In order to meet its own requirements for ecological and social sustainability, the Otto Group goes beyond legal requirements and fulfills numerous standards and voluntary commitments. For this reason, we report on our progress in a combined annual and sustainability report, comply with the requirements of the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG) that have been in force since 2023, and publish key figures on greenhouse gas management as part of the Carbon Disclosure Project Reporting. In addition, we define requirements for corporate responsibility in various policies for our business partners and our own business processes, and align our business activities to our compass of values, the Code of Ethics.
To meet the many compliance challenges, we have installed a compliance management system that continuously reviews and controls processes.
Climate protection and socially responsible business practices became part of our corporate strategy as early as 1986, which is why reporting on our sustainability targets and measures is also an integral part of our annual report.
The Supply Chain Act has been in force since January 1, 2023. Large companies with more than 3,000 employees in Germany are now legally obliged to analyze and monitor compliance with human rights, working conditions and environmental standards along their supply chain and to take remedial action in the event of grievances. According to the current interpretation of the law, the Otto Group companies that fall within the scope of application publish their corresponding reporting independently on their websites.
For the first time, the Otto Group published its reporting in accordance with the requirements of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in 2022. With an overall grade of B, we are in line with the European average, but above the average for the "Trading, wholesale, distribution, rental & leasing" industry. With this disclosure, we are fulfilling our obligation as a member of the "UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action", in which the Otto Group has been particularly committed to the topic of greenhouse gas management in the supply chain in recent years. The CDP reporting can be viewed by registered users here.
In 2022, we committed to developing a Science Based Target (SBT), i.e. a science-based reduction target for our greenhouse gas emissions that is compliant with the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement. We aim to achieve net zero emissions along the entire value chain by 2045 at the latest. As most of the greenhouse gas emissions we cause occur in the upstream value chain, we will also address this key emissions area in the future.
We have been a member of the "Partnership for Sustainable Textiles" since 2015. The Otto Group has supported the German government's initiative from the beginning and has represented the interests of the business community in the steering committee since joining. Since 2017, we have published an annual roadmap with individual targets and measures, and since 2018, progress reports with target achievements. All reports have been externally and independently verified and since 2020 have been replaced by a review report on the Otto Group profile on the Textile Partnership's website.
The Human Rights Declaration defines our aspiration with regard to human rights in our own companies and the value chain. For us, human rights are non-negotiable and it is our duty to uphold respect for human rights together with our business partners. Our Declaration is based on international reference instruments, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also provides an overview of the key processes we have implemented in the Otto Group to fulfill our human rights due diligence obligations. Further information on our approach to the topic of human rights can be found here >>
Every business partner is required to sign the "Business Partner Declaration on Sustainability". In this document, we bundle all our requirements for our business partners for merchandise. Signing the document is the basic requirement for a business relationship with an Otto Group company.
Our social standards and rules on environmental protection, occupational health and safety are laid down in a Code of Conduct. It applies to all employees, business partners and suppliers. The Otto Group uses the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct for merchandise, which is integrated into our Business Partner Declaration as Annex 1.
The Otto Group's basic requirements for its service providers, non-merchandise suppliers and their subcontractors are governed by a separate Code of Conduct and are essentially based on internationally applicable standards such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and applicable ILO conventions, as well as the legislation of the respective country.
The Otto Group has installed a whistleblower system ("SpeakUp") as a central mechanism for reporting suspected infringements. It gives internal and external stakeholders an opportunity to contact the Otto Group in confidence. The platform is available in several languages and can be used anonymously, thus guaranteeing the highest level of protection for whistleblowers and sensitive data. Every piece of information submitted to the portal is checked at several stages by proven experts.
Many different factories around the world produce for the Otto Group. The publication of the locations is an important step towards more transparency. A map shows where the factories of the most important producers are located and also provides information on factory audits. The darker the color coding, the more important the country is for the Otto Group's sourcing activities. A list of business partners and facilities is available here >>
An awareness of values is rooted in our DNA. Our ethical convictions are defined and encapsulated in our Code of Ethics and set of guiding values. At their core, these values are non-negotiable.
Purchasing plays a significant role in the exercise of human rights and environmental due diligence, because it is here that decisions are made as to where products come from. In addition to criteria such as price, quality and delivery times, sustainability aspects also play an important role. We have formulated specific requirements for this. These also help our business partners to act more sustainably. We have anchored our claim to responsible purchasing practices here.
„NOW“ – The Otto Group sustainability magazine in cooperation with GEO can be ordered here as a print copy, read as an ePaper or downloaded as a PDF.
Ethical consumption has gone from being a trend to a requirement. The Otto Group has been accompanying this development for many years. In 2007, we commissioned the first "Trend Report on Ethical Consumption" from our partner Trendbüro. Five surveys followed (2009, 2011, 2013, 2020 and 2022). An overview of all studies is available here >>