REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Climate Protection

The climate is massively impacted by human activity climate change has a powerful effect on ecosystems and, as a result, on societies as well. REWE Group understands its responsibility for the climate: A large portion of global CO2 emissions is created during the production and consumption of products as well as the provision of services.

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. In terms of climate protection, the activities of REWE Group are included in the area of action climate-relevant emissions.

GRI 305: Emissions

Management Approach

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 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.

KPI Target Status
Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalents) for Germany and Austria per square metre of sales area A 50% cut by 2022 compared with 2006 -43.0 %

Total greenhouse gas emissions for Germany and Austria have fallen from 2.37 million tonnes in the base year of 2006 to about 2.02 million tonnes in 2018. This represents a decrease of about 15 per cent. Specific greenhouse gas emissions (unit: CO2 equivalents per square metre of sales area) plunged by 43 per cent during the same period (see Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity). As this result demonstrates, REWE Group continues to make good progress in its effort to cut its specific greenhouse gas emissions by 2022.

In addition to this overarching environmental goal, REWE Group has defined other KPIs with related goals, focussing on activities in 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, see the section Energy) and refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions. The goals for all sales lines and holding areas in Germany and Austria have been defined and put into place in binding targets. The investments that must be made in new technologies and processes to achieve this goal are approved by the strategic business units and the holding areas themselves.

Carbon Footprint as a Monitoring Instrument
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 Austrian 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 the section Energy).

Greenhouse gas emissions were calculated in accordance with the GHG Protocol. In determining CO2 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.

Promoting the Use of 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 only applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint in Germany (about 25 per cent).
In 2018, 86.8 per cent of green electricity came from hydro power, 12.2 per cent from wind power and 1 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 2018, REWE Group operated photovoltaic systems at 48 locations in Germany (previous year: 46). These units have a potential peak power output of 14,534 kWp.

Reduction of Refrigerant-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The greenhouse gas emissions produced by refrigerating systems are largely the result of the refrigeration agents used in them.
To cut emissions, REWE Group decided at an early stage to use the most climate-friendly refrigeration agents.
As a way of reducing refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions, REWE Group defined the following KPI and related target:

KPI Target Status
Refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre (in kg of CO2 equivalent/m²) in Germany and Austria Reduction of 35% between 2012 and 2022 -36.2 %

Through the reduction of 36.2 per cent, REWE Group in Germany and Austria hit the target for 2022 in 2018. The use of climate-friendly refrigeration agents played a key role in reaching this target. These agents are increasingly natural refrigerants like CO2 and propane with lower greenhouse gas potential.

As part of REWE Group’s sustainability strategy, all multicompressor systems of commercial refrigeration used in new stores and most of remodelled stores at REWE and PENNY use the natural refrigerant CO2. Plug-in refrigerating units that will be used in future at all new and remodelled stores will use the natural refrigerant propane (R290). In terms of the use of natural refrigerating agents in heating and air-conditioning systems, the company currently has no solutions that comply with energy and economic aspects. A solution is to be developed in the next one year to two years.

Promoting Electromobility
Electromobility is a theme of the future. Even though ensuring electricity for e-cars is not an original focal point of food retailing, the company still makes a contribution to efforts to expand the charging infrastructure. In one aspect of this work, REWE Group has been installing charging station for the car parks of new Green Buildings. Currently, about 131 of its stores in Germany and Austria have charging stations. REWE Group continuously looks for partners whose business models are directly impacted by electromobility – that is, automakers, energy suppliers and providers who can make a contribution to a functioning and national charging infrastructure. REWE Group is conducting a dialogue with both regional and national providers about this issue. Only through collaboration can secure supplies be provided.

