The 2019 sustainability statement

Our 2019 sustainability statement sees us disclosing our activities in the area of and the most important goals of our commitment to sustainability for the first time. In it, we explain the ethos behind our activities, what we have achieved over the last few years, how we want to develop, what goals we have set ourselves and which steps we will take to reach our objectives. We see this communication as more than just presenting information to our stakeholders: for us, it is also an important tool for achieving our sustainability targets. Through our reporting, we want to sensitise people, invite them to engage in dialogue and move them to take action.

Statement Sustainability

Our ethos

Our understanding of sustainability is based on our ethos and our values: we make decisions guided by the long-term development of our company and, as a family business with a 111-year history, we think in multi-generational terms. We want to make contributions to sustainable development above and beyond our business activities and take our responsibility to protect people and the environment seriously. To ensure we can meet future challenges, we have initiated a multi-year process of cultural change. Entitled ‘Growing Together’, it motivates our staff to think and act in an entrepreneurial, cross-departmental and autonomous way. We encourage them to be bold and actively bring about change, urge them to work together more closely, and strengthen their agility and resilience.

Sustainability an obligation and an opportunity

We have identified the following key challenges with regard to sustainability-related issues in our value chains:

  • We recognise climate change as a threat to both our own business model and those of our business partners in the value chains. The consequences of a significant rise in the global temperature would include weather conditions and extreme events which would make it much harder to procure the raw materials we need, such as coffee beans or pulp. With this in mind, our goal is to gradually reduce the ecological footprint of our own business activities and those of our suppliers.
  • A significant proportion of our products are made from plastic, so we believe we have a duty to help reduce plastic pollution in the seas and soil and to develop or expand upon solutions to prevent ecological damage of this kind in the first place.
  • We tackle unethical labour practices and human rights violations at the Group and within our supply chain. This is both an obligation under the global principles on business and human rights and, above all, an expression of our convictions and values. We want to be an attractive employer for our staff and a responsible client for our suppliers.
  • Furthermore, it is important to us to support disadvantaged and vulnerable people. To achieve this, we focus our corporate citizenship activities primarily on areas where our business activities have a direct impact and where we can observe the projects’ urgency and success ourselves.

At the same time, more and more people are looking more closely at the products they use and taking an interest in the origins of ingredients and raw materials, the supply chain, the production process and the product’s disposal. We are catering for this trend with our high-quality products. In our view, fulfilling sustainability requirements is a key element of our products’ quality profile – both with regard to their properties and in relation to their origins and production. We make clear demands of our suppliers via our Supplier Code of Conduct and carry out audits to verify their compliance with these requirements. Due to the complexity of supply chains, we are also considering innovative solutions, such as new forms of industry-wide and cross-industry collaboration.

One of the prime objectives of our work is to further increase the proportion of sustainably procured and produced goods. We also want to further enhance the transparency of our value chain over the next few years. By bringing innovative, forward-looking products to market, we want to make a contribution towards sustainable development that goes beyond our business activities.

Our Sustainability Engagement

Statement Sustainability

Our achievements

In 2015, we started developing a Group-wide approach to sustainability engagement and implementing it with corresponding programmes and measures at both Group and Business Unit level.

This resulted in the Melitta sustainability house, which collates the sustainability focal points under the categories ‘Product and supply chain responsibility’, ‘Environmental responsibility’, ‘Social responsibility’ and ‘Responsibility for employees’ and thereby visualises the key elements of our strategic sustainability engagement.

We have also firmly enshrined our understanding of sustainability in our corporate processes and structures with a number of voluntary commitments such as our Code of Conduct and our Supplier Code of Conduct, by means of Group-wide sustainability software and through involvement in various associations and initiatives.

    Our sustainability engagement

    materiality matrix

    Together with internal and external stakeholders, we used a materiality matrix to define 13 issues as the key areas of action within our sustainability engagement. This serves as a basis for our work and is continuously further developed in the course of our stakeholder dialogue.

    We also endorse the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations in 2016 and incorporate these into our sustainability engagement. We consider the following six SDGs to be particularly relevant for the Melitta Group: responsible consumption and production, decent work and economic growth, climate action, life on land, life below water, and quality education.

      Statement Sustainability

      Our objective

      Our aim is to link key sustainability aspects with our Group’s strategic orientation so as to create a sustainable corporate strategy. Integrating sustainability into the strategy as well as the targets and processes of both the Group and its operating units is the only way to guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of the programmes we have adopted. We follow the OECD Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct in our further implementation of sustainability. We have also set ourselves ambitious targets for the future communication and reporting of our sustainability strategy. We are committed to communicating transparently and want to report on both successes and failures – even if this runs the risk of drawing criticism. From 2020 onwards, we will publicly report on our sustainability targets, derived business strategies, our activities and KPIs annually.

      Statement Sustainability

      Our targets and commitments

      We have further enhanced our organisational structures, skills, mindset, leadership principles and innovativeness in recent years in order to systematically unify the many individual sustainability activities of our Business Units and thus make them have a greater impact. This has enabled us to clarify and set out our targets and commitments.

      Targets For Sustainable Developments

      In our 2019 sustainability statement, we describe in detail our current position in the defined areas of action, what our objectives are and which binding targets we have set ourselves. The key areas of action are assigned to the focal issues of ‘Product and supply chain responsibility’, ‘Environmental responsibility’, ‘Social responsibility’ and ‘Responsibility for employees’ within our Melitta sustainability house.

      Statement Sustainability

      Invitation to engage in dialogue

      Melitta is on its way to becoming a sustainable business. We cannot and do not want to pursue this challenging path alone; we want to do so together with our stakeholders. This statement is therefore above all also an invitation to engage in dialogue. We would be delighted to hear any questions, ideas or suggestions you may have. You can contact us at sustainability (at) melitta.de