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As a global leader in its industry, the Otto Group also wanted to ensure that its corporate social responsibility program was world-class—and that it made a genuine contribution to its brand reputation, marketplace differentiation, stakeholder trust and drive to achieve high performance.
The Otto Group is a leading retail and services company, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. It increased its consolidated revenues to €10.1 billion ($14 billion) as of financial year 2009-10. The Otto Group is the world’s biggest online retailer for fashion and lifestyle products, second only to Amazon. Its widely diverse product portfolio covers clothing, furniture and household appliances.
Since the 1980s, the Otto Group has been a leader in corporate social responsibility with a particular focus on environmental issues. However, competitors have begun stating overambitious sustainability targets.
Consequently, the corporation decided it wanted to sharpen its corporate social responsibility strategy to align better with existing corporate strategy, identify future initiatives and gain a clearer understanding of its current sustainability value.
The Otto Group selected Accenture Sustainability Services to review a large number of sustainability initiatives along the corporation’s entire supply chain.
Accenture had previously delivered systems integration and technology projects for Otto Group, which formed the basis of a solid working relationship—but our profound understanding of how to integrate sustainability into business process as part of a wider drive to achieve high performance was crucial.
Accenture worked on four phases across a strict 14-week time plan to analyze current corporate social responsibility initiatives, map them both to the corporate strategy and upcoming important stakeholder issues, highlight gaps and define a revised strategy.
During this process, Accenture developed a set of cutting-edge “flagship” initiatives that created the potential for a revived differentiation of the client’s core business. Our evaluations used precise templates, which were based on a sophisticated and coherent standard: business cases, competitor analysis and corporate social responsibility flagship ideas. Each flagship idea was evaluated in terms of its financial impact, implementation effort needed and support required by Corporate Social Responsibility.
Accenture then set up a functional framework encompassing five key supporting factors to facilitate a successful integration of corporate social responsibility into the client’s core processes: top management commitment, clear governance structures, a transparent set of performance indicators, thorough project management and leadership learning. Here, our main solution was to initiate a cross-divisional C-level driven steering committee to coordinate current initiatives and conceptualize the future corporate social responsibility agenda, “Innovation and Accountability.”
Accenture was the facilitator, providing project management, strategy and supply chain consulting assistance.
Accenture helped the Otto Group create value by identifying the contribution of corporate responsibility, designing a corporate responsibility strategy and highlighting future corporate responsibility potential. Accenture’s unique approach has helped the Otto Group integrate its corporate social responsibility strategies with its core business operations, positioning the group to take advantage of new opportunities and achieve high performance over the long term.
In summarizing Accenture’s performance, Hans-Otto Schrader, CEO of the Otto Group, simply said: “Very good. Expectations exceeded.”
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