The social value of a good night’s sleep is generally recognised. People who sleep well are happier and healthier. Facilitating this may be Beter Bed Holding’s most important social contribution, which is delivered by offering a broad range of good quality products with suitable advice at competitive prices. The fact that CSR forms part of the core of Beter Bed Holding's actions is reflected in the company's vision, mission, strategy and objectives that clearly set out its corporate social responsibility.
While Beter Bed Holding recently stated its wish to review its CSR policy, it will naturally continue to move forward on its chosen path in order to make further improvements relating to the following hygiene objectives:
- Optimising/reducing our ecological footprint through less energy consumption in stores and distribution centres and driving and flying fewer kilometres whenever possible.
- Complying with the code of conduct for suppliers.
- Regularly checking the safety of our mattresses and beds for our customers and employees.
- Regularly evaluating employee satisfaction.
- Realising the objective of appointing 35% women in top management positions in the period 2017-2020.
In addition, two new themes have been added to the policy through which Beter Bed Holding expressly seeks to align itself with key international developments as set out in agreements, including the United Nations Global Compact Initiative and the climate summit in Paris.
Beter Bed Holding will first of all seek to ensure, with the help of the new European guideline from December 2015, that in each country in which it operates an innovation fund will be set up by the industry (manufacturers and retailers). The related objective is to promote research at the front of the chain, which will make it possible to develop mattresses that are easier to disassemble and recycle (in terms of raw materials), whilst promoting more research at the end of the chain in order to develop applications for reuse so that a recycling policy can also genuinely be applied.
In addition, it is crucially important to place emphasis on an upcycling policy, which means that raw materials will be reused as much as possible (ideally 100%), instead of giving mattresses a second life only once (for example in the form of a judo mat). The latter is also called downcycling.
While there is currently no upcycling yet, the number of applications for recycling used mattresses still remains very limited, which means that a large part of the processes still occurs through incineration. With a view to setting up an innovation fund of this type based on an eco-disposal fee for consumers, the sector (retailers and manufacturers) is entering into various dialogues in order to learn from the tyre sector, the glass sector and the home appliance sector. Beter Bed Holding is very closely involved in this endeavour in the Netherlands.
Beter Bed Holding is delighted that the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment have explicitly stated the mattress sector as one in which the industry can collectively develop policy and achieve clear progress in the years ahead.
Beter Bed Holding is also actively studying, in association with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, how it can develop sustainable bed systems in the medium term based on a lease concept whereby the consumer pays a monthly fee. A similar concept is currently being applied by, for example, Philips Lighting for a number of its customers in the Netherlands whereby these customers no longer buy lighting equipment, but only purchase light. This provides them an incentive to produce lighting products that last longer, which will ultimately reduce the total amount of waste. Beter Bed Holding wishes to go even further by designing or commissioning the design of bed systems that also enable raw materials to be recycled more effectively and in larger quantities.
The CSR report is intended to compliment the annual report. This marks the fifth time that Beter Bed Holding N.V. is reporting on its activities and progress in the field of CSR, in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The stakeholder dialogue has revealed the issues on which the company should report. MVOplossingen, an external consultant to the company, has established that this report also largely meets the G4 CORE application level. Since 2013, the company has been issuing reports in accordance with G4 reporting guidelines, opting for the basic or rather CORE reporting form (in contrast with the more elaborate COMPREHENSIVE reporting form). These and other definitions can be found in the list of definitions.