Business and Biodiversity: Otto Group

Otto Group

Why and how we are committed to biodiversity

The Otto Group has a long tradition in environmentally-sound business activities. One that today is not trying to keep up with the current trend corporate responsibility, but one that is setting standards. From corporate responsibility managers to FSC-certified products to the ‘Biodiversity in Good Company’ Intiative the Otto Group is active. As far back as 1986, OTTO announced environmental protection as a specific corporate aim. Today, the conviction is firmly embedded in the Otto Group’s company culture that it can only achieve its aim and secure its own future if it follows sustainable business practices.

The Otto Group has signed the ‘Biodiversity in Good Company’ Initiative’s Leadership Declaration; in accordance with this the Otto Group has studied the impacts that its business activities have on biodiversity and has defined indicators to measure these. Thus, conserving biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components have been integrated into the Otto Group’s environmental management system. As a Group comprising retailers and commercial service providers, biodiversity considerations – particularly in terms of its product assortment and advertising materials – play a central role. This is why measurable and realistic aims were set as part of its CR Strategy 2020 for the companies in which the Otto Group has a majority shareholding. This applies in particular to the area of sustainable products in order to improve the conservation of biodiversity. For instance, in 2016 the Otto Group increased the share of FSC-certified timber to 46%, the share of sustainable cotton to 49%. 

The Corporate Responsibility area (CR) manages and coordinates CR activities across the Group and regularly reports to the Group Executive Board. The Otto Group also publishes its progress, aims and challenges in the annual report. On top of this, the Group informs suppliers about biodiversity objectives and activities and where appropriate, involves suppliers as part of the Group’s stakeholder dialogue activities.

Responsibility towards people and nature 

The Otto Group’s activities in the area of biodiversity are making an important contribution to achieving its vision, which places ‘taking responsibility towards people and nature’ at its heart. The Group’s activities are made visible internally, such as through its exhibition for employees and via the intranet, as well as externally through PR work. 

Furthermore, the Otto Group is gathering valuable experience and expertise in managing a resource-friendly value chain. At a time when the global demand for raw materials is continually rising, this serves not only to conserve biodiversity, but also makes an important contribution towards securing the Group’s future.

FactBox Otto Group

Hamburg, Germany

Major Products
Multichannel retail, services, financial services

Global turnover 2016/17
12.5 billion Euro

Global employees
49,787 (full time equivalents)

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