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  • Case Study

Central Data Management Improves Sustainability Performance

The Otto Group selected UL’s sophisticated and reliable 360 software solution to gather key data on environmental and social responsibility in the supply chain.

Row of shelves with boxes in warehouse

The Otto Group is a consortium of internationally active trading and service companies specializing in three business areas: multi- channel retailing, financial services and logistics, with retailing forming the Group’s core business.

With its subsidiaries and around 50,000 employees worldwide, the Otto Group operates more than 60 online shops and 400 stores. Its well-known brands include Bonprix, OTTO, About You, Hermes, SportScheck, Crate & Barrel and Freemans Grattan.

The Otto Group’s binding Corporate Responsibility Strategy 2020 aims to curb adverse impacts on people and the natural environment throughout the value chain, reduce risks to the Otto Group and utilize business opportunities to enhance its reputation. 

The challenge

With a focus on transparency and controllability, the Group required a sophisticated and reliable software solution to gather key data on environmental and social responsibility in the supply chain and in relation to its own sites, transport operations and staff. Data was initially collected from the Otto Group’s subsidiaries in Germany and Austria: the process has now been extended to companies in England, Russia, Japan and the USA.

The solution

The Otto Group selected the 360 sustainability software (formerly cr360) to explore its subsidiaries’ performance with absolute precision. 360 enables up to 300 employees to access and actively process the key data of the relevant companies in the Group (currently 18). An audit trail is automatically created for every piece of data entered. Close cooperation between the UL Sustainability Team and the Otto Group ensures that the system is configured to meet the Group’s evolving needs.

photo of the 360 sustainability software on a monitor

The system includes a very precise indicator structure, with 2,000 indicators for monitoring, reporting and identification of cost reductions. The Otto Group has been using the system for seven years. In addition, UL has set up a supply chain database to monitor more social indicators (including labor conditions and health and safety standards in garment factories) with greater precision. Capturing the data creates transparency and provides a basis for activities such as establishing a responsible social program for the supply chain. The Otto Group also makes direct use of the data collected by the system when compiling its business report.

Key benefits

  • Usability – Otto Group coordinators responsible for the database as well as data entry staff in all the subsidiaries speak highly of the user interface because it is so easy to use: the data-collection process is straightforward and efficient.
  • Flexibility – The high degree of flexibility offered by the 360 platform enables the Otto Group to tailor the solution to its needs and measure very precise indicators for specific purposes.
  • Scalability – The flexible 360 platform can be expanded to encompass a wide range of sustainability indicators, making it easy to upscale the management and analysis of sustainability performance.
  • Efficiency – Streamlining the data-collection process and increasing transparency reduces the number of internal queries and the time spent on coordination tasks. It also enables the Group to identify areas for improvement and cost savings.
  • Transparency – In addition to publishing its results externally, the Otto Group also uses them in its internal management processes. This helps engage managers and employees in implementing the Group’s sustainability strategies and shows them the direct results of their work.

 

“Reducing the Otto Group’s environmental and social footprint is fundamental to our Corporate Responsibility and Responsible Sourcing strategy. We use the 360 software from UL to collect supply chain, environmental and employee data from 18 subsidiaries and more than 700 sites.

The system gives us a detailed overview of ethical and environmental data from our supply chains, including information on labour conditions and health and safety standards. In addition, the software enables us to report on time: for example, the time slot between data collection and publication of our annual report is quite small.”

(Olaf Dechow, senior project manager strategy and controlling, sustainability management, Otto Group)

What is 360 Sustainability?

Discover how 360 sustainability software helped the Otto Group gather key data on environmental and social responsibility in the supply chain.

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