FAQs: Sustainability at beeline
Our first sustainability report, for 2017, is currently under development. It is scheduled for publication on our company website between March and June 2018.
There are three areas that, when balanced, define sustainability: ecology, economy, and social matters. All three are closely related, of course. Still, each area has its own requirements:
- In economic terms, beeline builds on its close partnership with manufacturers and sales partners and on respectful and appropriate dealings with each other – we want our business to be a win for all concerned. This will help ensure that our business model is a lasting one.
- With regard to social responsibility, our goal is to employ as many people who are involved in producing and selling our products as possible on reasonable terms. Our Code of Conduct serves as the standard for our working relationships with suppliers and clarifies our positions on ethically and morally appropriate labor conditions (including prohibition of child labor and forced labor). The full CoC is available on our company website.
- Our initiative regarding environmental impact is – in addition to the obligatory specifications regarding product safety – currently focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2), since we view climate change as one of the biggest challenges of our time. At the same time, we have also introduced a program to monitor waste management at our suppliers' end, which will now allow us to exert an influence. Our next focus will be on reducing water consumption.
Our website highlights a selection of our corporate responsibility activities. These activities include measures geared toward social aims and those focused on the environment.
We pay strict attention to ensure that our binding Code of Conduct is implemented. In addition, we support organizations such as OXFAM, Welthungerhilfe and a hospital in Chad.
To reduce our environmental impact, we have developed a method we can use to determine how much CO2 is emitted along our value chain. This knowledge allows us to focus on the areas where CO2 emissions are greatest in order to reduce these emissions as effectively as possible.
TOSH is the first of our brands for whose products we have achieved CO2 neutrality by planting trees.
In addition, we opened an energy-independent logistics center (BLC) in Cologne in 2009, an important step toward reducing our CO2 emissions. We received a "Green Building" certificate for this. This certification is only awarded to properties with highly energy-efficient, sustainable construction. (link)
A second logistics center has been commissioned in Memphis, Tennessee, to ensure a responsible transportation chain with minimal CO2 emissions.
At our stores in Germany, we have shifted to using electricity from hydroelectric and wind power, and we plan to shift our stores outside Germany to renewable energies as well – that alone will reduce our CO2 emissions by about one million kg per year.
We do not use PVC in our products or packaging in principle. This is checked through independent controls.
All of our packaging is disposed of via partner companies in places where these systems exist (like in the "Grüner Punkt," or Green Dot, system). The waste generated at our warehouse and in receiving is sorted and recycled separately. That is also true of things like displays that cannot be repaired.
Another way we are reducing packaging waste is by shifting to new poly bags. We need these small, transparent bags to get our products to the point of sale intact. January 2018 marks the start of a pilot program involving poly bags that are 100% recyclable. These bags will also improve the poly bag carbon footprint. This is a highly complex subject, so we hope the results of the pilot will be positive, bringing us closer to achieving a solution to this issue.
We want working on our items to be a win for all concerned. We gave careful thought to how we can ensure that our suppliers also observe conditions we feel are reasonable. That is especially true of employment.
Our Code of Conduct applies to everyone involved in producing our products. It is based on globally recognized standards set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO). It stipulates that we do not tolerate child labor or forced labor, for example, but that isn't all. This agreement also clarifies a wealth of other points (building safety, occupational safety, social conditions in the workplace, and more).
Compliance with these principles is checked through employee surveys and ensured by monitoring carried out by our own employees, business partners and third parties.
The full CoC is available on our company website.
Customers and interested members of the public will be able to learn more about sustainability both on our company website and on our social media channels. Our customer service team is also happy to help with any questions.
TOSH marks the start of this for us. During this pilot phase, we are studying the following:
- How our working relationship with the partners through which we neutralize the CO2 works
- How customers and partners respond to our activities in this area
If the outcome is positive with regard to both aspects, our goal is to make further brands CO2-neutral in the future.
Our barcodes make it possible to trace any item's origin. To ensure that social standards are upheld at the production sites and thus that humane labor conditions are observed, all of our suppliers are obligated to abide by our Code of Conduct.
Certain substances are not allowed to be used to produce our products. All items are checked by independent labs after they are completed. If an item does not pass the test, it is not shipped.
Yes! We have developed a specific Animal Welfare, Protection of Species and Nature Conservation Policy to which both we and our suppliers adhere. The policy is guided by the Red List published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Our production operations do not use any species classified by this list as threatened.