Strengthening Strategic Partnerships and Promoting Dialogue
On our way towards becoming a sustainable business, we are committed to ensuring compliance with social and environmental standards in the production of our goods. Our sourcing strategy builds on solid partnerships and we cooperate with our strategic supplies in the context of the WE (Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality) Programme. Together with the managers and workers, we develop concrete solutions for improving working conditions and environmental protection in factories. In factories new to our portfolio or those located in countries where we have not yet established the WE Programme, we conduct audits to check compliance with standards. Only if minimum requirements are met, orders will be placed.
Our sourcing strategy rests on building long-term partnerships with strategic suppliers. We work closely with the factories to introduce sustainable improvements in the social and environmental conditions at the production-level. With our WE Programme, we have created an approach within which workers and managers in the factories can develop solutions themselves. Factories that are not yet part of the programme will be audited to monitor their compliance with the Tchibo Social and Environmental Code of Conduct (SCoC).
The WE Programme: From Pilot Project to Far-Reaching Engagement
The WE Programme supports factories in developing and emerging markets to comply with the social standards of the SCoC. Moreover, business aspects such as quality, productivity and efficiency are also addressed, since these can have a positive impact on issues such as working hours or pay. In the WE Programme, factories can address the issues that are most relevant to them and find solutions that fit their needs. In addition to social issues, environmental and climate protection issues have played an important part of WE trainings since 2014 (Environmental aspects of production).
Including all Parties in the WE training program
WE is based on an innovative and interactive approach, that creates a level playing field for managers and workers to engage in dialogue on such important issues as fair wages, health and safety or production processes. Experienced WE trainers help participants to understand the other’s perspective and push for the implementation of joint solutions to workplace issues. Even issues that can be more difficult to detect, such as discrimination or violations of workers' rights, are addressed. The pilot phase of the WE Programme (2007-2011) was carried out in partnership with the GIZ, and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since the completion of the pilot phase, Tchibo has expanded the WE Programme to all its strategic suppliers, with 320 participating thus far (Sustainable supply chains).