People, Planet and Products: The DOUGLAS Group’s sustainability strategy rests upon these three strategic fields of action.
We recognise our responsibility and want our business to contribute to a better life for all of us: humans, animals and the planet. We’ve extensively re-examined our business model, our product range and the challenges of today and tomorrow through this lens. And we’ve determined that there are three key areas where the DOUGLAS Group can make a difference.
Our ambition is to create a workplace that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion, and actively drives these by setting clear priorities to increase representation. We foster a culture of belonging that encourages collaboration and appreciation, and continuously invest in the growth and development of our employees to ensure that they have the tools and opportunities to thrive in our diverse world and lead our Group to further success. In line with our purpose: ‘Make Life More Beautiful’.
To this end, our purpose and values are anchored in our hiring, training and assessment processes. It’s hugely important to us to hear from our employees about how we can continue to improve the DOUGLAS Group culture. We do so through questionnaires and employee initiatives.
‘We consider ourselves a ‘People Company’. We want to achieve something positive for the people working for and affiliated with the DOUGLAS Group.’
We make no distinctions in skin color, origin, age, sexual orientation or personal pronouns. The DOUGLAS Group sees itself as a democratic and inclusive brand that stands for an open and diverse society. As an employer, we live by equal treatment, tolerance and equal opportunities across all levels of employees. Through internal formats and external campaigns, we take a stand against discrimination and for the inclusion of women, the LGBTQI+ community and various ethnic and age groups. We want to encourage everyone to be the way they want to be. We always strive to inspire our customers and employees to express their individuality.
In February 2021, the DOUGLAS Group was the first company to receive the Diversity Certificate from BeyondGenderAgenda (BGA). The BeyondGenderAgenda is an initiative to integrate and anchor diversity in the German business world, certifying companies for successful efforts in diversity, equal opportunity and an inclusive work environment – internally and externally. BGA believes there is a clear link between diverse leadership teams and financial outperformance. Just like BGA, we believe in this principle, too, which is confirmed by our economic success in recent years. Mareike Mende-Ratnam (CHRO) and Veit Weiland (CEO DOUGLAS DACH), two of our top managers, are also members of the BGA Advisory Board.
The story of the DOUGLAS Group has been shaped by strong women running the company. The promotion of women at all corporate levels, including executive positions, is an established practice at the DOUGLAS Group and also serves as an important cornerstone of our success.
That is why we joined the Leading Executives Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Network in financial year 2022/23. The network aims to attract, retain, and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industries in Europe through education, leadership, and business development.
Germany’s Law on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Leadership Positions in the Private and Public Sectors requires the Supervisory Board to determine targets regarding the proportion of women in the Supervisory Board and on the team of managing directors, as well as deadlines for reaching those targets. For their part, the Management Board of DOUGLAS GmbH are responsible for setting such goals and deadlines for the two management levels below them.
At the DOUGLAS Group we have been implementing legal regulations on the gender quota. We have already achieved our target ratios at the Parfümerie Douglas Deutschland GmbH, and also exceed them. The exact figures can be found in the adjacent table. Further, we will continue promoting this important development towards equal opportunities in the future.
|Parfümerie Douglas Deutschland GmbH
30 June 2023
|Optional minimum quota
|First level management
|Second level management
The DOUGLAS Group supports mothers and fathers in balancing family life and career development. Various working arrangements and part-time setups enable our employees to flexibly arrange their daily work routine. At our locations in Hagen and Düsseldorf, we also offer day-care spots to our employees.
The protection of human rights is essential for us. Our internal purpose, ‘Make Life More Beautiful,’ applies to our employees and is also a value that we share with our business partners. We respect the EU directive on due diligence in supply chains, a directive that standardises corporate responsibility for the protection of human rights in the supply chain. To this end, we have drawn up a Human Rights Statement that expresses this responsibility and forms the basis of our actions.
