An important factor for the business success of Media Markt and Saturn has always been their comprehensive product range: an average store stocks about 45,000 products for its customers and some 200,000 items are available from the two sales lines’ German online shops. High standards vis-à-vis suppliers and comprehensive advice and information on the sustainability of all the products are central aspects of the group’s sustainability-related commitment. In this manner, the Media-Saturn group of companies helps its customers to select consumer electronics products and services which support a more sustainable lifestyle.
High supplier management standards
When it comes to the own brands ok., PEAQ, ISY and KOENIC, Media-Saturn insists on adherence to high social standards in the production of the appliances. The key labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) are a fixed part of the contract terms. Additionally, since 2014, the responsible own-brand company Imtron GmbH has been a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), which was established to protect workers’ rights at the production facilities. The key elements which are examined in this context include the way in which the business is managed, aspects of environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and any violations of the prohibition of child and forced labour. The BSCI Code of Conduct is modelled on the SA8000 Standard of the organisation Social Accountability International (SAI). It obliges its members to have their suppliers audited on a regular basis and to adhere to other requirements of the initiative.
Customer information concerning sustainable products
Since 2012, Saturn in Germany has been cooperating with Utopia, an Internet platform for sustainable consumption, and marks particularly sustainable items in many Saturn stores and in its online shop with the green label “Utopia empfiehlt” (Utopia recommends). In September 2016, for instance, this label was applied to nearly 1,400 products at saturn.de. The running of these appliances is particularly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and economical. The product groups with the greatest savings potential were selected, these being washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, TVs, coffee makers and vacuum cleaners. The requirements of the “Utopia empfiehlt” label meet the EcoTopTen criteria of the Freiburg-based Oeko-Institut, which are updated monthly. Eco-friendliness and overall costs are given equal weighting in the assessment. Quality assessments are also considered, if available, such as those of the Stiftung Warentest consumer organisation.
Since 2012, Media Markt Austria has been working with klimaaktiv, a climate protection initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW). Anyone interested can find comprehensive information on energy-saving products on the platform topprodukte.at. On the basis of this cooperation, customers can find an overview of current energy-saving products as well as facts and tips on how to save energy at mediamarkt.at and in some selected stores in the so-called Green Zone. Media Markt Austria also conducts campaigns and competitions on this issue on a regular basis. In autumn 2015, for instance, customers had the opportunity to meet with klimaaktiv product specialists to receive advice on energy-related matters. In October 2015, Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter presented Media Markt Austria with a BMLFUW award for its exemplary endeavours.
Saturn Austria marks particularly energy- and resource-saving products with the “Green Eco” label and gives its customers specific advice regarding the energy consumption of electrical appliances. An overview of the latest, particularly energy-efficient products is available on the sales brand’s website saturn.at/greeneco. Additionally, it offers customers many practical tips on keeping an electricity- and resource-saving house. In close coordination with AEG, Siemens and LG as well as other manufacturers, Saturn Austria determines which products from the product groups laundry care, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, and LED lamps are selected for “Green Eco” labelling.
Establishing a customer guidance system
Based on the labels introduced to date, Media-Saturn is testing additional ways in which to educate customers even better about the sustainability aspects of electrical products. To this end, it is currently developing the basics of a guidance system for recommended sustainable products in the stores and online shops. This guidance system will also cover services, in order to offer customers quick advice in this area too.