SUSTAINABILITY: DEFINITION – STRATEGY – MISSION
For us, sustainability means conducting our business activities under the conditions of environmental and social responsibility. We are convinced that sustainable business practices lead to the long-term increase in the value of our company. Instead of growth at all costs, we pursue sustainable, high-quality growth – for this generation and for those to come.
Our strategic intention:
We want to offer our stakeholders “added value”. In doing so, we emphasise quality, innovation and advice. This allows us to offer the best possible value for money, both for our customers and our suppliers. We are also aware of our role as part of society and support social concerns wherever it is possible for us to do so. We take into account environmental aspects in all areas of our activity, and our primary aim is to reduce our “ecological footprint” wherever possible in all that we do.
As a global leader in hops trading, we see our role in terms of sustainability in assuming responsibility for the entire value chain: from the cultivation of the hops to their further processing and storage and on to their worldwide distribution to our customers.
The continuous improvement of our processes and structures, coupled at the same time with the reduction of our resource consumption and our environmental impact, is the central theme of our sustainability efforts.
Ever since the company was founded, Joh. Barth & Sohn has always succeeded in making recognised contributions to the further development of both the hop and brewing industries by improving products and processes throughout the entire value chain.
What’s important to us and our stakeholders
Our stakeholders play a key role in the long-term economic success of our company. The most important stakeholders for us are our employees, our hop suppliers and our brewery customers. Associations, the authorities and the scientific community can also justly be considered our stakeholders.
In Chapter 07 of this report, you can find an extensive description of the intensive dialogue with our external and internal stakeholders. We have used these long-established relationships, characterised by intensive exchange of experiences, to identify those sustainability areas that are material to our business and other activities.
All available details of stakeholder dialogues have been analysed during the regular meetings of our sustainability team. As part of this process, we were able to assess the areas identified as material in terms of their relevance, from the point of view of the stakeholders and of Joh. Barth & Sohn. The following materiality matrix provides an overview of these areas. The topics for this report were selected on the basis of these findings.
AREAS OF ACTIVITY
The correct approaches for sustainable results.
Since the publication of our first report in 2012, we have concentrated on implementing our sustainability strategy in the following areas of activity, which also represent material development trends in our industry:
- Complaint-free and sustainable products and services
- Health and safety
- Reduction of environmental impact
- Increase of efficiency of input material consumption (raw materials, energy, water)
- Enhancement of our contributions to society
In all of these areas we promote sustainability in our business activities, with projects and other measures, along the entire value chain.
Furthermore, our aim in the medium term is to involve all the companies in the BARTH-HAAS GROUP in a group-wide sustainability reporting system.
John I. Haas Sustainability Report
Active management for future sustainability.
In the reporting standards as defined by the new GRI G4 Guidelines, there is a strong focus on the description of management approaches used in a company. For many years now, management systems have been an indispensable tool for the sustainable organisation and management of the company. Therefore existing management systems have already been described in the first two Sustainability Reports. During the period under review, our risk management system was completely revised, while another important management tool, our customer management system, was also introduced.
Joh. Barth & Sohn thus has at its disposal a range of management systems to ensure that the company’s performance meets its own expectations as well as those of its stakeholders. They serve as a set of tools to help shape company activity in response to external influences reliably, qualitatively and efficiently. We regularly take the opportunity to orient these to the requirements of sustainable management.
This includes not only the complaint-free provision of products for customers’ individual purposes but also the reliable supply of raw materials and the constant further development of employees’ talents and skills. In the management process, target-setting, planning and control information is aligned with constantly monitored (environmental) events recorded in risk management.
The quality management system is central to these processes and ensures that the functioning of the interaction between the different systems in the management process is also continuously monitored and guaranteed as a whole.
We identify the sustainability topics relevant to us from the ongoing reporting process with the help of the various management systems, as well as through intensive dialogue with our stakeholders, especially our customers, suppliers and employees. We collate topic suggestions on a wide variety of occasions, from personal conversations, written correspondence and contributions to our digital media portals.
The management board regularly discusses the findings and suggestions from these sources and also decides which initiatives are to be pursued and implemented in specific projects.
Our risk management system
“We want sustainable, profitable and healthy growth at an acceptable risk!”
We have expanded our existing risk management in order to confront the increasing number of risks in the global economy and meet the resulting legal requirements and the demands of the banks and auditors.