The preservation and conservation of the environment, now and for future generations, is crucial for the DOUGLAS Group and our ESG strategy. This requires joint efforts at the regional, national and global level. Climate change is at the centre of this debate and a lot of our activities are focused on reducing our CO2 emissions.
Our ambition is to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, measured in tons of CO2 equivalents, by 50% by 2025 (compared with the baseline financial year 2018/19) as a first step and to develop further reduction targets for Scopes 1 to 3 in line with science-based targets by 2025.
"Sustainability in all its forms is to become an integral part of the culture of the DOUGLAS Group. We already attach great importance to treating people and nature with unrestricted respect. We will continue to promote and cultivate this attitude. We are determined to be a role model in our industry when it comes to sustainability."
One of our great concerns is the efficient use of resources and energy. Hence, we selectively collect data on energy consumption, carbon emissions and other relevant ecological data. In order to contribute to protecting our climate and the environment, the DOUGLAS Group devotes substantial efforts to continually improve the energy efficiency of our stores and to avoid the unnecessary use of energy and materials.
In new and refurbished stores we employ energy-saving technology for air-conditioning and ventilation systems. The majority of the sales areas in Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal are equipped with LED lights., and we plan to switch to full LED lighting in all sales areas by 2027 in order to reduce energy consumption per square meter.
We are aware of our responsibility to our environment. As such, our aim to be innovative, premium and digital in retailing also translates into a guiding principle for the respectful and sustainable use of resources.
Since 2016, the DOUGLAS Group’s international headquarters have been located in what is known as a “green building”: The DUO in Düsseldorf was modernised along the lines of increased energy, water and material efficiency. As a result, it has been certified with “Green Building LEED™ Gold” status. The award attests that the strict requirements were met in several environmental categories when the building was renovated. Also, thanks to various sustainable and resource-friendly measurements, the renovation process meant fewer negative effects for the environment. Today, the greenery throughout the building accentuates the eco-friendliness of the building.
As a beauty retailer, our assortment plays a decisive role in our success, including with regard to ESG. We strive to optimise the sustainability of all of our products – both within our corporate brands, as well as with regard to our partner brands.
We work closely with our partners to promote sustainability in the beauty industry, encourage the development and implementation of sustainability strategies and take concrete measures together to combat man-made climate change. On top of that we aim to reduce the carbon footprint of our corporate brands.
‘When it comes to our corporate brands, there’s a spotlight on sustainability. And not just because our customers expect that of us. But because it is a topic which is also very dear to our own hearts.’
All our corporate brands’ products fully comply with EU regulations relating to animal testing and are therefore cruelty-free. The range of vegan products includes items offered by the Jardin Bohème and one.two.free! brands. In addition, we are closely monitoring the regulatory developments in the EU regarding microplastic-free products. In the financial year 2022/23, we launched a second organic range (DOUGLAS Naturals) and plan to further increase the share of certified natural products that are in line with the COSMOS organic standard. This certification defines criteria that companies must meet to ensure that all relevant drivers of the products are organic, including ingredient origin and labeling. Beyond that, our corporate brands continue to partner with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise that prevents plastic waste from polluting the oceans by creating recycling ecosystems in coastal communities.
Sustainability is ingrained in discussions with our largest assortment brand partners, fostering a collaboration on critical issues like climate action, the overall reduction of plastic and packaging materials, and the enhancement of transparency towards customers. That is why in the financial year 2022/23, we joined the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, an initiative of the cosmetics industry consisting of manufacturers, retailers and associations, to enable consumers to make more informed and sustainable choices. The consortium is currently developing an environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetic products.
The DOUGLAS Group operates strategically in a market environment that is changing rapidly. At the same time, we are aware of our corporate responsibility. Our strong relationships with industry partners and suppliers form the foundation of sustainable success. In choosing our suppliers, we ensure they meet the same social and environmental standards that guide our own actions. Our standards are defined in the DOUGLAS Group Supplier Code of Conduct, which is based on the recognition of labour and social standards as well as international human rights.