Non-Food, Travel and Tourism:
Standards for transparency
REWE Group is committed to providing its customers with more sustainable products in all areas. This also includes store-brand products in the textile and household-goods ranges, the products sold by toom Baumarkt DIY stores and the travel opportunities of DER Touristik.
In its Guideline for Sustainable Business Practices, REWE Group expressly pledges itself to complying with labour and social standards in its supply chain, an operation that is extremely complex in certain areas. To actively implement this guideline and to bring it to life, REWE Group works in a wide range of organisations and initiatives and maintains an intense dialogue with its suppliers.
Maintaining Minimum Social Standards
REWE Group has committed itself to continuously increasing revenue generated with products made by socially audited factories. In 2014, 89 per cent of revenue produced with products acquired by the company's own purchasing cooperative REWE Far East (RFE) came from socially audited factories. Production sites also receive systematic assistance during consulting and training sessions with the aim of helping them meet the requirements of social standards. Beginning in 2014, importers with whom REWE Group works must demonstrate their production sites have been audited in accordance with a recognised social standard. In addition, all purchasing employees at the RFE and in the headquarters in Germany receive regular training about social standards in the supply chain.
In 2008, REWE Group became a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), an organisation committed to improving labour and social standards in risk countries. REWE Group also accepts such social standards as the ICTI (International Council of Toy Industries) standard for toys and the SA8000 standard, which is considered to be best practice in the area of social auditing.
Improving Textile Production
In 2013, REWE Group began to play an active role in the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. This alliance of branded product producers, retailers and unions is working to make textile production in Bangladesh safer. As part of this effort, factories that are undergoing social audits requested by REWE Group are also being subjected to careful building and fire safety inspections. Improvement measures are then checked.
To make textile production more environmentally friendly, REWE Group initiated its own programme called SITEX – Safe Textiles – in 2014 and has joined the DETOX campaign organised by Greenpeace. The aim: to eliminate all environmentally harmful chemicals from textile production by 2020.
Pacesetter in More Environmentally Friendly Packaging
In the area of sustainable packaging, toom Baumarkt DIY stores have become a trendsetter within REWE Group. In 2011, for instance, the DIY stores began to sell their white store brand paint in containers made completely from recycled plastic. Lacquers sold under the toom quality brand have been sold in recycled cans since 2012. By 2014, a total of 30 products were being offered in paint containers made of recycled plastic (Procyclen®). The CO2 emissions attributed to containers made of this material are up to 50 per cent less than the levels generated in the production of new paint buckets. The containers can also be reused as frequently as desired. In January 2015, toom Baumarkt DIY stores added a paint tray made of recycled plastic to its product range.
Widening the More Sustainable Range
A wide range of changes help people and the environment: In 2013, toom Baumarkt DIY stores initiated a "bee-friendly" review of its products. As a result, it does not sell any pesticides classified with hazard level B1 in the German "bee protection regulation". Soon, toom Baumarkt DIY stores will no longer sell the herbicide glyphosate that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described as being probably carcinogenic: The herbicide will be removed from the product range by autumn 2015 – even though a decision about extending EU authorisation is still pending. toom Baumarkt is the first DIY company in Germany that has taken this step. As part of the product range adjustment, customers have been provided with an extensive amount of information regarding more environmentally friendly pest management practices that avoid the use of chemicals altogether.
This no-chemicals approach is also being applied in the wood protection area at toom Baumarkt DIY stores: In spring 2014, water-based wood paints, interior stains and wood oils in the quality store brand began to be offered. Water used as a natural solvent is odourless and poses no threat to people's health or to the environment. In another reflection of this commitment to the environment, customers can purchase wood and paper from sustainable forestry. In February 2013, toom Baumarkt DIY stores received FSC® and PEFC™ product chain certification. Both independent certification systems promote environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically oriented forest management.
In 2014, toom Baumarkt DIY stores began to offer organic-quality plants, potting soil and fertiliser under the brand name Naturtalent. The stores have also expanded their range of peat-free and reduced-peat soils to promote natural gardening. In its Guideline for Natural Stone Products, REWE Group defines the key standards that producers and processors of natural stone must fulfil.
Environmental Protection in Travel and Tourism
In the hotel business, environmental standards are playing an increasingly important role among travellers. Many hotel operators are implementing programmes designed to address this need and are demonstrating their commitment to the environment through the use of certificates. DER Touristik is supporting this effort: Working with the independent organisation ECOTRANS, DER Touristik has selected 23 certificates from a group of more than 160 that cover a broad range of sustainability areas and are subject to external evaluation. By listing this selection of certificates in the catalogues issued by DERTOUR and MEIER'S WELTREISEN, ITS, Jahn Reisen and ADAC Reisen, DER Touristik provides its sustainability conscious customers with specific travel-planning assistance and creates an incentive for hotel operators and partners to operate their businesses in an environmentally friendly manner. As part of this work in 2013, DER Touristik published the brochure WegweisenDER (The Travel Guide) that outlines the various environmental certificates and the criteria that apply to them.