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.

Customer commu­ni­cations

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).