A commitment to marine wildlife

Welcome to Duty Calls. This regular feature aims to shine a light on some of the most laudable examples of altruism and sustainability within the travel retail industry by companies that go beyond the call of duty. In this issue, we see how Gebr Heinemann is forging ahead with its support of marine wildlife protection organisation OceanCare through a pay-for bags initiative.

Pioneering voyage: Gunnar Heinemann is leading CSR efforts and he is particularly keen to protect and conserve oceans.

A pay-for plastic bags environmental initiative from Gebr Heinemann – launched in 2017 – has been so successful that the company expects to be able to donate €1 million annually to marine conservation efforts in the future, writes Kevin Rozario.

At Heinemann’s annual results conference in April in its home town of Hamburg, Co-owner and Advisory Board Member Gunnar Heinemann was clear about the global travel retailer’s commitment to its CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategy.

“In the future, we want to take an even closer look at the economic, social, and ecological impact of our business since a company like ours – which has a presence in many destinations around the globe – needs to be mindful of its actions and their consequences,” he said.

Marine protection organisation OceanCare's video highlights the impact of plastic debris in the world's oceans.

Heinemann is actively involved in a number of projects, one of which is the work of marine protection organisation OceanCare. The Switzerland-based group currently receives between €130,000 and €150,000 from Heinemann’s pay-for bags.

Heinemann currently charges €0.30 for all single-use plastic, paper and zip bags at 14 travel retail locations, aimed at reducing single-use containers and encouraging consumers to rethink their actions. As an alternative to plastic, customers can purchase multi-use bags made from 50% recycled materials, or an exclusive Heinemann-design reusable LOQI bag.

Gunnar Heinemann said: “We have done this in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia, and we will add Copenhagen and Budapest – with more locations to come. We suspect that the day is near when we can get something like €1 million annually to support this group.

“Too many misuse the ocean as a big garbage pile, with terrible consequences for fish and other animals in the sea.”

Shopping with a cause: Heinemann’s selection of reusable LOQI bags, which have contributed to heightening customers’ ecological awareness.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Duty Calls feature series highlights environmental and socially responsible initiatives around the globe where people and the planet are the priority. If you have CSR projects, big or small, that you would like featured in Duty Calls, please contact Michael Barrett at Michael@MoodieDavittReport.com.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine | Issue 260 | 7 May 2019