Our sustainability strategy

We believe that sustainability must be a key component of our business activity. That is why sustainability is integrated into our Articles of Association, our Mission Statement and the missions of the retail sales formats that bear the Coop name. Our approach is based on three pillars and ensures that sustainability feeds into all relevant corporate divisions. These three pillars also reflect the key United Nations "Sustainable Development Goals", which our company wants to help fulfil.

  • The sustainability strategy of the Coop Group

Pillar 1: Sustainable product ranges

To continually expand our range of sustainable products and maintain its appeal, we work closely with partners who guarantee the highest possible standards. With our comprehensive selection of organic, animal-friendly and fair-trade products, we make it possible for consumers to shop in an environmentally friendly, humane and socially responsible manner. This means we have a major impact. We are also committed to ensuring compliance with stringent minimum standards at all stages of our supply chains, from production and processing to sales. We require our business partners to respect human rights and ensure their supply chains are deforestation and conversion-free, and we promote animal welfare.

Pillar 2: Environment and climate protection

We are committed to scientifically based climate targets and have confirmed this commitment to effective climate protection by signing the "Science Based Target Initiative". We therefore regularly calculate our CO2e emissions and set ambitious and effective targets for all our business units. By 2030 we will have reduced operational CO2e emissions in "Scope 1" and "Scope 2" by 42% and CO2e emissions in "Scope 3" by 30%. Using resources efficiently is also important to us. We are aiming to be a zero waste company and are constantly striving to close our energy and materials loops. We are also consistently reducing the amount of water we use.

Pillar 3: Employees and social commitment

As a cooperative, we have a special commitment to society and our employees as well as to our members. More than 38 000 employees throughout the country benefit from the best collective employment agreement in the Swiss retail sector, a wide range of training and development opportunities and good career prospects. We are also the second largest provider of apprenticeships in Switzerland. We work with a variety of different partners to directly support the well-being of our society as a whole, and we encourage our employees and the rest of the population to do good deeds. 

An important tool in this pillar is the Coop Sustainability Fund, through which we facilitate research, development and awareness-raising projects in Switzerland and abroad.

Our areas for action

For each of the three pillars of our sustainability strategy, we have defined two areas for action in which we summarise our main focal points, which apply to the entire Coop Group. We have defined several fields of activity for each of the six areas of action. 

Fields of activity

Our Executive Committee approved the first environmental policy principles in 2001. These were expanded in 2006 to include sustainability principles and revised in 2021 to define fields of activity. These show the areas where the Coop Group wants to make an impact and where our stakeholders want us to implement measures.

Our 26 fields of activity:

  • We create transparency and exercise due diligence in our supply chains
  • We are committed to respecting human rights and fair working conditions
  • We apply sustainability standards in the procurement of raw materials
  • We promote the reduced consumption of resources in our product ranges
  • We ensure that our supply chains are free of deforestation and conversion risks
  • We are committed to preserving biodiversity along our supply chains
  • We promote organic farming
  • We reduce our water footprint in our supply chains
  • We reduce our CO2e emissions in our supply chains
  • We ensure preservation of soil health
  • We are committed to combating the overfishing of our oceans and to sustainable fisheries
  • We promote animal welfare
  • We reduce our energy consumption
  • We reduce and eliminate our CO2e emissions
  • With railCare, we are systematically switching our goods transport within Switzerland fromroad to rail
  • We consistently close, slow down and reduce our material cycles
  • We reduce our use of plastics and rely on sustainable packaging
  • We reduce and optimise our own water consumption
  • We promote diversity and equal opportunities
  • We invest in our employees
  • We care about the health of our employees in the workplace
  • We raise awareness of sustainable, healthy consumption
  • We foster strong partnerships to promote the common good
  • We promote charitable commitment
  • We promote regional products and traditional production
  • We act in partnership and with transparency

Long-term objectives

As a company, we take a long-term view. In 2013, to create an overarching framework for our commitment to sustainability throughout the Coop Group, we set multi-year sustainability targets to be achieved by the whole company between 2014 and 2021. In 2021 we redefined the targets and adjusted them to include the requirements of our stakeholders. They also take into account the demands of our different markets. The new targets apply to the entire Coop Group and are an important tool for us to make progress with our sustainability strategy and our commitment in the specified fields of activity. The current multi-year period ends in 2026.

In our annual "Sustainability Progress Report" we report transparently on our current status as regards attaining these targets.