For us at beeline, corporate responsibility is more than just a trendy topic; it is an integral element of our corporate culture. We feel a great obligation toward society and the environment, and we have developed a code of conduct within the company that applies to us and our partners. We are pleased to introduce our social commitment and involvement and the steps we have taken along the way to becoming a more sustainable company.
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT
Just like our customers, we don't want the low prices of our products to come at a high price elsewhere. We do not own factories or workshops of our own, but our suppliers are our partners, and each and every one of them has pledged to follow the specifications of our code of conduct.
Together with our suppliers, we have developed a management system that implements, monitors and communicates the rules from our code of conduct in practical terms. Our auditors, each of whom is based in the country where they work for us, check compliance with our standards and assist suppliers. In addition, both external organizations – such as INTERTEK, ELEVATE and BUREAU VERITAS – and our business partners check on-site at our production sites to ensure compliance with our standards.
The rules laid out in the code of conduct include the following:
- Prohibition of child labor
- Prohibition of forced labor
- Prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the workplace
- Ensuring safety and health in the workplace
- Ensuring the right to freedom of assembly and collective bargaining rights
- Fair pay and compensation
- Regulated working hours and transparent overtime rules
- Ecofriendly production processes and distribution channels
- Promotion of corporate ethics and anti-corruption
- Safeguarding animal welfare
To us, assuming corporate responsibility includes a respectful approach to resources and the natural world. Our collections change rapidly. That makes it all the more important to ensure that everything we do as a company is geared toward long-term sustainability, including – and especially – when it comes to the environment. We have already banned PVC from all of our products and packaging. For our brands, we have committed to reduce CO2 emissions. And whatever "leftovers" there may be are neutralized through reforestation. For further details, please see this section:
To find out how much CO2 is emitted annually for our products, from production of the raw materials to delivery to our logistics centers, we have developed a TÜV Nord-certified method that we can use to determine the amount of CO2 across the entire value chain. This allows us to determine where we especially need to take action in order to effectively reduce emissions.
We also aim to neutralize the full amount of CO2 generated in the case of the products. This means working within reforestation projects to plant enough trees to fully absorb the emissions.
We invest in the Bergwaldprojekt (Mountain Forest Project), which works toward reforestation in Europe, and Project Togo. This project not only supports reforestation efforts in West Africa, but also creates jobs, schools and water sources, builds healthcare centers and promotes the use of renewable energies in the region.
Our partner NATUREOFFICE supports us with implementation. The activities we pursue to neutralize the CO2 generated by our products can be tracked anytime at natureOffice.com (ID: DE-077-208855).
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 Green Building certification is awarded to properties with highly energy-efficient, sustainable construction. A second logistics center has been commissioned in Memphis, Tennessee, to ensure a responsible transportation chain with minimal CO2 emissions outside Europe as well. At all our stores in Germany, we have already shifted to using electricity from hydroelectric and wind power, and we plan to shift our stores outside Germany to renewable energies as well.
HIGH STANDARDS FOR ANIMAL WELFARE
We pay strict attention to ensuring animal welfare. Still, some of the materials we use in our production operations are of animal origin. For that reason, 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). For our products of animal origin, such as leather, we guarantee that they do not come from species classified by this list as threatened.
STRINGENT QUALITY CONTROLS IN PRODUCTION
Health is important – and jewelry and substances worn directly on the skin are a particular area of focus in health terms. Our products are subject to the stringent EU and U.S. directives and regulations; we always look to the more stringent regulations for guidance. In the EU, the REACH Regulation is particularly relevant to our products. We have defined a comprehensive Chemical Restriction Policy, and our suppliers are obligated to comply with the limits set out in this policy. We have compliance checks performed by recognized, accredited labs on a regular basis.
SOCIAL COMMITMENT AND INVOLVEMENT
We aim to give back to society, so we support social projects. For information on which ones, please see this section:
Cooperation with OXFAM
We began working with the charity organization OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief), a global emergency relief and development organization that works toward a world free of injustice and poverty, in 2009.
OXFAM Ireland purchases seasonal products under the SIX and I AM labels and accessories on special terms and sells them via its own stores. In 2015/2016 alone, these sales via OXFAM stores generated about 477,000 euros for social projects.
Our latest coup comes in the form of purely accessory stores operated by OXFAM under the name SIX 4 Good. The first SIX 4 Good store opened in Dublin in early July 2017, and there are plans for additional shops in Ireland.
We have supported Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in the fight against hunger and poverty since 2008. We regularly organize charity auctions, such as sales of charity jewelry collections. These activities have allowed us to contribute more than 440,000 euros in donations to Welthungerhilfe in recent years.
Hospital in Chad
beeline has been involved in supporting a hospital in the Central African country of Chad since 2003. Since then, we have provided about 1.7 million euros in direct support, financing the training of numerous physicians and assistants locally and helping to improve the hospital's supply of necessary medications and equipment.