25.04.2017 | Hamburg
The proportion of FSC-certified products in the overall Otto Group furniture range rose to 46 per cent in 2016. The proportion of FSC-certified paper also rose to 34 per cent, with more sustainable paper being used for catalogues and other advertising materials than in previous years.
With its furniture and paper strategy, the international retail and services group is supporting the United Nations’ global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while simultaneously giving customers the opportunity to play their part in solving global problems by purchasing a sustainable product.
In comparison with the previous year, the Otto Group’s share of furniture made with FSC-certified wood rose by three percentage points to 46%. Taking into account a period of four years, the share of sustainable furniture in the overall range has almost doubled. The company has set itself the goal of only supplying furniture products which comply with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) by 2020. The FSC logo on a product shows consumers that the wood comes from forests which are managed responsibly.
The Group is heading in the right direction for the full FSC certification of its wooden furniture range, but faces challenges for various reasons: “First of all, the proportion of FSC-certified forest area in Germany is still relatively low, at approx. 10 per cent,” explains Andreas Streubig, Division Manager Sustainability Management at the Otto Group. Another challenge is the availability of FSC-certified wood-based materials on the German market, above all chipboard, which is not yet market-driven. “Supply and demand must add up and lead to a calculable, stable supply situation which is attractive for all parties. This is why we are campaigning for improved availability and increased demand for FSC-certified wood-based materials in Germany as part of a working group together with FSC representatives and other furniture retailers,” says Streubig.
Dealing responsibly with wood when manufacturing printed products also is an important lever for environmental protection. For this reason, the Otto Group wants to increase its share of FSC-certified paper to at least 50 per cent by 2018 with the help of its paper strategy.
The Otto Group has already switched to a figure of 34 per cent sustainable paper for its catalogues and advertising materials, which is still a source of inspiration for many customers. This correlates to a growth figure of six percentage points in comparison with the previous year and an overall quantity of more than 75,000 tonnes of FSC paper in 2016. When converted, this figure corresponds to a responsibly managed forest area of more than 59km2 if only as much timber is taken from the forest as naturally grows back. The area is equal to the size of Lake Starnberg in Bavaria or the Sachsenwald, the largest connected forest area in Schleswig-Holstein.
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Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally operating retail and services group with around 49,750 employees. The Group includes 123 major companies and is present in over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its business activities are grouped into three segments: Multichannel Retail, Financial Services and Service. In the 2016/17 financial year (to 28 February), according to preliminary calculation the Otto Group generated turnover of 12.5 billion euros. It is one of the world’s largest online retailer. E-commerce, catalogue sales and over-the-counter retail form the three pillars of the Otto Group’s Multichannel Retail strategy. Its worldwide corporate activities, numerous strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities to transfer know-how and leverage areas of synergy potential. Group companies operate largely independently, guaranteeing flexibility, customer proximity and optimum target-group appeal in their respective national markets.