REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Energy

From stores and offices to transports – REWE Group uses energy to conduct its business activities. Responsible consumption and the use of alternative energy sources can help to reduce environmental impacts.

To permanently integrate sustainability into its company processes, REWE Group has developed an all-encompassing sustainability strategy that is made up of four main pillars: Green Products; Energy, Climate and the Environment; Employees; and Social Involvement. Three areas of action have been defined for the pillar Energy, Climate and the Environment: energy efficiency, climate-relevant emissions and conservation of resources. As part of the energy efficiency area of action, REWE Group continuously works to lower its energy consumption per square metre of sales area. In this process, it makes a key contribution to climate protection.

GRI 302: Energy

Management Approach

REWE Group primarily uses energy for refrigeration and lighting in its stores. Fuel is also consumed when goods are transported. The following gains have been made in the area of use of electricity, the largest segment of energy consumption at about 59 per cent:

KPI Target Status
Electricity consumption per square metre of sales area (in kWh/m²) in Germany and Austria Reduction of 7.5% between 2012 and 2022 -9.2 %

With this result, REWE Group in Germany and Austria hit the target for 2022 in 2018. The driving forces behind this improvement were the use of LED lighting, steps involving more energy-efficient refrigeration and new stores that are more energy efficient. Overall, this success reflects the effectiveness of the energy management systems that have been put into place. REWE Group will continue to work on boosting its energy efficiency as part of a continuous improvement process.

Electricity Usage Trends in Detail

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 ✓
  Change compared with 2012   -0.7 % -3.9 % -4.3 % -5.3 % -6.6 % -9.2 %
Electricity consumption per square metre of sales area in kWh/m² 333.6 331.4 320.6 319.4 315.9 311.4 303

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

The reduction of energy usage per square metre of sales area plays a key role in efforts to reach REWE Group’s climate goal (see the section Climate Protection). The foundation of REWE Group’s systematic efficiency activities is the group-wide energy management system that the company has been applying with the help of the Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) since 2008. The energy service provider – which became a wholly owned subsidiary of REWE Group in 2014 – has installed measuring devices in the company’s stores and warehouses that facilitate central, up-to-date monitoring of energy usage. In addition, a monitoring platform called FRIGODATA keeps close watch on temperature and energy data.

In 2015, REWE Group began to introduce a central energy management system based on ISO 50001 in Germany. This system has been certified since the end of 2016. The system tracks all electricity consumption of the entire REWE Group in Germany with all sales lines and more than 5,000 locations. This includes grocery stores, DIY stores, travel agencies, logistics centres, administrative offices and online shops. The production operations Wilhelm Brandenburg and Glockenbrot Bäckerei have been operating an energy management system certified in accordance with ISO 50001 since 2014. In April 2016, REWE International AG in Austria also received ISO 50001 certification for about 2,100 stores (BILLA, MERKUR, PENNY Austria and BIPA) and the entire logistics operation. BILLA Czech Republic, BILLA Slovakia, BILLA Bulgaria, IKI Lithuania and PENNY Romania have been ISO 50001 certified since spring 2017. All other countries in REWE International AG were certified in 2018. In taking this approach, REWE Group is bundling its many energy-related activities. At the same time, it is meeting the standards of the European Energy Efficiency Directive and fulfilling legal requirements in individual countries (in Germany, the amended version of the Energy Services Act (Energiedienstleistungsgesetz)).

Optimising Energy Consumption

The new management structure is a significant milestone to further optimise energy consumption. The detailed tracking of energy consumption will enable central energy goals and subgoals to be better defined and monitored. In addition, the link between measured energy usage and implemented programmes can be better understood and monitored. In this way, high-impact solutions can be identified and refined. Local employees play an important role in addition to administrative employees and energy managers. Through their actions on the job, they can make a key contribution to the success of the measures and serve as influential providers of improvement ideas. REWE Group has set up a central e-mail address to which employees can send their questions, ideas and suggestions: EnMS@rewe-group.com.

GRI 302-1:

Energy Consumption Within the Organisation

Energy consumption involves electricity, especially the power used for refrigeration and lighting, and the fuel consumed to transport products from warehouses to stores and to deliver goods to online customers. This part of logistics is a category that the company can influence directly. As a result, consumption by the group’s own vehicles as well as those of external service providers in Germany and Austria is addressed here.

