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 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. 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 2017
In 2017, the international business units once again successfully implemented measures from their own national sustainability programmes. The focus was on environmental protection, customer communications, employees, 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.
After years of efforts in the field of ‘green office/workplace’, in 2012, Tchibo Poland and the Partnership for the Environment foundation jointly developed a certification standard for ‘Green 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. In 2017, all 56 Tchibo Shops and the administrative site were successfully recertified. A comprehensive monitoring system continually ensures that the requirements are put into action.
Since July 2015, plastic bags have no longer been given out for free at Tchibo Austria. Within just a few weeks, this led to an around 80 % reduction in bags given out. Since May 2016, Austria has completely eliminated non-reusable plastic bags. Instead, the Austrian business unit offers its customers a selection of reusable bags made from sustainable materials. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the carrier bags was donated to MOTHER EARTH, an environmental initiative by ORF and the leading environmental and nature conservation organisations, in 2015. A long-term cooperation has developed from this, which still continues and is to continue further in 2018. At Tchibo in Switzerland, Slovakia and Hungary, too, no free plastic bags have been given out to customers since 2016. Tchibo Czech Republic also introduced the change in 2017. At Tchibo Turkey, the introduction of an obligation to pay for plastic bags is planned for 2018.
The recycling of coffee capsules is another way in which Tchibo aims to conserve resources. Due to a lack of general disposal structures, Tchibo Austria itself became active and developed and introduced its own take-back system for Qbo and Cafissimo capsules in 2017.
Communicating the benefits of sustainably manufactured products to Tchibo customers in all sales regions requires comprehensive but easy-to-understand customer communications. In addition to materials developed in Germany, all 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’ 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, organic cotton. The logo is found not only on the product packaging, but also at the points of sale, and is used in various media to encourage customers to embrace responsible consumption.
In 2017, the ‘GUT GEMACHT’ logo was launched in all other international business units with Non Food business (PL, CZ, SK, HU, TR), and was introduced to customers with suitable, locally adapted advertising materials.
To increase attention for sustainable products, in October 2017, the Tchibo subsidiary in Turkey organized the blogger event ‘DOĞA DOSTU’ (Turkish for GUT GEMACHT) for influencers. 13 female influencers from the "Mothers and Babies" category were invited. They were introduced products bearing the ‘GUT GEMACHT’ logo, and Tchibo’s ‘Latin Bio’ (Organic Latin) Privatkaffee, and learned more about Tchibo's sustainability strategy.
Employees and corporate citizenship
In 2017, Tchibo's national subsidiary in the Czech Republic once again received the Family-Friendly Society Award for its commitment to family friendliness and other sustainability activities. The judging panel highlighted the good opportunities for reconciling work and family life and in particular praised the national unit's corporate responsibility efforts. The judges made special positive mention of the "Green Office" project, which was carried out at the Prague headquarters, and the company's volunteer work.
Tchibo’s international business units also embrace corporate citizenship. In 2017, the Austrian international business unit participated in the ‘Tchibo Weihnachtswunder’ Christmas fundraising campaign, and gave Tchibo items as gifts to people in need with the help of Vienna’s food bank.
The international business units in eastern Europe especially encourage corporate volunteering: In 2017, a wide range of activities took place here: from active support for the renovation of a school, to advice for non-profit organisations. A total of 53 employees volunteered 426 working hours (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary).