Sustainability has a long tradition at Migros. The founder Gottlieb Duttweiler converted Migros into a cooperative in 1941 and gave it to the Swiss public. As a cooperative, Migros is not obliged to serve the interests of investors. Instead, it is dedicated to socially sustainable growth for the benefit of all. This pays off: According to the 2014/15 Sustainability Ratings by the ratings agency Oekom research, Migros is the world's most sustainable retailer. Oekom research assessed the social and ecological commitment of 140 retailers worldwide. The Migros Group performed especially well in the areas of transport efficiency, climate protection, employees and suppliers.
"The Oekom Corporate Rating showed that Migros' commitment was above average - particularly in the areas of transport efficiency, climate protection and labour standards."
The principle of sustainability is part of the Migros culture, and the values "sense of responsibility" and "credibility" lie at the heart of the Group strategy. To Migros, this primarily means offering a broad range of sustainable products and services, serving as a partner for a healthy lifestyle, setting standards for climate protection and resource efficiency, being a model employer and promoting social cohesion.
As a member of Global Compact, a strategic initiative by the United Nations to promote corporate responsibility, Migros has also been committed to working towards international principles of human rights, labour law and environmental protection as well as fighting corruption, and supporting these within its area of influence since 2006.
With its Generation M sustainability programme, Cooperative Retailing has been pursuing specific sustainability objectives in the five spheres of activity consumption, environment, employees, society and health since 2012.
The Issue Management & Sustainability department is the central platform for the sustainability policy of the entire Migros Group and reports directly to the FMC's Chief Executive Officer. It ensures that the values "sense of responsibility" and "credibility" are upheld in all of the Migros Group's activities. It is also responsible for refining the sustainability strategy and sharing appropriate knowledge within the Migros Group. Specialist departments and line managers in all companies of the Group oversee the implementation and monitoring of social and ecological concerns.
To implement and control the sustainability objectives, Migros relies on different strategies and programmes in Cooperative Retailing and the Group. The achievement of these objectives is based on strategic key performance indicators that take into account economic, social and ecological aspects.
More than 60 objectives have been set so far, in the form of promises to children or teenagers. Migros thereby makes a binding commitment to its customers to protect the environment, promote sustainable consumption, act in a socially minded and exemplary way towards staff and society and enable a healthy lifestyle. Twice a year, Migros checks whether it is on course to meet the objectives and communicates the progress on its website.
The current progress report can be found here.
Seven new promises were launched in 2014, including one to create at least 2.5 million square metres of near-natural habitat for animals and plants by the end of 2015.
Generation M makes a considerable contribution towards raising awareness of key sustainability issues among employees and customers. In 2014, the main focus was on two areas: Migros performed various measures to raise awareness of the topic "enjoyment with a clear conscience" among customers, which included launching the Cumulus-Green initiative. Under the heading Sustainable Stores, Migros also raised awareness of recycling among its staff and customers by offering bags for separating plastic bottles correctly.
In 2014, Migros introduced a new Code of Conduct to increase its compliance. Furthermore, a range of basic social and ecological requirements have applied for all Migros Group companies since 2011.
In addition to the ten regional cooperatives and the FMC, which are responsible for the core business, the same 18 basic requirements for suppliers and product range are gradually being implemented in all retail and industry companies. The requirements also apply for companies that have been acquired by Migros in Switzerland and abroad. The directives contain the BSCI Code of Conduct, which aims to improve labour standards in global supply chains, as well as aspects relating to food safety, animal welfare and the protection of global fisheries and rainforests. Alongside the ten regional cooperatives and the FMC, 24 Migros Group companies implemented the basic requirements in 2014.
In addition, all companies of the Migros Group are bound by the 2020 climate and energy strategy, which requires them to make a contribution to climate protection, especially in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting environmentally friendly products. All companies were gradually incorporated into the environmental and energy management in 2014. Occupational health and safety is a new addition to the basic requirements.
Since 2013, the M-Industry companies have also had their own sustainability strategy, which includes more than 40 objectives in the areas of environment, economy and society. It makes an important contribution towards the sustainable orientation of Migros' value-added chain, as well as boosting the competitiveness of M-Industry and increasing its appeal as an employer. By 2015, all industrial companies will introduce management systems to implement and monitor the strategy. In addition, all M-Industry companies are implementing the international environmental management standard ISO 14001 and are working towards ISO 14001 certification in the coming years.
The retailers Globus and Interio have also had their own environmental and energy strategy since 2013. Key areas include logistics, waste and energy. The companies use environmentally friendly logistics partners and optimised route planning with intermodal transport (rail/lorry), for example. Waste is collected on all premises, and as much as possible is recycled.
Denner is also committed to increasing sustainability. It has its own sustainability strategy based on a five-pillar sustainability model covering the areas of energy/climate protection, waste/recycling, product/label, employees and society. The sustainability strategy not only improves upon existing standards but also leaves room for new sustainability measures that the discounter can pursue in the future.
The world's most sustainable retailer
The renowned ratings agency oekom research assessed the social and ecological commitment of 140 retailers worldwide. The Migros Group achieved the best result by far: Out of the 140 retailers that were assessed, the Migros Group is the only one to be awarded the grade B+ (very good). This makes Migros the world's most sustainable retailer.
In 2014, Migros came top out of 52 leading Swiss companies in the GfK Business Reflector, making it the most reputable company in Switzerland. This accolade is mainly due to its efforts in the area of sustainability. After 2010 and 2012, Migros regained its top position among the 52 rated companies in the reporting year.