Otto Group significantly increases order quantity for sustainable cotton and saves 33 billion litres of water

21.03.2017 | Hamburg

In 2016, the Otto Group increased its share of sustainable cotton to 49 percent, thus achieving another success with its ambitious sustainability strategy. Through the use of the certified sustainable cotton with the “Cotton made in Africa” (CmiA) label, more than 33 billion litres of water were saved. With its long-term textile strategy, the international retail and services group also contributes to the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Customers who buy articles from the Otto Group with the CmiA label thus actively contribute, among other things, to saving the precious resource of water, combatting poverty and improving the future viability of millions of people in Africa.

In 2016, the Otto Group continued the positive development of recent years and almost doubled its order quantity for sustainable cotton in its own and licensed brands compared to the year before. With an increase of 22 percentage points to 49 percent of the total cotton volume, the Group is on an excellent course to converting the entire order quantity for its own and licensed brands to sustainable cotton by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the Otto Group relies on cotton from certified organic farming, but above all on cotton certified according to the CmiA standard.

In comparison with global average, CmiA cotton saves about 2,100 litres of water per kilogramme of cotton fibre through the exclusive use of rainwater. By purchasing almost 16,000 tons of CmiA-certified cotton in 2016, the Otto Group has helped to save more than 33 billion litres of water in cotton farming. This amount of water would supply around 750,000 people in Germany for a whole year*. That’s roughly equivalent to the population of Frankfurt am Main.

“Growing cotton usually requires high quantities of water”, stresses Andreas Streubig, Division Manager Sustainability Management at the Otto Group. “CmiA cotton is not artificially irrigated, but is grown exclusively with rainwater. By supporting the initiative ‘Cotton made in Africa’, we are therefore not only helping to improve the living conditions of cotton farmers and their families in the long term, we are also, especially, protecting one of the most valuable resources in the world - water.”

With this and many other activities, the Otto Group is also making a decisive contribution to achieving the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs), which were adopted at a United Nations Summit in 2015 by all the member states. With the Agenda, the international community addresses global challenges such as poverty, education, equality, but also access to clean drinking water and the promotion of sustainable consumption. With its Group-wide sustainability strategy, the Otto Group supports the objectives of the Agenda and helps to shape global economic development in conformity with social and environmental requirements.

*The daily per capita water consumption in Germany was 122 liters in 2015 (Source: statista).

Textile Strategy 2020 of the Otto Group
Textile Strategy 2020 of the Otto Group
Download (0,20 MB)
Otto Group - Water saving in 2016 through CmiA cotton
Otto Group - Water saving in 2016 through CmiA cotton
Download (0,24 MB)


Media Contact

Nicole Sieverding

Tel.: +49 40 6461 3179



About the Otto Group

Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally operating retail and services group with around 49,600 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 2015/16 financial year (to 29 February), the Otto Group generated turnover of 12.1 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.