About this report

In October 2017, Chocolats Halba is publishing its third sustainability report, which is in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 sustainability Reporting Guidelines. We chose to apply the guidelines at a “core” level. The present report covers developments and key figures from the 2015 and 2016 financial years. This period was characterized by the establishment of our new factory location in Pratteln. At the same time, we increased sales of sustainable products and launched additional agroforestry projects in cocoa-growing countries.

As the following interview shows, we intend to further expand our commitment to sustainability over the coming years – for chocolate that we can all enjoy.

Interview with Joos Sutter, Chairman of the Coop Executive Committee and Anton von Weissenfluh, Head of Chocolats Halba

Is sustainability a key factor in business success or merely a cliché?

— Joos Sutter —

Sustainability is part of Coop’s DNA. It is strategic and deeply anchored in our daily work and, together with our commitment to people, animals and the environment, is central to long-term corporate success. Over 300 actions show that sustainability is being consciously practised in real terms at Coop.

— Anton von Weissenfluh —

Over the last two years, we have increased our sales of labeled (sustainable) products by more than 50%. Sustainably produced chocolate is THE success factor for Chocolats Halba.

What issues will become more important going forward?

— Joos Sutter —

Sustainability will always lie at the heart of our business. We have defined our focal themes in our 2020 multi-year sustainability objectives. Not only do we want to be the most proficient provider of particularly sustainable products, but we also want to anchor sustainability throughout our entire range and particularly in our own-label brands. For example, one of our focal themes is reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Within operations, we want to be CO2-neutral by 2023. Thanks to our ongoing commitment to the three pillars – sustainable products and services, resource efficiency and climate protection, and employees and society – we have been internationally recognized as an exemplary retailer for our work on key sustainability issues.

— Anton von Weissenfluh —

Transparency and honesty are becoming increasingly important when dealing with employees, working with partners on the ground, declaring products, and when dealing with suppliers and customers. Maintaining and strengthening partnerships along the entire value chain is vital when it comes to practical sustainability.

How is the move to Pratteln looking for you and your employees?

— Anton von Weissenfluh —

It’s not an issue for me – I’m moving forward with conviction and enthusiasm and of course I hope that as many employees as possible will follow me.

The new building in Pratteln is a clear commitment by Coop to Switzerland as a production location. Around 600 employees from approximately 25 professional groups are being united in the new building with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, rail connection, wood-pellet heating and photovoltaic cells. Learning from one another and improving ourselves or, as the Coop vision says – “Together to the top” – that will be my creed in Pratteln.

For many employees, the move to Pratteln will not be possible, particularly for family reasons. I personally regret this greatly. It’s a new opportunity for everyone, and I’m relishing the prospect.