REWE Group Sustainability Report 2017

Green Building

Management Approach

“More sustainable products belong in more sustainable stores.” With this commitment in mind, REWE Group set about the task in 2008 to develop a new generation of supermarkets that would bring sustainability to life for customers and employees as well as foster sustainable progress.

The result of this work is the Green Building concept of REWE Group that combines modern architecture with energy-efficient technologies and the use of renewable energies. Introduction of the model concept in 2012 made it possible, for example, to cut primary energy consumption by up to 40 per cent compared with conventional markets. By successfully introducing the Green Building concept, REWE Group has made the environmental and business case for building and operating more sustainable retail properties. Because REWE generally leases its stores, the support of investors and landlords for more sustainable building concepts must be gained. Criteria such as economic value, a possible change of use and commercial development costs are key arguments for this proven construction concept. Evidence of customers’ positive responses to this concept can be seen in above-average customer frequency and the related rise in revenue. REWE Group informs customers about its Green Building strategy in fliers in weekly advertising, in special brochures and as part of annual Sustainability Weeks in stores.


The concept includes the following elements, which are applied in accordance with business locations’ needs:

  1. Daylight architecture: Ribbon windows on up to four sides of the building and additional dome roof lights facilitate the use of natural light, which is complemented by an energy-efficient LED lighting concept. The natural light tremendously enhances the quality of the time that customers and employees spend in the store.
  2. Organic building materials: The characteristic structural frame of a Green Building is formed by wood, a renewable resource. This is also the case with the front façade and, in many cases, with the roof shell. Environmentally friendly and recyclable building materials are also used in other areas.
  3. Renewable energies: Green Building stores use only green power that is 100 per cent certified. In instances where it makes sense, photovoltaic systems are installed as well.
  4. Heating: For heating purposes, no fossil fuels are required thanks to the use of heat pumps and the waste heat of refrigeration systems.
  5. Use of rain water: To clean floors, flush toilets and water outdoor areas, rain water is collected in containers.
  6. Refrigeration systems and units: CO2, a natural coolant, is used for normal and combined refrigeration and deep-freeze systems; propylene, which is a natural refrigerant, is used for plug-in freezers. Buffer-storage units are used to recover heat. Glass-door refrigerated display cases for meat and dairy products help to prevent losses of refrigerated air. The energy efficiency of refrigeration units is increased by using integrated LED lighting systems and energy-saving fans and by forgoing the use of defrosters for glass panels on freezer units.
  7. Sociocultural factors: Green Building stores are largely barrier free. They are also equipped with restrooms for the physically disabled and with baby changing tables. Factors such as visual comfort, ambient air and bicycle parking places near the entrance are considered as well.

DGNB Certification

Since 2012, REWE’s Green Building concept has received multiple certification at the “Gold”* level by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). In 2014, toom Baumarkt DIY stores received multiple certification for their Green Buildings. The PENNY sales line achieved multiple certification in 2016. The seal of quality evaluates a wide range of building features. These include environmental aspects, the stages of the construction process and sociocultural factors regarding well-being, including visual comfort, ambient air, bicycle parking places and customer restrooms. The multiple certification of the building specifications significantly simplifies the certification process because the entire concept has already been subjected to a thorough examination. This is a key pre-condition for the fast, cost-efficient development of Green Building stores.

* Corresponds to the current classification following a change in the criteria by the Building Council in 2015.

RG1-1: Stores that meet the requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (Green Building)

Stores that meet the requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (Green Building), status at the end of 2017

REWE PENNY toom Baumarkt DIY stores
In progress 139 21 2
Completed 106 7 12
Total 245 28 14

More topics:

GRI 302


GRI 303


GRI 305

Climate Protection

GRI 306