Sustainability and responsible conduct are our core business

Neumann Kaffee Gruppe is committed to a growing sustainable coffee industry and good corporate citizenship. The consideration of social, environmental and economic needs is an integral part of our business model and contributes to our long-term success.

Sustainability and responsible conduct have always been integral to our work at NKG, as coffee connects us with people, communities, and their natural environments all over the world. Driven by this responsibility, our strong corporate values and the latest industry developments, the Responsible Business Program (RBP) was launched in 2020.

The RBP sets out four focus areas and defines nine strategic objectives for our work, building a robust framework for our group’s sustainability efforts. We commit to make significant progress towards these objectives in the upcoming years.

In line with the importance of these topics, the RBP is fully supported by our shareholders, Board of Management, and the operative management of NKG worldwide. While the program is led and coordinated by the holding company Neumann Gruppe GmbH in Hamburg, the strategic objectives are implemented in close collaboration with the group’s operative companies and adapted to their organizational set-up.

The strategy is based on and embedded in our general work in the fields of corporate responsibility, sustainability, and business ethics and centralizes a multitude of NKG efforts. Beyond the strategic goals and commitments, NG and its subsidiaries engage in various industry partnerships that contribute towards an equitable and sustainable coffee industry.

Different sectors aiming at the same goal

Our four focus areas

Our people
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Supply chains
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Producers
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Planet
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Our people

1. Support a learning culture
2. Increase diversity
3. Promote responsible workplace practices

Our employees are the most important asset for the success of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. Their knowledge and experience make it possible for us to be the world’s leading green coffee service group.
Promoting responsible business conduct at Neumann Kaffee Gruppe means empowering our employees. We want to further strengthen an environment that promotes our employees’ personal and professional development, enables them to make decisions in accordance with our values and norms, and creates a workplace living up to high standards of health and safety.
For this purpose, we focus on supporting our learning culture by offering a comprehensive training catalogue to all employees worldwide and promoting digital and online learning opportunities in addition to existing in-person learning spaces. To enable employees to participate in the offer of voluntary trainings, our colleagues are provided with a learning time quota as part of their working hours, which they can use for online trainings of their choice (Objective 1).
Operating in 26 countries and working with more than 2,900 employees from different cultural and educational backgrounds, we live diversity and mutual respect at NKG every day. Nonetheless, as part of our RBP, we aim to increase this diversity even further. To accomplish this, we develop and support local initiatives, which should serve as a starting point for positive change on a larger scale (Objective 2).
Compliance plays an important role in all our business operations. We aim at enabling each and everyone of our people to conduct their work passionately, safely and with the highest standards of integrity in mind. Therefore, we implement tools and frameworks to offer guidance and support on our core values and how to put them into practice across countries, cultures and workplaces (Objective 3).

Supply chains

4. Enhance sustainability performance within our supply chains
5. Improve transparency and ethical conduct in collaboration with direct suppliers

NKG is actively working on increasing sustainability along our coffee supply chains. In 2021, we rolled out our program NKG Verified, an initiative that establishes a bridge between coffee growers and coffee buyers, by improving visibility along the supply chain. NKG Verified ensures compliance with critical criteria, such as worst forms of child labor, forced labor and deforestation, and covers the full supply chain from farm to the export-ready container. Beyond this, annual internal and external audits every three years serve to assess progress and identify areas for improvement (Objective 4).

While NKG Verified offers full traceability for specific supply chains, we aim at working with our business partners worldwide to improve overall social and environmental standards. To achieve this, we elaborated our Supply Chain Integrity Program (SCIP), which enables us to meet our supply chain due diligence requirements by adopting a risk-based management approach and thereby ensuring economic viability (Objective 5).

Producers

6. Improve farmer livelihoods through value-added services
7. Bridge the financing gap

Around 12.4 million of the 12.5 million coffee producers in the world are smallholders, and the majority struggle to ensure a decent living for their families. Safeguarding the future of coffee requires that coffee is a viable business for all involved, starting with the producers of coffee. Through NKG Bloom, our sustainable sourcing initiative, we are investing in the establishment of Farmer Services Units (FSUs) within our export operations to provide value-added services to producers. What makes this initiative unique, is the diversity of its service packages that address needs in a local way (Objective 6).

Financing is often the core bottleneck by producers. In a years-long effort, NKG worked with four organizations – DFC – U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, IDH – the sustainable trade initiative, and the European banks Rabobank and BNP Paribas – to create an innovative risk-sharing solution that minimizes the risk of lending to some of the world’s poorest farmers. This 25 million revolving-credit facility creates a way for smallholder farmers and farmer groups to quickly and easily borrow funds. By providing them with easy access to loans, we aim to bridge the existing financing gap left by banks and even microfinancers (Objective 7).

Planet

8. Measure and enhance environmental performance
9. Promote environmentally friendly and resilient coffee farming practices

Coffee is an agricultural product and thus particularly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions and weather patterns. Our main concern is the protection and conservation of the environment. Under objective eight of our RBP, we want to continuously analyze our group-wide environmental footprint and reduce carbon emissions along our coffee supply chain to enhance our environmental performance. In the short term, we have foreseen the design and development of emission reduction plans based on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and circular economy practices to be implemented at our own facilities in 2023. As part of our medium-term strategy, we plan to work with coffee producers in specific value chains to carry out best-agricultural-practices interventions that will lead to an increase in carbon sequestration as well as a reduction in overall emissions (Objective 8).

In addition to that, we aim to run our own farming operations according to the latest sustainability standards. We believe that good agricultural practices are a major tool in fighting climate change and sustaining coffee production in the long run. By taking responsibility for the natural and social environment, we want to be a model for other farming businesses and aim at sharing our knowledge with others as well (Objective 9).

Further information on sustainability

Our efforts at one glance

NKG Code of Conduct

Please find here our NKG Code of Conduct, which describes our values and guidelines for acting with integrity:

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NKG Supplier Code of Conduct

Please find here our NKG Supplier Code of Conduct:

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Download VN
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NKG Bloom

Visit NKG Bloom and learn more about our sustainable sourcing strategy.

more about NKG Bloom

NKG Verified

Click the button below to find out more about NKG Verified.

More about NKG Verified

NKG Sustainability Report 2022

You would like to learn more about our Responsible Business Program? Take a look at our NKG Sustainability Report 2022 here.

visit NKG Sustainability Report 2022

NKG Integrity Reporting Platform

For NKG employees and external stakeholders

At NKG, we act responsibly towards our colleagues, shareholders, local communities and business partners and cultivate a relationship of mutual trust at all levels.

To safeguard this trust, we must strive to prevent unethical or illegal conduct at work and listen to everyone in our value chain when it comes to potential misconduct.

We encourage you to openly discuss your observations regarding potential misconduct with your direct superior, Compliance Representative, or local management. NKG companies’ dedicated local reporting channels can be used wherever these are available and accessible. The Integrity Reporting Platform is an alternative channel for reporting genuine concerns and open to NKG employees as well as external stakeholders.

Reports made in good faith and to your best knowledge will not result in any negative consequences by NKG. The knowing submission of false or misleading information, however, will lead to serious consequences and is a criminal offence in many countries.

Your cooperation is important to prevent and combat illegal, unethical or improper conduct.

NKG Integrity Reporting Platform

Contact

We are here for you!

responsiblebusiness@nkg.coffee

Dr. Sarah Tischer
Program Manager