German beauty retailer Douglas has released its inaugural sustainability report which sets out its overarching strategy and goals for 26 countries. Its key initiatives centre around showcasing clean beauty and natural cosmetics in its product range, ensuring diversity is championed throughout its brand and reaching climate neutrality in Scopes 1 and 2 (direct and indirect emissions) by the end of 2025.
Tina Müller, CEO of the Douglas Group said the company was aware of its great ecological and social responsibility. She added: "At the same time, the expectations of our customers have risen significantly: sustainability aspects are among the decisive purchasing criteria alongside quality and price.”
“Sustainable thinking and acting must be among the top priorities in our own activities as well as in cooperation with suppliers and business partners.”
Setting out a sustainability strategy
In developing its first all-encompassing sustainability report, Douglas details its priorities and plans, focusing on four core areas of action: people, products, planets and governance. In forming these key areas, Douglas identifies several priority issues, centring on the business’s operations and teams and its impact on the wider world.
On the business side, Douglas will dedicate its efforts to customer satisfaction and shopping experience, diversity, equality and inclusion, and employee commitment. In order to consider its global impact, the brand has set out to prioritise its sustainable range, especially for private labels, including the reduction of CO2 emissions, resource efficiency, and management’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment.
“We will be measured by our plans and promises and communicate progress continuously and transparently,” said Müller. “Together with our employees, customers and industry we want to anchor sustainability as an integral part of all areas of our business.
"This starts with raising awareness, continues with changes in attitude and behaviour, moves into concrete measures and projects, ultimately leading to tangible and effective results,” adds Müller.
Growing clean and natural beauty presence
Clean beauty and natural cosmetics are increasingly at the forefront of the European beauty provider’s strategy. The brand is prioritising their presence in its product range, particularly in its brand collections. Douglas states it plans to work closely with industry and suppliers to grow its range of sustainable cosmetics and beauty products significantly.
Developing sustainability and transparency in the beauty sector has seen Douglas set targets for its product collection. To date, the brand has introduced labelling across its range of clean beauty products and states all products launched since 2020 are free of microplastics. In addition, in 2021/2022, 63% of its new brand products will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) compliant. By 2030, more than 50% of the Douglas brands’ products will be made from recycled materials.
The organisation is developing recycling systems in developing countries to address plastic waste in the oceans and poverty in the affected regions. As part of the cooperation, Douglas states that a contribution is made to the social enterprise Plastic Bank for every item sold under the company’s Home Spa and Essential brands.
Striving for diversity
Douglas aims to be a company that truly advocates for and achieves diversity and gender equality. The Düsseldorf-based company reports that more than half of the managerial positions in the group are held by women.
In 2022, the company is preparing an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) for the whole organisation as well as focusing on training, offering a dual course of study to give high school graduates the opportunity to combine a bachelor’s degree with practical elements.
Reaching climate-neutral status
With the perfumery chain citing climate protection as a top priority, Douglas aims to become climate-neutral in its business operations by the end of 2025.
The European premium retailer has a target of reducing CO2e emissions in its own business operations (Scope 1 and 2) by at least half by the end of 2025 compared to the base year 2019. To reach its climate-neutral goal, Douglas will further reduce its emissions to close the gap in 2025 and states it will offset unavoidable emissions with certified standards.
Materials are also an area Douglas wants to transform. In a move to conserve valuable resources, the brand is analysing various options for boosting the proportion of recycled materials while simultaneously lowering the amount of waste generated within the company.