The interests of the public must take priority over those of the company. This rule was laid down in the Migros statutes by Gottlieb Duttweiler in 1941, thereby anchoring sustainable and responsible actions in the company philosophy.
Today, the Issue Management & Sustainability department, a staff function of the FMC Executive Board, helps the Migros Group to maintain its leading position in the area of sustainability and make an even bigger commitment to the cause. According to the 2015 Sustainability Ratings by the ratings agency oekom research, Migros is the world's most sustainable retailer.
To Migros, sustainability 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.
Sustainability is an integral component of corporate activity. The values 'sense of responsibility' and 'credibility' lie at the heart of the Group strategy.
Migros has been a member of Global Compact, a strategic initiative by the United Nations to promote corporate responsibility, since 2006. In line with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the company is committed to working towards international principles of human rights, labour law and environmental protection as well as fighting corruption within its area of influence.
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 Federation of Migros Cooperatives (FMC), which are responsible for the core business, the same 18 basic requirements for suppliers and product range are being gradually implemented in all retail and industry companies. The requirements are also mandatory for companies that have been acquired by the Migros Group in Switzerland and abroad.
The directives contain the BSCI Code of Conduct, for example, 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, 28 Migros Group companies implemented the basic requirements in 2015.
The basic requirements for corporate environmental protection are also mandatory for all companies of the Migros Group. They include measures in the areas of climate, energy and waste. Each company has individual targets and thereby makes its own contribution to climate protection and resource efficiency.
Migros has a monitoring system in place to check the achievement of targets. On the basis of strategic KPIs (key performance indicators), not only business, but social and environment-related company achievements, such as the level of fulfilment of the BSCI Code of Conduct and CO2 emissions, can be measured. To improve data management, the FMC Executive Board decided in the reporting year to introduce a decentralised IT tool, which enables each company to manage and analyse their sustainability data themselves in future. The plan is for all Migros companies to have access to the tool by the end of 2016.
The Migros Group takes its responsibilities towards society and its employees seriously. It also encourages a healthy lifestyle among the Swiss population.
Migros Culture Percentage has been dedicating itself to the social cohesion of people in Switzerland since 1957. The Engagement Migros development fund, established in 2012, extends social responsibility to all companies of the Migros Group. The Migros Aid Fund supports social and ecological development aid projects in Switzerland and abroad, with the aim of helping people to help themselves.
In Switzerland, 64.1% of the 87'383 employees benefit from exemplary and progressive working conditions, which are governed in the three collective labour agreements "L-GAV Migros", "GAV in globo" and "GAV Travel". Migros trains 3'700 trainees.
Health is firmly anchored in the group strategy under the aspect of quality of life. Migros already makes a contribution towards a healthy lifestyle among the Swiss population and is aiming to make an even bigger commitment in this area in the future.
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.
More than 60 objectives have been set so far in the form of promises. Twice a year, Migros checks whether it is on course to meet the objectives. More information can be found in the latest progress report.
In 2015, a new promise was made in the area of environmentally friendly gardening. Migros has promised to double its sales of organic fertilisers, soil and pesticides to 25% between 2013 and the end of 2020. At the same time, twenty promises have expired: 15 were successfully implemented and five could not be met.
Among other things, Migros managed to expand its organic range. Between 2012 and the end of June 2015, the company also gave a total of 173'553 migrants, and a further 24'554 until end of 2015, the opportunity to learn more about our culture and language, as well as making 239'140 children and young people aware of important environmental issues.
Although sales of Fairtrade Max Havelaar products were very encouraging, Migros did not manage to expand its range by 75% in comparison to 2011. At the end of 2015, Migros offered 175 products certified under the Fairtrade Max Havelaar label. The range has been expanded by 26% since 2011, although this is well below the planned figure. Although Migros overestimated the potential for expanding the range, it has still managed to boost sales of Fairtrade products considerably. Between 2011 and 2015, sales of Fairtrade Max Havelaar products rose by around 40%.
It also failed to meet its promise to increase the proportion of energy-efficient products carrying the Topten label. This is because television sets account for almost half of Migros' sales. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Neither the models featuring 4K technology nor the brand-new OLED televisions meet the Topten energy efficiency criteria. As a result, it has not been possible to increase the proportion of Topten sales with TVs.
Cooperative Retailing introduced a marketing strategy in the reporting year that will help Migros to achieve its sustainability objectives.
Since 2013, the M-Industry companies have 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.
All companies of M-Industry are aiming to become certified according to ISO 14001 by 2020.
In the reporting year, all M-Industry companies assisted the introduction of a sustainability management system in order to implement and monitor the strategy. In addition to introducing an environmental management system according to ISO 14001, it also involves implementing social and economic objectives. Eight M-Industry companies are already certified according to ISO 14001, while the remaining ones are aiming to become certified by the end of 2020. For the first time ever, M-Industry is publishing its own sustainability report.
In 2015, the FMC Executive Board also decided that the Migros retailers (including Saviva), along with Hotelplan and Migros Bank, must develop industry-specific sustainability objectives for 2020. The objectives will be finalised by summer 2016.
The ratings agency oekom research assessed the social and ecological commitment of retailers worldwide. The Migros Group achieved the best result by far:
Migros is among the top companies in the WWF environmental rating.
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.
Migros enjoyed the best reputation among Switzerland's leading 52 companies in the reporting year. According to the authors of the GfK Business Reflector 2015, Migros came first due to its edge in the area of sustainability in particular. An overview of the most important prizes and awards can be found on the website.
Migros is also among the top companies in the WWF environmental rating of Swiss retailers and wholesalers. In Cooperative Retailing, WWF considers the measurable objectives in all relevant areas, the involvement of stakeholders and the detailed progress reports under Generation M to be visionary. On the other hand, WWF has identified some potential improvements, such as Migros Pension Fund considering environmental aspects in its investments or Migros making an even bigger commitment in the area of fish and seafood.
Denner and Saviva are in the "upper mid-range" and Globus in the "lower mid-range" categories.