CR Strategy

Where does our responsibility start? For us, the answer is clear: on the cotton field, in timber cultivation, energy generation and consumption – and with people in factories. We see the big picture and set demanding targets.


With the CR strategy 2020, the Otto Group systematically embeds sustainable action in its processes. In the future, we will integrate sustainability into the highest strategic planning and decision-making level of the Group.

Sustainability Strategy 2020

The CR strategy 2020, adopted in 2012, comprises five sub-strategies, each of which we have defined concrete objectives for. With these, the Otto Group contributes to the enhancement of the social and ecological conditions in its business environment and beyond. The objectives were created on the basis of previous analyses and their results from our management process impACT.


The five sub-strategies within the Sustainability Strategy

1. Textile Strategy - TARGET: 100 % sustainable cotton in own and licensed brands

The Otto Group intends to switch the entire volume of cotton used for own and licensed brands to sustainably cultivated cotton by 2020.

2. Furniture Strategy - TARGET: 100 % FSC®-certified furniture products
The range of wooden furniture is to be switched entirely to FSC®-certified articles by 2025.

3. Paper Strategy - TARGET: 60 % FSC®-certified gravure paper for catalogues and advertising materials
With its Paper Strategy, the Otto Group intends to increase the share of FSC®-certified paper to at least 55 % by the year 2019 and to 60 % by 2020.

4. Social Programme - TARGET: 100% integration of suppliers of own and licensed brands
By 2020, all suppliers are to be integrated into the Social Programme whose factories are in countries where compliance with minimum standards is not guaranteed, or only partially so. A supplier is considered to be ‘integrated’ when all of its factories that manufacture for the Otto Group can provide a valid and recognised certificate, audit or assessment.

5. Climate Strategy - TARGET: 50% reduction of CO2 emissions
CO2 emissions from locations, transport and mobility are to be halved by 2020, compared to the 2006 base year.

impACT – Analyse, Assess, Act

"impACT" is the foundation for our sustainable action. The name impACT combines ‘impact’ (negative effects) and the actions (‘act’) required to counter this. This management process, which we developed in-house, allows the Otto Group to fundamentally change the way in which we analyse the impact of our business activities on people and nature along the entire value chain, to assess them and to derive effective and efficient measures from the results. 

On the one hand we identify the effects of our business activities on the environment and the social risks along the whole value chain, and on the other hand we survey internal and external stakeholders. We develop strategic targets and operational measures based on the results of our materiality analysis. This allows us to focus our financial and employee resources in a way they have the most leverage. These measures are implemented under the umbrella of the Sustainability Strategy.

We have expanded our management process impACT in order to continue to act responsibly in the future. It forms the basis for our previous CR strategy, but also for our new CR strategy.


The new CR strategy

In order to continue to set standards and thus meet our own requirements as well as those of our stakeholders, we have developed our new CR strategy. It will replace the CR strategy 2020 expiring this year. To be able to react flexibly to changing framework conditions, the strategy is dynamic – for example, we can take up new topics, objectives or concrete key figures and continuously further develop the strategy. With the new strategy, the Otto Group provides a framework for the entire corporation: it sets binding, overarching targets – the individual Group companies define their own objectives and measures within it to achieve the Group-wide targets.

Seven topic areas define the framework for action of the new CR strategy of the Otto Group. For each topic area, we pursue a long-term objective (Transformational Goal) as well as short-term goals or focus topics for implementation in the coming years (Core Priorities).

  1. Climate" - The Otto Group wants to become climate neutral by 2030. The goal applies to locations, transportation, employee mobility as well as external data centres and cloud services. We want to achieve this objective by means of concrete measures to prevent or reduce CO2 emissions.
  2. Supply Chain“ - We face the great challenge of becoming effective in the deeper supply chain in order to meet our demands for decent working conditions and environmental protection. The main focus is on the desire for better communication with and greater transparency about our supply chains. 
  3. Sustainable Materials“ - We focus on essential materials in our product portfolio and expand the content scope compared to the CR strategy 2020 (e.g. fibers, wood, paper, packaging). The long-term goal is to use sustainable materials throughout our business and all our own products. 
  4. Circularity“ - In society as a whole, we are faced with the necessity of using our natural resources effectively and, ideally, establishing sustainable regenerative cycles. We see this as an opportunity to rethink existing business models and processes as well as to develop entirely new business models and we will support our Group companies in identifying potential in this area. 
  5. Conscious Customers“ - We want to empower and inspire our customers in making conscious and sustainable decisions. We will support the Group companies in developing ways of addressing customers and designing their product ranges – one of our short-term goals, for example, is for all Otto Group companies involved in the CR strategy to introduce a label for sustainable products by 2022.  
  6. Empowered Employees“ - We have understood that the topic of corporate responsibility is of great importance to many employees - together with the Group companies, we want to create opportunities for participation and show how to shape everyday working life.  
  7. Digital Responsibility“ - We are committed to responsible digitisation. In order to develop and implement effective solutions that take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitisation, we want to promote cross-social discourse – together with various interest groups from business, science, politics and civil society. Here it is important to move from talking to action: this is why we want to meet our claim to be a responsible player in the digital age with concrete measures and initiatives. 

Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals

With the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations have adopted a roadmap for the future that applies equally to all countries. Companies in particular are called upon to achieve these goals. For a better alignment of our CR activities with global challenges, the Otto Group has strategically embedded the SDGs in Group-wide sustainability management. Among other things, our strategy development was based on such objectives as a framework and the new CR strategy was systematically aligned with the SDGs.



Sustainability Reports, Studies and Code of Conduct

Working Conditions

Responsibility doesn’t end at the factory gates