Our sustainability strategy

We believe that sustainability should not be a separate strategy; instead, it must be firmly enshrined in the company’s core business. Therefore, at Coop sustainability is integrated into the Articles of Association, our Mission Statement and the missions of the sales formats that bear the Coop name. Our approach is based on three pillars and ensures that sustainability feeds into all relevant corporate divisions.

We want to get to the top with sustainability. This benefits not only the company but is also in the general public interest. To achieve this we rely on the three pillars of our sustainability strategy concept:

  • Coop's sustainability strategy concept

Pillar 1: Sustainable products

We stock more than 15 000 sustainable products. That means we offer one of the world’s largest and most varied ranges of sustainable products. To continually expand this and maintain its appeal, we work closely with partners who guarantee the highest possible standards. With our comprehensive selection of organic, animal-friendly, fairtrade products, we make it possible for consumers to shop in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. In this way, we have a major impact. We are also committed to ensuring compliance with demanding minimum standards at all stages in the supply chain. We work with our business partners to foster respect for people, animals and nature across our entire product range.

Pillar 2: Environment and climate protection

In 2008 we set ourselves the goal of being completely CO2-neutral by 2023. To lower carbon dioxide emissions, we are continuously reducing our energy consumption and using renewable sources of energy. Foresighted investment and sustainable construction have enabled us to make savings of around CHF 100 million that have been passed on to our customers through lower prices. Using resources efficiently, the latest standards for sustainable construction and effective waste management and recycling are also important to us.

Pillar 3: Employees and social commitment

As a cooperative, we have a special commitment to society and our employees as well as to our members. We are the second largest provider of apprenticeships in Switzerland. Around 37 000 employees throughout the country benefit from the best collective employment agreement in the Swiss retail sector, a wide range of training and development opportunities and good career prospects. Since 1942, Coop Aid for Mountain Regions has supported families and businesses in Switzerland's mountain regions and organizations such as the Schweizer Tafel and Tischlein Deck Dich food banks, which distribute perfectly edible food to people in need. We have been working with the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) for many years and have been an official partner since 2015.

An important tool in this pillar is the Sustainability Fund, through which we co-finance research, development and awareness-raising projects in Switzerland and abroad.

Sustainability principles

Our Executive Committee approved the first environmental policy principles in 2001. These were expanded in 2006 to include sustainability principles and revised in 2017. They define the guidelines that apply in implementing the over-arching goals.

These are our 10 principles for sustainability:

  • We make a major contribution on behalf of people, animals and the environment.
  • We practise sustainability throughout the Coop Group as part of our corporate activities.
  • We are the most proficient provider of sustainable products.
  • We take sustainability requirements into account along the entire range.
  • We reduce energy consumption and protect the climate by systematically reducing CO2 emissions.
  • We reduce and optimize our use of materials and ingredients as well as the amount of waste we generate.
  • We have innovative and environmentally compatible mobility and logistics solutions.
  • We are a progressive and fair employer.
  • We live up to our social responsibility and are committed to fair competition.
  • We communicate transparently and engage in dialogue with our stakeholders in a spirit of partnership.

Long-term objectives

As a company, we take a long-term view. In 2013, to create an overarching framework for our commitment to sustainability throughout the Coop Group, we set goals to be achieved by 2020 for the whole company.

These multi-year targets run until 2020 and establish the key focal areas and specific quantitative and qualitative guidelines for retail, wholesale and production. The requirements of different markets were taken into account when setting the targets.

Goals for pillar 1: Sustainable products and services

  • We are the most proficient provider of particularly sustainable ranges.
  • We have transparent product chains that consider humans, animals and the environment.

Goals for pillar 2: Resource efficiency and climate protection

  • We significantly reduce energy consumption and protect the climate by systematically reducing CO2 emissions.
  • We reduce and optimize our use of specific materials and ingredients as well as the amount of waste we generate.
  • We have innovative and environmentally compatible mobility and logistics solutions.

Goals for pillar 3: Employees and social commitment

  • We are a progressive and fair employer.
  • We take our social responsibilities seriously