Know-How Re' Summit

Implementing Due Diligence at Coop

With a wide product range and global supply chains, the challenge lies in keeping track of negative impacts of business operations and employing resources appropriately, in order to prevent, mitigate, cease and remediate them.

Coop takes responsibility towards society and the environment and is committed to respecting human rights and protecting the environment along its supply chains, from production and processing to the sale of products. This way, Coop creates transparency and fulfills its due diligence in the supply chains.

Various legal initiatives in Switzerland and the EU call for corporate due diligence regulations. In Switzerland, the indirect counter-proposal to the Corporate Responsibility Initiative has entered into force. This requires a "Due Diligence" obligation from companies for products where reasonable suspicion of child labour exists and for them to produce a report on the areas of environment, social issues and human rights, and thus creating transparency.

Due Diligence Process

When undertaking due diligence, Coop follows the due diligence guidelines and process of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Coop regularly conducts risk analyses of own-label brands. Coop systematically analyses which human rights and environmental protection risks exist, or could arise in the future, as a result of the relevant business relationships and activities. Identified sustainability risks, solutions and measures are formulated in the Coop guidelines as mandatory requirements which business partners must fulfil. These Guidelines are dynamic and are regularly revised. E.g. on the website Actions, not words the statement on human rights of the Chairman of the Executive Board can be found.

The creation of transparency along the entire supply chain is the basis for managing production risks. Coop has defined 18 critical raw materials for which production has a known major impact on social aspects, the environment or animal welfare. These include meat, milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants, fish and seafood, coffee, cocoa, tea, palm oil, rice, soya (as animal feed), hazelnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, coconut and coconut oil, wood and paper products and cotton.

For these raw materials in particular, it is necessary to ascertain additional information.

The annual supply chain mapping projects allows Coop to create a detailed list of supply chains for specific products. This means Coop is able to check its supply chains for existing risks and implement measures to minimize risks where necessary.

In the annual “Sustainability Progress Report” Coop reports on the current status in terms of attaining the multi-year targets. Insights from the risk analysis as well as the implemented or planned measures are continuously communicated on the “Actions, not words” website.

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