REWE Group Sustainability Report 2017

Climate Protection

GRI 305: EmissionsManagement Approach

REWE Group understands its responsibility for the climate: A large portion of global carbon dioxide emissions is created during the production and consumption of products as well as the provision of services. For this reason, REWE Group has made energy conservation and the avoidance of climatically harmful emissions a high priority. And this issue will become even more important as energy prices rise. Key challenges to be faced by REWE Group in future include cutting energy consumption while addressing rising needs in the areas of freshness and convenience, work that will require increased transports and refrigeration.

The Climate Target of REWE Group

The declared strategic goal of REWE Group is to make a measurable contribution to climate and resource protection or, at the very least, to keep impacts on the climate and environment to a minimum. This commitment is clearly spelled out in the Guidelines for Sustainable Business Practices of REWE Group.

REWE Group defined its first climate goal in 2009. Thanks to the company’s strong performance, this goal was reached ahead of time in the summer of 2013 and was increased again. REWE Group has set the new goal

  • of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area in half by 2022 compared with 2006.

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions for Germany and Austria have fallen from 2.37 million tonnes in the base year of 2006 to about 2.1 million tonnes in 2017. This represents a decrease of 12 per cent. Specific greenhouse gas emissions (unit: carbon dioxide equivalents per square metre of sales area) plunged by 40.3 per cent during the same period (see graphic). As this result demonstrates, REWE Group has made significant strides in its effort to cut its specific greenhouse gas emissions by 2022. In addition to this overarching environmental goal, REWE Group has defined two KPIs with related goals:

  • KPI 1: lowering electricity usage per square metre of sales area (as measured in kWh/m²) by 7.5 per cent between 2012 and 2022 (see also GRI 302: Energy)
    • Status 2017: The company lowered its specific energy consumption level in Germany and Austria by 6.6 per cent between 2012 and 2017.
  • KPI 2: reducing refrigeration-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area (in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents/m²) by 35 per cent between 2012 and 2022 (see also the chapter  Refrigerants).
    • Status 2017: The company lowered its refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area in Germany and Austria by 27.9 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

The KPIs focus on activities in relation to energy, climate and the environment. These are areas where significant levels of consumption occur and where REWE Group can have a direct impact by taking its own measures: energy efficiency (refrigeration and lighting) and refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions. The goals of each strategic business unit and holding area in Germany and Austria include specific binding targets and are a major focus of their commercial operations. The investments that must be made in new technologies and processes to achieve this goal are agreed by the strategic business units and the holding areas themselves.

Carbon Footprint

To document the progress being made in reaching climate goals and to facilitate monitoring of the emission-reducing steps, REWE Group has hired independent experts to prepare an annual carbon footprint report since 2009. During the reporting period, this report was prepared by INFRAS AG for Germany and by Umweltbundesamt GmbH for Austria. In addition to outlining the achieved savings, the Carbon Footprint Report highlights the fundamental levers that the company has at its disposal. The major causes of greenhouse gas emissions are electrical, heating and refrigeration systems (for information about energy-related steps, see GRI 302: Energy).

Greenhouse gas emissions were calculated in accordance with the GHG Protocol. In determining carbon dioxide equivalent emission factors, data from the material-flow-analysis model GEMIS, the transport emission model TREMOD and the life-cycle analysis database Ecoinvent were used once again.

Alternative Energies

At the beginning of 2008, the company shifted the source of the electricity used by its stores, warehouses and travel agencies in Germany and Austria to certified green power. This power is purchased from Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA), a wholly owned subsidiary of REWE Group. The green power generated by REWE Group Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group now applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint (about 25 per cent).

In 2017, 82 per cent of green electricity came from hydro power, 15 per cent from wind power and 3 per cent from photovoltaics.

In addition, REWE Group employs photovoltaic technology and other regenerative technologies to produce its own energy. Photovoltaic systems are used in administrative offices, warehouses and, at suitable locations, also in stores (particularly Green Building stores). At the end of 2017, REWE Group operated photovoltaic systems at 46 locations in Germany. These units have a potential peak power output of 17,700 kWp.

Refrigerants

The greenhouse gas emissions produced by refrigerating systems are largely the result of the refrigeration agents used in them. For this reason, REWE Group has defined its own KPI to cover this area:

KPI 2: reducing refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area by 35 per cent by 2022 compared with the base year 2012.

By 2017, a reduction of 27.9 per cent had already been achieved. The slight increase in refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2016 was due mainly to two leaks.

