Business and Biodiversity: Tchibo



As a family business, Tchibo plans for the long term. Assuming social and environmental responsibility is natural for the company. In 2006 Tchibo integrated sustainability goals into its corporate strategy.

In line with this corporate strategy “Future needs heritage”, Tchibo is on the way towards a 100 % sustainable business. For Tchibo biodiversity is an essential requirement to run a long-term viable business. Particularly at the origin of the products, Tchibo cooperates with suppliers and partner organisations on preserving biodiversity.

Together with partners as
• Rainforest AllianceTM for coffee,
• Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) for wood and paper as well as
• Textile Exchange for certified organic cultivation of cotton,

Tchibo promotes the preservative use of resources and mixed cultivation. The proportion of products containing sustainable qualities is increased continuously.

The membership in the 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative is another important milestone of biodiversity related activities: As a part of the core business as well as of the engagement with society Tchibo supports the change towards a sustainable business, even beyond its own value chains.

Against this background the integration of biodiversity into management, controlling and reporting systems is natural for Tchibo. Because: Change especially happens when it is actively shaped and communicated.


„Good coffee needs a healthy environment“– an important reason for the Tchibo engagement to preserve biodiversity. 

Healthy ecosystems with an appropriate biodiversity are basic requirements for the growth of sufficient amounts of natural high-quality products like coffee, cotton or wood. The conservation of biological diversity is thus essential for the unique Tchibo business model. In addition, e.g. mixed cultivation facilitates the generation of further income for coffee and cotton farmers, and thus contributes to a further local economical development.

Biodiversity can also be useful in intra-corporate processes: In the  “Bionos” project Tchibo analysed biological value chains like the one of the honeybee and identified organisational principles, which support the solution of process-related challenges. Based on these principles, new company-related development options were defined. Later on, these were transformed into concrete measures. The most important measures, like the implementation of comprehensive information networks, are now put into test at Tchibo.

These first insights have already shown to the company that the sustainable continuation of the Tchibo business model as well as a vital and liveable future is only possible with biodiversity. It has to be assumed that the real importance of biodiversity is much higher than previously thought.

FactBox Tchibo

Hamburg, Germany

Major products
Coffee, Non Food Consumer Goods

Global turnover 2011
3,5 billion Euro

Global employees 2011

Further information & good practice

Tchibo Sustainability Report 2013 update