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.
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.
These 18 basic requirements for suppliers and product range apply to all companies of the Migros Group and are implemented gradually. The directives contain the BSCI Code of Conduct, for example, which aims to improve labour standards in global supply chains, as well as requirements relating to food safety, animal welfare and the protection of global fisheries and rainforests.
The requirements are also mandatory for companies that have been acquired by the Migros Group in Switzerland and abroad. They have 18 months to implement all of the processes that are necessary for meeting these requirements.
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. In the reporting year, the Issue Management & Sustainability department introduced a decentralised IT tool, which enables each company to manage and analyse their sustainability data themselves. The first data was collected at the end of 2016. The group-wide roll-out is planned for this year.
Migros 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, a commitment that is incorporated in the company's statutes. The Engagement Migros Development Fund, launched in 2012, extends social responsibility to all companies of the Migros Group. The Migros Aid Fund has been supporting sustainable development aid projects in Switzerland and abroad since 1979.
In Switzerland, 64.8% of the 87'414 employees benefit from progressive and exemplary working conditions, which are governed in the three collective labour agreements "Migros NCLA", "GAV in globo" and "GAV Travel". Migros trains 3'775 trainees.
Health promotion is anchored in the statutes and the group strategy. Migros already makes a major 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 the Generation M sustainability programme, Cooperative Retailing has been pursuing specific and measurable sustainability objectives in the five spheres of activity consumption, environment, employees, society and health since 2012. 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 the reporting year, Migros revised its sustainability campaign for the Generation M initiative, which now focuses on all generations instead of just children. Pioneering achievements in the past, current evidence, and pledges for the future are communicated in equal measure.
Migros made five new promises in 2016:
- Sustainable bananas
- More vegetarian and vegan products
- Apprenticeship positions
- Environmental education
- Free participation in fun runs
Migros successfully implemented three promises in the reporting year:
The Swiss Commission of Fair Trading (SLK) criticised the communications for the bee promise, which was successfully implemented at the end of 2014: "We promise Noah that, from the end of 2014, we will only offer insecticides that are not harmful to bees." The content of this promise was based on the 2013 Greenpeace study "Bye bye Biene?", which identified seven ingredients that are especially harmful to bees. Migros kept its promise by fully replacing or discontinuing ten products that contain these ingredients. SLK suggested that the reference to the Greenpeace study was not clear enough in the communications and that the content was too complex. In response to SLK's recommendation, Migros voluntarily changed the criticised passages on its website.
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.
M-Industry is certified according to ISO 14001.
In the reporting year, the sustainability management of M-Industry was certified according to ISO 14001. The standardised management and control system for M-Industry allows it to take systematic measures to meet the requirements under environmental law, minimise the impact on the environment, and optimise the sustainability efforts. In addition, Delica AG, Gabriel Fleury SA, JOWA AG, the Micarna Group, Midor AG and Riseria Taverne SA were certified according to ISO 14001 for the first time. This means that a total of 13 M-Industry companies were certified as at the end of 2016.
In 2016, the Migros retailers (including Saviva), along with Hotelplan and Migros Bank, set industry-specific, measurable sustainability objectives for 2020. The individual objectives are an integral component of each company's strategy. The first progress check was performed at the end of 2016. The sustainability reporting will include selected performance indicators for the first time this year.
In the reporting year, the Migros Pension Fund developed a sustainability strategy for its real estate investments. The strategy will be implemented this year and measurable objectives will be defined.
The German retailer Tegut, which is part of the Migros Cooperative Zurich, summarised its principles for sustainable procurement and trading in 2016. Among other things, the document governs how the company should procure sustainably produced raw materials, its stance towards genetically modified organisms (GMO), and the requirements concerning packaging.
Denner published its first sustainability report in 2016. The report focuses primarily on the areas of environment, product range and people.
The ratings agency oekom research assessed the social and ecological commitment of retailers worldwide most recently in 2014/2015. The Migros Group achieved the best result by far: Out of the 140 retailers that were assessed, the Migros Group was the only one to be awarded the grade B+ (very good). This makes it the world's most sustainable retailer.
In the reporting year, Migros enjoyed the best reputation among Switzerland's leading 52 companies for the third time in succession. According to the authors of the GfK Business Reflector 2016, 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 Migros website.
Migros participates actively in ratings and uses the results to improve continuously and step up its commitment. According to the WWF study Slow Road to Sustainability, Migros is one of the world's top 22 companies. WWF assessed the company's activities in the areas of sustainable forestry, responsible agriculture and fishing.
As part of the 2016 WWF rating for the Swiss food industry, FMC, Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel AG, ELSA-MIFROMA, JOWA AG and the Micarna Group worked closely with WWF. The rating covers the areas of sustainable business management, sustainable products and social commitment. The results were published at the beginning of this year.