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Bearing responsibility means acting

Responsibility is a central principle in the way our family company sees itself, and sustainable business practices are just as important for the world in which our customers and employees live as it is for us as a company. Sustainability is a fundamental element of our corporate governance and it is fixed at all levels. We have set short-, medium- and long-term goals not only for the way we manage the company but also for five concrete areas of activity we have defined. These are the supply chain, energy and the environment, customers and products, employees and finally society.

We are able to define some of our own areas of activity ourselves and we have made good progress here. For example, at the beginning of 2014 we put all of our German facilities through an energy check. By changing over to electricity from completely sustainable energy sources we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint dramatically. Furthermore, we have introduced a systematic energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 and identified potential areas for optimisation, which we are continuously implementing.

In the supply chain area, where we have the least influence, we need strong partners to help us master the global challenges. For instance, we are the first large German tea company to enter into a partnership with the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). The OTG, our largest subsidiary, published its first sustainability report in the middle of 2016 and such reports will be published every two years in which it documents the challenges, results and goals in the tea trade. The report was created in accordance to the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). It clearly illustrates where we are and where we want to get to as well as what kind of influence our activities also have on our brands.