gradual conversion of our product ranges to sustainable grades, especially coffee, cotton and wood. In addition to this, the international business units pursue individual targets in their national sustainability programmes.
In order to support the individual companies, Tchibo has initiated a comprehensive network for CR managers in all countries. Twice a year, they come to the Hamburg headquarters to share their experiences and compare content and strategies under the lead management of the Corporate Responsibility directorate.
Site-specific sustainability programmes complement the joint strategy, as does individual communication with local stakeholders and customers. Thus, our international business units also participate in public discourse on sustainability in their respective countries. They work with non-governmental and multi-stakeholder initiatives to develop sustainable solutions for economic, social and environmental issues across multiple industries.
Progress in 2016
In 2016, the international business units once again successfully implemented measures from their own national sustainability programmes. The focus was on environmental protection, customer communications, and corporate citizenship.
Environmental protection at the sites
The international business units are systematically working to reduce the environmental impact of operating their shops, offices and warehouses. For example, they take measures to reduce water, paper, and electricity consumption in the administrative offices.
In 2012, Tchibo Poland and the Partnership for the Environment foundation jointly developed a certification standard for ‘Green Tchibo Shops’ and introduced this certification for all Polish Tchibo shops. It is the first environmental certificate in the history of Polish retail. In 2013, the standard was further developed with the foundation, for online sales. The certificate is awarded for two years at a time. Accordingly, a successful recertification process took place in 2016. In all, 56 Tchibo shops received the ‘Green Shops’ environmental certificate in 2016.
The international business units, too, work with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) to put our sustainability strategy into practice, and are increasingly using paper from responsible forestry. In Austria and Switzerland, Tchibo has printed its magazines, catalogues and advertising materials on FSC®-certified paper since 2012, in the business units in the Czech Republic and Slovakia since 2013, and in Turkey, Poland and Hungary since 2014. In addition, except for Romania and Russia, all international business units have been FSC®-certified and are entitled to use the organisation’s seal on wood and paper products.
Since July 2015, plastic bags were no longer given out for free in Austria, resulting in a reduction of around 80%. Since May 2016, Austria has completely eliminated non-reusable plastic bags. Instead, the Austrian company offers its customers a selection of reusable bags made from sustainable materials. In Switzerland, Slovakia and Hungary, too, no free plastic bags have been given out to customers since 2016. The Czech Republic international business unit also introduced the change in 2017.
To further reduce energy consumption, ‘energy efficiency audits’ were carried out in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2016. The findings will help to identify potential savings at the sites.
In the course of an environmental assessment, the Slovakian international business unit was also awarded a certificate as a ‘responsible organisation’ for its measures in the field of waste management and the environment. Aspects covered by the assessment were the handling of waste, pollution, and the conservation of natural resources.
Communicating the benefits of sustainably manufactured products to Tchibo customers in all sales regions requires calls for, comprehensive but easy-to-understand customer communications. In addition to materials developed in Germany, all the international business units use their own innovative formats, which are adapted to the respective country’s customer and stakeholder requirements.
For instance, the international business units in Austria and Switzerland introduced the „GUT GEMACHT“ (DONE IN A GOOD WAY) logo in 2016. It distinguishes our sustainable products and makes them quickly identifiable as such. ‘GUT GEMACHT’ products are either externally certified or incorporate standards and procedures recognised by external stakeholders – for example, chrome-free tanned leather. The logo can not only be found on the product packaging, but also at the points of sale, and is used in various media to motivate customers for responsible consumption.
Tchibo’s international business units also embrace voluntary commitment. For example, the Austrian international business unit participated in the ‘Tchibo Weihnachtswunder’ Christmas fundraising campaign in 2016 and delivered gifts to SOS Children’s Villages Austria.
The international business units in eastern Europe especially encourage corporate volunteering: employees at the international business unit in Hungary once again participated in the traditional HBLF wheelchair competition in 2016. With the aim of raising money for wheelchair basketball in Hungary, the entrance fees are used to purchase new wheelchairs.