Protecting our planet is firmly rooted in the Otto Group’s traditions, as environmental protection was defined a corporate goal as early as 1986. Today, we are working with ambitious targets to further minimize our ecological footprint. In doing so, we consider the impact of our products on the climate, ecosystems and society over their entire life cycle: from the extraction of raw materials to production conditions, from material consumption and shipping to use and disposal by customers. We can achieve the greatest impact by using sustainable materials with regard to textile fibers, wooden furniture, cataloge paper and packaging. In addition, we are also pursuing the long-term goal of reducing emissions along the entire value chain to net zero by 2045.
Climate protection became part of our corporate strategy back in 1986. Since then, we have achieved a great deal. CO₂ emissions in our own business operations were more than halved between 2006 and 2020 – completely without compensation. But we have not yet reached our goal: By 2030, the Otto Group wants to be climate-neutral in all core processes. This includes our own locations, transports and employee mobility. Since 2021, our carbon footprint has also included emissions from the processing of our data in externally operated data centers and cloud services. We have set an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025 compared with 2018.
The Otto Group is also working intensively on aligning its climate targets and climate protection activities with the Paris Climate Agreement and the 1.5 degree target formulated therein. It has officially committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative to develop a target for the Otto Group within the next two years.
Sustainable materials such as FSC®-certified wood or sustainable cotton are an important component in fully recyclable products. That is why we are working to switch more and more materials to sustainable alternatives in all our products. The Otto Group's long-term goal is to use sustainable materials in all products.
The Otto Group was a pioneer in the area of animal welfare: As early as 1988, we removed furs of endangered species or species that are not kept in a manner appropriate to the species, such as mink, marten and sable, from our product range. Since 1991, real fur has generally been banned from our range.
With regard to our animal welfare-related products, we adhere to the following principles, which are set out in our Animal Welfare Policy:
We reject products that contain mohair or angora, as well as products from live plucking and foie gras production. In addition, the use of mulesing practices on sheep is not permitted and only alpaca and cashmere wool that has been certified with independent recycling or animal welfare standards or that meets others standards may be used. We adhere to strict guidelines when selling leather and wool products, as well as goods containing down. As of 2024, only leather and hides are permitted as a by-product of food production from the following domesticated animal species: Cattle, Buffalo, Pig, Goat, Sheep and Yak. We are also steadily expanding the proportion of certified materials: From 2028, down, feathers, sheep's wool, alpaca and cashmere will only be allowed 100% certified.
In addition, the Otto Group has been a member of the international "Fur Free Retailer" program since 2014, whose signatories commit not to use real fur. This sends a clear public signal for animal welfare over and above our previous voluntary commitment to go fur-free.
We are also aware of our responsibility in the textile manufacturing process. In a nutshell, this means that we are committed to ensuring that a minimum of chemicals is used in dyeing, washing and printing. To this end, we have launched the EMPact program to help our business partners in China, Bangladesh and Turkey, among other countries, to make their processes more environmentally friendly and safer for their employees.
Products we put on the market meet high quality standards - often beyond the legal requirements. This applies to potentially hazardous residues as well as general equipment safety. Even stricter guidelines apply to children's clothing and toys.