In its effort to cut emissions, REWE Group decided at an early stage to use the most climate-friendly refrigeration agents. These agents have low greenhouse gas potential and increasingly include natural refrigerants like propane and CO2.

  • GRI 305-1: Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
  • GRI 305-2: Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
  • GRI 305-3: Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scopes 1–3 (tonnes of CO2 equivalents)1

2006 2015 2016 2017 Change 2006–2017
GRI 305-1: Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions 760,214 664,693 669,433 695,992 -8 %
GRI 305-2: Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions 1,343,056 1,113,419 1,092,132 1,066,751 -21 %
GRI 305-3: Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions1 270,607 342,246 348,105 332,629 +23 %
Total GHG emissions2 2,373,876 2,119,858 2,109,671 2,095,936 -12 %
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scopes 1–3 (tonnes of CO₂ equivalents)¹
2006 2015 2016 2017
GRI 305-3: Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions¹ 270607 342246 348105 332629
GRI 305-2: Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions 1343056 1113419 1092132 1066751
GRI 305-1: Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions 760214 664693 669433 695992

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

¹ The green power generated for companies of REWE Group Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group only applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint (about 25 per cent).

² Newly released emission factors were used to determine the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions for 2016 deteriorated compared to the previous report.

GRI 305-4: GHG emissions intensity

During the reporting period, both the absolute and the specific greenhouse gas emissions (per square metre of sales area) of REWE Group decreased. Specific greenhouse gas emissions totalled 209 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre in 2017. Compared with the base year 2006, specific greenhouse gas emissions fell by 40.3 per cent in 2017. The calculation of emission intensity comprises direct and indirect energy-related emissions as well as other indirect emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3).

Greenhouse gas emissions1

Unit 2006 2015 2016 2017
Absolute greenhouse gas emissions tCO2 equivalents 2,373,876 2,119,858 2,109,671 2,095,936
Specific greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area kgCO2 equivalents/m2 350 222 219 209
Achieved savings of specific greenhouse gas emissions since the base year 2006 % -36.6 % -37.4 % -40.3 %

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

1 The green power generated for companies of REWE Group Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group only applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint (about 25 per cent).

2 Newly released emission factors were used to determine the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions for 2016 deteriorated compared to the previous report.

The greenhouse gas emissions of REWE Group were broken down in the following manner for 2017:

Share of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 by originator group (scope 1–3)
Electicity 50.3%
Heat 13.0%
Refrigerants 12.7%
Logistics 12.2%
Buisness trips 2.8%
Paper 9.1%
in %

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope: Rothermel.

GRI 305-5: Reduction of GHG emissions

REWE Group has launched a variety of electricity-saving measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of these efforts, about 23,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were saved in 2017.

Steps to lower CO2 emissions1

Steps Savings of CO2 equivalents (tonnes)
2015 2016 2017
Lighting
Transition of lighting systems to LED, optimisation of light management, reduction of turn-on times
2,725 8,432 16,874
Refrigeration
Use of glass on dairy-product display cases and doors on freezers, retrofitting of glass doors, optimisation/upgrading of system technology, replacement of refrigeration systems and energy-efficient display cases
4,767 3,608 6,169
Improvements in the technology of other systems, ventilation systems and IT infrastructure 224 23 818
Total 7,716 12,062 23,861

Scope: REWE Group, including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

¹ The basis for the calculation is the energy-saving initiatives used for GRI 302-4.

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

In recent years, REWE Group has systematically cut back on its use of ozone-depleting substances – since 2006 by about 99 per cent. The chief reason for this decline was the legally mandated replacement of the refrigerant R22 with non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. In 2017, the total amount of emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refilled refrigerants was 10 kilograms of CFC-11 equivalents.

Emission of ozone-depleting substances by weight (kilograms)

Unit 2015 2016 2017
Total emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refilled refrigerants kg of CFC-11 equivalents 12 10 10

Scope: Companies of REWE Group Germany and Austria including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

GRI 305-7: Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions

The airborne pollutants associated with the business activities of REWE Group are primarily caused by the upstream combustion and production processes used to produce electricity, heat and paper. In addition, emissions generated by refrigerants, logistics and business trips have an impact on air quality.

Air emissions including upstream chains (tonnes)

2015 2016 2017
NOx 2,889 2,799 2,749
SOx 1,575 1,614 1,581
Fine particulate matter (particle < 10 µm) 221 214 191
Non-methane volatile organic compounds 412 417 427

Scope: Companies of REWE Group Germany and Austria including partner retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

More topics:

GRI 302

Energy

GRI 303

Water

GRI 306

Waste

REW 1

Green Building