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.