Total energy usage by REWE Group rose by about 6.8 per cent between 2016 and 2018. There were several reasons for this increase: Acquisitions and an expansion of the scope of consolidation caused the jump – the addition of Supermärkte Nord and REWE Dortmund by itself was responsible for a 6.2 per cent increase of energy consumption from 2016 to 2018. Excluding Supermärkte Nord and REWE Dortmund, fuels used for lorries and passenger cars resulted in an increase in consumption of approximately 1 per cent. Nonetheless, location-related energy consumption, excluding Supermärkte Nord and REWE Dortmund, fell by 0.3 per cent in spite of branch and logistics expansions (see Energy Intensity).

The largest amount of total energy consumption in 2018 was attributed to electricity, at about 59 per cent, followed by fuel for lorries and passenger cars (including external logistics) and natural gas.

Energy Consumption Within the Organisation (in GWh)

2016 2017 2018 ✓ Change 2016–2018
Total Total Total Total Per cent
Electricity 3,844 3,945 4,163 319.4 8.3 %
Heating oil 92 83 75 -16.7 -18.2 %
Gas (natural and liquefied gas) 1,026 1,038 1,065 39.2 3.8 %
Self-produced renewable energies 9 8 10 0.7 7.6 %
District heating 295 310 324 29.4 10.0 %
Fuels (lorries/cars) 1,022 1,057 1,129 107.7 10.5 %
Jet fuel 295 286 264 -31.3 -10.6 %
Total 6,582 6,728 7,030 448.4 6.8 %
Total excluding jet fuel 6,287 6,442 6,766 479.7 7.6 %

1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International System of Units (SI))

Scope: REWE Group including retailers. The consumption data of the former Kaiser’sTengelmann and Supermärkte Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG (SuNo) stores have been included in the totals since 2017. Those of REWE Dortmund have been included since financial year 2018. Units that left REWE Group in 2018 were excluded: TEMMA, Gartenliebe, Smart People. The data have been adjusted to reflect these changes. As a result, they do not match the figures contained in the Sustainability Report 2017.

Self-produced renewable energies comprise solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal energy, wind energy, wood pellets and organic heat.

Energy Consumption Within the Organisation – Consumption Share 2018 ✓
Electricity 59.2%
Heating oil 1.1%
Gas (natural and liquefied gas) 15.2%
Self-produced renewable energies 0.1%
District heating 4.6%
Fuels (lorries/cars) 16.0%
Jet fuel 3.8%

Scope: REWE Group including retailers. The consumption data of the former Kaiser’sTengelmann and Supermärkte Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG (SuNo) stores have been included in the totals since 2017. Those of REWE Dortmund have been included since financial year 2018. Units that left REWE Group in 2018 were excluded: TEMMA, Gartenliebe, Smart People. The data have been adjusted to reflect these changes. As a result, they do not match the figures contained in the Sustainability Report 2017.

Self-produced renewable energies comprise solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal energy, wind energy, wood pellets and organic heat.

in %

Scope: REWE Group including retailers. The consumption data of the former Kaiser’sTengelmann and Supermärkte Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG (SuNo) stores have been included in the totals since 2017. Those of REWE Dortmund have been included since financial year 2018. Units that left REWE Group in 2018 were excluded: TEMMA, Gartenliebe, Smart People. The data have been adjusted to reflect these changes. As a result, they do not match the figures contained in the Sustainability Report 2017.

Self-produced renewable energies comprise solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal energy, wind energy, wood pellets and organic heat.

GRI 302-3:

Energy intensity

Energy intensity covers location-related use of electricity and heat. Despite the increase in total energy consumption during the reporting period, this specific energy consumption (energy consumption per square metre of sales area) of REWE Group fell by nearly 2.9 per cent from 2016 to 2018. This change was the result of an increase of square metres of sales area and the implementation of a broad range of electricity-efficiency measures, including the use of LED lighting (see the KPI for electricity consumption and the table Steps to Lower Electricity Usage).