GRI 305-1, 305-2, 305-3:

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

2006 2016 2017 2018 Change 2006–2018
Scope 1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-1) 760,214 669,156 681,743 660,246 -13 %
Scope 2: Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-2) 1,343,056 1,092,428 1,066,990 1,036,428 -23 %
Scope 3¹: Other indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-3) 270,607 348,120 333,045 326,644 21 %
Total greenhouse gas emissions 2,373,876 2,109,704 2,081,778 2,023,318 -15 %
Greenhouse gas emissions scopes 1–3 (tonnes of CO₂ equivalents)¹
2006 2016 2017 2018
GRI 305-3: Other indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3)¹ 270607 348120 333045 326644
GRI 305-2: Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2) 1343056 1092428 1066990 1036428
GRI 305-1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) 760214 669156 681743 660246

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.

1 The green power generated for companies of REWE Group in 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 in Germany (about 25 per cent).

GRI 305-4:

Intensity of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

During the reporting period, both the total and the specific greenhouse gas emissions (per square metre of sales area) of REWE Group decreased. In 2018, specific greenhouse gas emissions totalled 199.3 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre. They were reduced by 43.0 per cent compared with the base year of 2006. 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 2016 2017 2018
Total greenhouse gas emissions t CO2-equivalents 2,373,876 2,109,704 2,081,778 2,020,431
Specific greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area kg CO2-equivalents/m2 350 219 208 199
Achieved savings of specific greenhouse gas emissions since the base year 2006 % -37.4 -40.3 -43.0

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.

1The green power generated for companies of REWE Group in 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 in Germany (about 25 per cent).

The greenhouse gas emissions of REWE Group were broken down in the following manner for 2018:

Share of Greenhouse Gas emissions in 2018 by Originator Group (Scopes 1–3)
Electricity 50.4%
Heat 13.2%
Refrigerants 11.8%
Logistics 12.4%
Business trips 2.7%
Paper 9.5%
in %

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.

GRI 305-5:

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

REWE Group has launched a variety of electricity-saving measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of these efforts, about 11,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were saved in 2018.

Steps to Lower CO₂ Emissions¹

Measures Savings of CO2-equivalents (tonnes)
2016 2017 2018
Lighting
Conversion of lighting systems to LED, optimisation of light management, reduction of turn-on times
8,432 16,874 8,123
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
3,608 6,169 3,242
Improvements in the technology of other systems, ventilation systems and IT infrastructure 23 818 373
Total 12,062 23,861 11,738

Scope: REWE Group including 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.

GRI 305-6:

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

In recent years, REWE Group has systematically cut 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 11 kilograms of CFC-11 equivalents.

Emission of Ozone-Depleting Substances by Weight (Kilograms)

Unit 2016 2017 2018
Total emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refilled refrigerants kg of CFC-11 equivalents 10 10 11

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.

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 upstream combustion and production processes used to make electricity, heat and paper. In addition, emissions generated by refrigerants, logistics and business trips have an impact on air quality.

In terms of total emissions of airborne pollutants at REWE Group, the share of airborne pollutants from logistics breaks down this way: about 22 per cent for nitrogen oxides (NOX), around 6 per cent for sulfur oxides (SOX) and approximately 8 per cent for fine particulate matter (particle <10 µm). The issue of airborne pollutants became a higher priority for REWE Group’s logistics operations in Germany during 2018 as a result of the first-time imposition of driving bans on diesel vehicles in congested downtown areas. In response to the restrictions placed on vehicles by individual cities and towns, deliveries to affected grocery stores and branches were assured by making changes to route scheduling and selecting the right vehicle for the particular job.

To further reduce the emissions 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 and is already using several natural gas-powered lorries and natural gas/diesel hybrids. In September 2018, an all-electric lorry was also delivered; it is intended to make deliveries to trade companies in the Vienna metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the supply of such vehicles, particularly in the 40-tonne class, is small or non-existent. The availability of vehicles and the related fuelling and charging infrastructure is extremely limited.

Air Emissions Including Upstream Chains (Tonnes)

2016 2017 2018
NOx 2,799 2,749 2,655
SOx 1,614 1,581 1,531
Fine particulate matter (particle < 10 µm) 214 191 172
Non-methane volatile organic compounds 417 427 422

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.

Further topics in this area:

Materials

GRI 301

Energy

GRI 302

Water

GRI 303

Waste

GRI 306

Green Building

RG 1