Tchibo has long stood for more than just coffee. In fact, it is now one of the largest textile trading companies in Germany. Tchibo sets great store in sustainably produced fabrics, and according to the company’s figures it sells some 8.5 million products on average, including kitchen, bath and bed textiles, that have been made from sustainable cotton. In this regard, “sustainable” means that the cotton has been produced in a more environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner than conventional cotton, e.g. in accordance with the guidelines of the “Cotton made in Africa” initiative. In addition to “Cotton made in Africa”, Tchibo is also a member of the “Better Cotton Initiative” and the “Textile Exchange”. Now Tchibo has been chosen by the German Business Ethics Network (DNWE) to receive its Corporate Ethics Prize.
The DNWE is comprised of representatives from the fields of science, industry and associations. Every two years, the Network honours initiatives that are exemplary in their pursuit of sustainable and ethical business. This year the award went to Tchibo due to the fact that the company’s “Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality” programme (WE) has broken new ground in promoting sustainable and decent production conditions. The Ethics Network was also impressed by the fact that Tchibo engages in direct dialogue with all significant stakeholders in the production countries, as well as with employees in the manufacturing companies, and that it strives to ensure close working relationships with NGOs, certification and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
Another reason for the DNWE’s selection of Hamburg-based Tchibo is the fact that the company’s sustainability strategy does not stop at efforts to improve production conditions, but also tries to involve consumers, for they can help to improve living conditions in manufacturing countries through their buying behaviour. It is this awareness that Tchibo is aiming to increase with its targeted customer marketing, in order that consumers may take greater ethical responsibility for people and the environment.