Energy Intensity

Unit 2016 2017 2018 ✓ Change
2016 – 2018
Total energy consumption in GWh 5,265 5,384 5,637 7.1 %
Energy consumption per square metre of sales area in kWh/m² 473.27 464.82 459.71 -2.9 %

1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International System of Units (SI))

Scope: REWE Group including retailers. The consumption data of the former Kaiser’sTengelmann and Supermärkte Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG (SuNo) stores have been included in the totals since 2017. Those of REWE Dortmund have been included since financial year 2018. Units that left REWE Group in 2018 were excluded: TEMMA, Gartenliebe, Smart People. The data have been adjusted to reflect these changes. As a result, they do not match the figures contained in the Sustainability Report 2017.

GRI 302-4:

Reduction of energy consumption

To systematically save energy and reduce emissions, the company works with Hamburger Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) to monitor electricity and gas consumption in the stores supplied by EHA. In 2016, REWE Group began to use the new energy management system ISO 50001 in Germany, Austria and central and Eastern European countries. On the basis of collected data, the energy managers of REWE Group examine current and planned consumption levels and then propose optimisation measures. These measures are primarily designed to optimise lighting, refrigeration, heating and ventilation systems. REWE Group is also working to reduce its use of heat. Since 2017, REWE Markt GmbH has been conducting potential-identification analyses to develop optimisation measures.

Lighting
Lighting affects customers’ well-being and product presentation – a pleasant light makes a strong contribution to the shopping experience. At the same time, lighting is responsible for about 25 per cent of electricity consumption in food stores and around 60 per cent in toom Baumarkt DIY stores. To reduce this total, energy management is devising efficient lighting concepts that address the lighting needs of the sales lines. LEDs play a major part in this effort by saving between 30 per cent and 45 per cent of the electricity required by lighting systems.

Project to Convert to LED Lighting

In 2013 and 2014, the sales lines of REWE Group began to systematically switch to LED lighting in its stores. A group-wide project was initiated to use only LEDs (including retrofit solutions) for new and replacement systems. This project also involved developing special lighting concepts for use in trade that occasionally required new technical solutions. In recent years, significant improvements have been made in the light colour and service life of LED lighting systems. As a result, they are now ideally suited for wide-scale use. In all of its new construction and renovation projects, REWE Group uses new LED light concepts for its stores and logistics locations. The use of LED lighting has played a key role in the reduction of electricity consumption per square metre of sales area in recent years.

Refrigeration
Refrigeration systems consume the most power in grocery stores. For this reason, they are a focal point of efforts to lower energy consumption. Optimised refrigerated display cases use 20 per cent to 40 per cent less electricity for cooling purposes. Glass doors installed on refrigerated display cases are a visible, highly effective way to cut energy consumption. Such doors are already standard for meat products. These systems are also used for dairy products in new stores and large remodelling projects. In Austria, the MERKUR and PENNY sales lines are currently testing glass doors for dairy display cases.

One other key factor is regular maintenance and professional management of refrigerating systems. These systems can be energy efficient only if the refrigeration equipment is optimally operated. As the range of fresh and convenience products grows in stores and as refrigerating needs rise with them, energy-efficient refrigerated display cases will become increasingly important in future.

Refrigerating Forum Ensures Regular Dialogue

Every two years, the REWE and PENNY sales lines invite representatives from refrigerating companies and system suppliers to a refrigerating forum that gives participants an opportunity to discuss their experiences. During presentations and workshops, the participants delve into such topics as energy optimisation and operational and temperature reliability. The Austrian sales lines BILLA, MERKUR and PENNY present an energy efficiency award for refrigeration companies as part of their Refrigeration Partner Conference.

Measures to Lower Electricity Usage

Measures Reduced Electricity Consumption (GWh)
2016 2017 2018
Lighting
Conversion of lighting systems to LED, optimisation of light management, reduction of turn-on times
27.2 47.8 25.8
Refrigeration
Including 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
12.5 19.8 12.3
Improvements in the technology of other systems, particularly in production 0.1 2.2 1.0
Total savings 39.7 69.7 39.1

1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International System of Units (SI))

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

In 2018, measures implemented by the sales lines of REWE Group in Germany and Austria lowered electricity usage by about 39 GWh. The use of LED lighting played a key role in the savings achieved in all areas. The use of LEDs in a wide range of areas represents 66 per cent of total savings at nearly 26 GWh. Refrigeration is responsible for about half of electricity consumption at grocery stores. Therefore, many steps regarding refrigeration were taken during the reporting period to reduce cooling losses. Steps have been taken in other places, too. These involved such areas as ventilation and other systems – especially in the area of production.

