Sustainability Policy

1. Introduction

We have always been a champion of sustainable business practices. In order to assume responsibility towards our customers and the environment, as stated within our Corporate Governance Principles, we insist on compliance with and monitoring of sustainable products and production standards with respect to our core business. For both our business partners and us, our Sustainability Policy serves as a guideline for the implementation of sustainable practices for designing products, production processes and complete supply chains.

2. Scope of application

The Sustainability Policy applies to all our products, our inhouse production- and logistics processes, and up the supply chain to the source of our raw materials.

3. Commitment to Sustainability

For all relevant private label products, RICHARD BEHR & CO. requires compliance with all legal provisions in the area of sustainability. For the production and trading of products, the 'four key measures of sustainability' need to be considered:

  • 100% re-growable raw materials, or 100% re-cycled raw materials for our products
  • 100% re-cyclable products
  • 100% sustainable production with no lasting (CO2) footprint
  • 100% application of the same standards for packaging

We are committed to sustainable products, packaging, and production standards throughout all stages of the supply chain.

RICHARD BEHR & CO. pursues the goal to actively extend its range of 100% sustainable products, production, and packaging, sourced from production facilities which demonstrably apply sustainability standards that exceed legal provisions. Furthermore, our suppliers are obliged to comply with environmental minimum standards at all stages of the production chain, i.e. from the fattening farm to the processor to the store (refer to Corporate Governance Principles/BSCI Code of Conduct). RICHARD BEHR & CO. is member of the Business Environmental Performance Initiative BEPI and drives their standards and codes of conduct throughout its complete supply chain.

4. Requirements and implementation

We actively promote compliance with sustainability standards and for this purpose, we have already taken precise measures, amongst others, in the following areas:

Client sustainability standards

Our clients are among the strongest drivers and champions of industrial level convergence of our industry toward Sustainability standards for products, packaging and production. We work with our clients to help them formulate their standards, goals, and monitor progress toward achieving the goals. We follow our highest client standards.

Requirements for our products and raw materials

RICHARD BEHR & CO. sources products exclusively from producers who are compliant with all local and international sustainability standards and/or certified accordingly. This enables us to avoid the use of suplly chain elements that will contribute toward pollution of the environment.

Textiles-related environmental topics

RICHARD BEHR & CO. closely follows all textile-related environmental issues and topics and strives to at all time be at the forefront of the newest standards, tests, and labels.

  • All our products are Oekotex certified and therefore tested through third party institutions. Our Oekotex certification proves that there is no emission of harmful substances – in neither our fabrics, NOR in our filling materials
  • All natural fillings are Daunasan and Daunafresh certified, which guarantees environmentally friendly processes.
  • We are third-party DETOX audited, that no toxic water is released into the environment throughout our complete supply chain - which is especially sensitive for bleaching and dyeing processes for the fabrics of our products
  • We are purchasing increasing quantities of organic, GOTS- and Fairtrade certified cotton

Third party audits

  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. uses the following third party audited standards to monitor compliance with these guidelines:
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. is certified to use Oekotex labelled for both its fabrics and fillings
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. issues NOMITE labels for suitability for allergy sufferers
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. issues Downafresh labels for compliance with EU hygiene standards
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. fabrics are certified skin-friendly by Institut Hohenstein
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. and our complete supply chain is IDFL certified and audited

Detergents and cleaners

Regarding the development of detergents, the detergent industry is subject to the legal provisions of the Chemicals Act. For example, the act prohibits the testing of cleaner ingredients on animals, as long as there are scientifically satisfactory as well as practical alternatives to the corresponding tests. Moreover, all detergents used by RICHARD BEHR & CO. are vegan and biodegradable, which means that no animal-based ingredients are used for their production, and they will leave no lasting footprint in the environment in waste water disposal.

No products containing exotic or endangered species

We also reject products containing endangered species. This includes all species included in the IUCN Red List as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered or all species included in the CITES List (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

5. Active Implementation

At RICHARD BEHR & CO., we implement our sustainability requirements in close cooperation with our suppliers. The implementation of our internal requirements will be conducted by the buying departments with the support of the responsible drivers of Corporate Governance. Specific requirements, goals and measures will also be implemented in close cooperation. We monitor the implementation among our suppliers we conduct risk-oriented evaluations. We reserve us the right to have the requirements of our sustainability policy verified by internal and/or external audits, if necessary. Moreover, we expect our suppliers to ensure that all personnel responsible for the handling of products, machinery, or packaging, with impact on the environment, are effectively trained to carry out routine practices in a way that minimizes pollution, and, where necessary, is qualified to promote good standards of sustainability within their areas of responsibility. The present Sustainability Policy is part of our terms and conditions. Where instances of non-compliance with our policies are detected, suppliers are expected to provide corrective action plans that clearly demonstrate how relevant violations will be resolved within a specific timeframe. The Managing Directors are informed on the status of implementation on a regular basis.

We aspire to continuously improve products of our assortment to make them more sustainability-friendly. In this context, we always consider our customers' wishes and the market environment. The transition to more sustainable alternatives includes the following:

  • extend the range of certified, organic products,
  • extend the range vegan products
  • extend the range of products with GOTS and Fairtrade certification
  • conduct pilot projects to promote high sustainability standards
  • improve sustainability conditions for conventional products in cooperation with our suppliers.

Since we aim to offer more sustainable products, an exchange with external partners is indispensable. Therefore, we are in close contact with NGOs, representatives of the scientific community, and stakeholders.

Pilot projects and measures

RICHARD BEHR & CO. is actively implementing sustainable practices in our products, packaging and production processes when opportunities arise. Here are a number of pilot projects that RICHARD BEHR & CO. has implemented today already:

  • Solar power production for all heat and warm water in our China factory
  • Usage of a highly efficient heat-power generator in the German plant that uses excess heat in the winter months, and heat from the air compression units, to produce electricity we need to make our products
  • Our water recycling unit has helped us since the early 1990s to save and continues to keep our cost low.
  • The use of only biodegradable detergents has allowed us to dispose of the little waste water we have, efficiently
  • We are the first bedding manufacturer who has as part of the EUROPEAN green lighting initiative lit all its facilities including factories and warehouses with energy saving lights (and often LEDs now) Triple glazing energy saving windows in all facilities
  • When we do not produce our own electricity as a by-product from heating our facilities, we purchase 100% from renewable sources

We commit to keeping these measures in place, expanding them, and adding further measures as technology becomes available. We also are part of other pilots and initiatives, that help shape our industry and its sustainable performance:

  • We received highest marks and won in the first ever "oekotest" on down comforters.
  • Best marks of any bedding manufacturer in the for sustainable hospitality vendors
  • Partner in the pilot program of the first international hospitality vendors to complete a chemical footprint; resulted in the best position of any bedding vendor
  • Completion of the self-assessed STeP-audit for sustainable production

Regular assessments

Each year, the current Sustainability Policy is assessed and, if required, adjusted. In the long-term, this is the only way to guarantee a sustainable and responsible procurement of our products, packaging, and development of our production. In addition, based on this policy, we formulate goals and evaluate the extent to which these goals have been achieved on an annual basis.