To that end, we have introduced recognised risk management software in our company. The software contains modules that provide solutions for structured identification, assessment and monitoring of company-specific risks.
Joh. Barth & Sohn’s risk profile is examined, analysed, assessed and then presented to the management board on an annual basis.
Based on the economic development of the last few years, it is clear that the number and dynamics of risks that endanger companies’ success potential have increased significantly. As a result, confronting these operational risks in companies has also become significantly more important.
Because of this development, the legal requirements for companies relating to risk management have also grown considerably. To that end, stakeholders such as banks, insurance companies and auditors insist on the implementation of a systematic risk management system.
Because of the aforementioned starting position, Joh. Barth & Sohn decided to expand its existing risk management operations to meet legal requirements and satisfy the demands of banks and auditors.
Customer relationships built on trust
The aim captured in our corporate vision is to be the hop expert for the best beers and to support our customers in answering all their questions relating to hops. As part of this, we offer both impeccable product quality and an optimum range of services tailor-made for each customer. This requires efficient and sustainable customer relationship management based on adding value for both parties in the long term. The material foundations for us in this regard are:
- Product quality and safety
- A range of services relating to efficient logistics and order execution
- Advice on all things related to the use of hops in the brewing process through to recipe development for new beverages
- Support for appropriate market activity
- Ensuring security of supply of one of the brewer’s strategic raw materials
We are conscious of the fact that we will only be successful if we enable our customers to operate successfully in the beer market. We have used this awareness to create many notable services that allow us and our customers to stand out from the competition.
- Storage and logistic concepts
- Cataloguing of the aromas and flavours of all hop varieties: the Hop Aroma Compendium Volumes I to III and an annual variety guide
- Recipe development at our ABrewCalypse Now! experimental facilities (Nuremberg) and the St Johann pilot brewery
- Creative hop compositions (in the Creative Products product category)
- Advice about the efficient and effective use of hops and hop products from six qualified brewery technologists
- Training and qualification of our entire field sales force and technical sales support team for the Beer Sommelier Diploma (Doemens), in 2013
Our customer management system
Even though the contracts governing the relationship between hop supplier and brewery are becoming ever more expansive in order to regulate every conceivable eventuality in advance, ultimately a business relationship is always based on mutual trust. Because Joh. Barth & Sohn has dedicated itself to trustful, long-term customer relationships, our business relationships can survive highs and lows, with some of these relationships stretching back to the company’s beginnings in 1794. We thus contribute to the success of our customers through continuous improvement processes in the value chain, but also through radical new approaches in logistics and through product innovation.
In order to allow us and our customers to constantly drive forward the improvement process, we developed a management system that divides our customers into different customer groups. This helps us ensure that we can offer a range of services tailored to the needs of each customer group and optimise the sales channels for each segment. The criteria used in the segmentation process include average hop dosage, willingness to innovate, interest in new hop varieties and products, etc. Particular consideration is also given to the customer’s willingness to promote sustainable and stable hop cultivation by means of long-term contracts.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY TEAM
When it comes to sustainability, we work hand in hand.
To implement our sustainability strategy in each of our individual areas of activity, we need useful organisational and methodical support.
On the basis of our value foundation, we are using our existing management systems for this purpose and are continuously and systematically expanding, adapting and improving them with regard to sustainability requirements.
The management board of Joh. Barth & Sohn assumes overall responsibility for sustainability policy and also aligns the business policy with the requirements of sustainable and socially responsible business practices.
“CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER” (CSO)
The management board delegates responsibility for sustainability management organisation to the Chief Sustainability Officer. This person leads the sustainability team and is responsible for initiating, implementing and monitoring sustainability goals and projects.
The CSO reports to the management board on the status of the projects and achievement of objectives on a monthly basis.
“SUSTAINABILITY OFFICERS” (SO)
In conjunction with the CSO, each operating division has appointed its own sustainability officer (SO). This person is responsible in their respective area for the implementation of the projects and measures to be carried out within the framework of the sustainability strategy.
As a central decision-making committee chaired by the CSO, the sustainability team steers the (global) implementation of the Joh. Barth & Sohn sustainability strategy. The members of the sustainability team are the SOs, representing the company’s various operating divisions. The sustainability team coordinates the activities in the company’s operating divisions, the central functions and the regional companies.