Logistics and Product Transport
REWE Group Logistics ensures that the company’s stores always have the products they need. This operation is supported by a complex transport and warehouse system that ensures product availability, quality and freshness. Transport-related emissions cause about 12 per cent of REWE Group’s total greenhouse gas emissions in Germany and Austria. REWE Group is taking the following steps to cut these emissions: strategic reduction of the distance between the warehouses and the stores, increased vehicle utilisation, reduced emissions per kilometre through the use of differentiated logistics concepts, use of more efficient technology and modified driver behaviour.

In 2018, the REWE Group warehouse network infrastructure was further optimised. This work included expansion of REWE’s regional warehouse in Raunheim, the completion of remodelling work at the REWE-Koblenz location and construction-related modernisation and reorganisation activities at other warehouse sites. In addition to the improvements in the warehouse structure, forecast techniques and route planning are continuously being improved. As a result, vehicle utilisation of the entire lorry fleet is above 90 per cent with regard to the vehicles in service. In 2018, total vehicle utilisation rose slightly once again. The continuous enhancement of the logistics network at REWE Group has resulted particularly in lower average route lengths.

Training for Lorry Drivers

REWE Group conducts training programmes in which its drivers learn petrol-saving techniques. It is also implementing measures based on the company-wide system for monitoring fuel usage. In 2018, 15 per cent more lorry drivers were trained than in 2017. Fuel consumption in 2018 remained at the previous year’s level. In spite of increasing traffic congestion, lower speeds and an increased number of traffic jams, this performance is viewed as a success in terms of reduced fuel consumption.

To further reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicle fleet, REWE Group continuously upgrades its vehicles. At the end of 2018, the share of vehicles that met the Euro 6 emission standard was 49 per cent in Germany and more than 50 per cent in Austria (in terms of the company’s entire fleet of lorries). Another key part of REWE Group’s sustainability efforts involves testing alternative drive technologies to determine their suitability, practicability and efficiency within REWE Group Logistics. In the REWE Region Central, gas-powered lorries are a regular part of the fleet. REWE International AG is also working with alternative drive options. Three e-hybrid lorries and seven gas-powered lorries are currently being used in Austria. In September 2018, an all-electric lorry for use in making deliveries to trade companies in the Vienna metropolitan area was delivered.
For many years now, REWE International AG has been active in the Council for Sustainable Logistics. The development and commissioning of the e-lorry took place in this partnership.

Winner Project for Sustainable Logistics

The research project “GeNaLog” (Geräuscharme Nachtlogistik, or silent night logistics) in which REWE Group acted as a trade partner was named as one of the winners in the competition “Sustainable Urban Logistics” in December 2018. In this national competition, the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety joined forces with the German Environment Agency to recognise projects and measures that represent sustainable logistics in German cities in a special way. The competition involved innovative urban logistics concepts across Germany that were especially environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. By integrating an all-electric lorry as well as using smart processes and low-noise transport aids, the research project “GeNaLog” showed that night logistics could potentially be a solution for the logistical challenges of inner cities.

Employee Mobility
Mobility is another area where energy consumption can be reduced. As part of this focus, eligible employees have the opportunity to individually apply their mobility budgets – for instance, they can select a smaller car model and use the money that they save in the process for another purpose. Users of electric vehicles receive a monthly bonus of 150 euros in addition to their mobility budget. The monthly stipend for hybrid vehicles is 25 euros. To encourage mobility with bicycles, all employees of REWE Group in Germany have been able to purchase a company bike since November 2016 as part of a deferred-compensation model. Employees can use the bicycles to commute to work and enjoy in their leisure time. More than 3,300 bicycles have been purchased by employees during this period.

Further topics in this area:

Materials

GRI 301

Water

GRI 303

Climate Protection

GRI 305

Waste

GRI 306

Green Building

RG 1