The stakeholder groups that are relevant to REWE Group were determined as part of the sustainability strategy developed in 2008. The list is constantly modified on the basis of intense discussions in such places as the REWE Dialogue Forums, Sustainability Weeks, the PRO PLANET Board of Advisers and stakeholder surveys. The key stakeholder groups with which the company conducts a dialogue are suppliers, consumers, business partners, political leaders, government authorities, the academic community and non-government organisations (NGOs) as well as its own employees, the Works Council, managers and independent retailers. In 2015/2016, REWE Group performed stakeholder mapping to gain an overview of relevant NGOs in the areas of social issues, the environment, consumers, animal welfare, climate protection, health-conscious nutrition and emergency assistance, which is still valid. The results flow into the planning of stakeholder communication activities.
|Stakeholders||Form of Involvement|
Online platform Utopia.de, social media
Customer satisfaction surveys
|Partner retailers||Dialogue forums
Committees with partner retailers
Communication of guidelines
|Business partners||Communication of guidelines|
|Political leaders||Dialogue forums
Memberships of associations
Offices in Berlin and Brussels
PRO PLANET Board of Advisers
Strategic partnership with NABU (since 2015)
|The academic community||Dialogue forums
Cooperation with universities
Preparation of studies
Answering inquiries from journalists
Blogger events (including producer visits)
As a trade and tourism company with millions of customer contacts each day, REWE Group has both a special opportunity and an obligation to lead sustainability out of its niche existence. Important momentum is generated during direct and personal conversations with a range of stakeholders. In this activity, REWE Group views itself as an idea generator at events, podium discussions and talks. It shares the experience it has gained in sustainability activities during these discussions. The holding is responsible for the institutionalised dialogue with stakeholders and communications with leading media and the trade press. In 2010, REWE Group began to hold dialogue forums where it can have a personal, candid and intense discussion with stakeholder groups. These forums also consider how trade and industry can encourage customers to become more sustainable consumers. In 2017, about 220 people took part in the REWE Group dialogue forum Change of Perspective in Berlin These individuals included representatives of political groups, NGOs, the academic community and industry as well as REWE Group employees. The topics included animal welfare, healthy diets, the workplace of the future, the common good economy, and the circular economy. The stakeholders’ key concerns were discussed there. Within the scope of the dialogue forum, REWE Group presented a trend exhibition in which participants could obtain information about sustainability trends at more than 20 stations. For instance, they could find out about cultured meat, a networked refrigerator and gender identification in hatching eggs with the SELEGGT process. Expert dialogues on specific topics were also held throughout the year.
One key organisational unit of the stakeholder dialogue is the PRO PLANET Board of Advisers. This board serves as a professional and technical adviser who supports the activities of REWE Group and is consulted about communications issues (see GRI 204: Procurement Practices).
In 2015, REWE Group set up a strategic partnership with the environmental group Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU). In doing so, it intensified a working relationship initiated in 2009. As a result of the change, the two parties’ joint project work has been expanded to specific areas of cooperation, including protection of the seas, plastic bags, protection of forests, paper, conservation of resources and the fostering of biological diversity. In working groups and strategy workshops, NABU and REWE Group develop roadmaps leading to the achievement of jointly defined sustainability goals. A key aspect of the partnership is a constructive, but critical discussion that is conducted both on the work level and between the CEO of REWE Group and the president of NABU. As a result of these discussions, NABU has become an important initiator for the advancement of the sustainability strategy.
The sales lines conduct communications with customers by doing such things as discussing sustainability in weekly ﬂiers, on their websites and during Sustainability Weeks. The Sustainability Weeks are held annually and raise consumers’ awareness of more environmentally and socially acceptable products through individual measures.
In addition, all employees are informed, sensitised and inspired in regard to this issue. And there is a clear reason for this: Employees are the interface to customers and suppliers. They are an important contact for sustainability issues and a key factor in the differentiation towards competitors. To bolster this effort, the concept of sustainability ambassadors was developed. The aim is for the ambassadors to communicate sustainability issues in stores, develop their own ideas and get customers and other employees interested in the topic. As part of their task, ambassadors answer questions raised by customers and colleagues and can demonstrate in the stores that sustainability is sensible and something positive.