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.

Customer commu­ni­cation

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.

Corporate Citizenship

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.