REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018


A range of wastes is produced by REWE Group’s business activities. One of the Group’s key goals is to reduce the production of waste and to appropriately recycle it as a way of conserving precious resources.

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. Activities associated with waste management are part of the conservation of resources area of action. REWE Group’s goal is to mechanically recycle waste in order to conserve resources.

GRI 306: Effluents and waste

Management Approach

In dealing with waste and reusable materials, REWE Group and its waste-disposal partners systematically apply the principle of recycling. In particular, the reusable material found in logistics is sorted to the greatest extent possible and can thus be mechanically recycled to the optimal degree.

This is particularly the case for non-hazardous wastes. These wastes can be reprocessed to a large extent, and many of them can even be mechanically recycled. Since 2008, this rate has been more than 90 per cent and since 2012, the percentage has remained relatively constant at more than 95 per cent. Nearly all paper, cardboard and boxes are mechanically recycled. This group makes up the largest share of all waste at about 45 per cent. Paper, cardboard and boxes are an important raw material for the paper industry, as new paper and cardboard can be produced from the recycled fibres. A large amount of plastics, metals, glass and store rubbish is recycled as well. Organic waste produced in food stores is transported to biogas units where it is converted into electricity and heat.

Avoidance of Food Waste

In the area of food, REWE Group strives to keep the percentage of losses to a minimum. State-of-the-art forecasting systems and automated order processes are combined with short transport distances and seamless refrigeration to create a needs-driven supply system for stores. As a result, the percentage of unsold goods can be kept to a minimum.


A key role in estimating need is the commercial experience of employees. REWE Group regularly provides training to them in this area. For more information about REWE Group’s commitment to the avoidance of food waste, see the section Projects and Sponsorships.

GRI 306-2:

Waste by type and disposal method

The amount of non-hazardous waste in the company group in Germany and Austria totalled about 682,000 tonnes in 2018 (previous year: about 650,600 tonnes). Hazardous waste – in particular certain types of used electric equipment, oils, vehicle batteries and fluorescent lamps – made up only a very small portion of overall waste in 2018 at 1,671 tonnes (previous year: 1,567 tonnes). Compared with non-hazardous waste, the amount of hazardous waste totalled significantly less than 1 per cent.

Non-Hazardous Waste – Total Volume (Tonnes)
2016 2017 2018
Total volume (tonnes) 637089 650610 682080
Non-Hazardous Waste – Specific Volume per Square Metre of Sales Area (kg/m²)
2016 2017 2018
Specific waste volume (kg/m²) 87.7 88.4 88.8
Non-Hazardous Waste – Percentage Volume by Type of Waste
Waste for recycling 10.5 %
Organic 18.5 %
Paper and cardboard/boxes 45.7 %
Plastics 13.7 %
Residual waste 6.0 %
Other (e.g. wood, metals, construction waste) 5.7 %
in %
Hazardous Waste – Total Volume (Tonnes)
2016 2017 2018
Total volume (tonnes) 1357 1567 1671

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria excluding retailers. Units that left REWE Group during the reporting period were excluded: Rothermel.

Further topics in this area:


GRI 301


GRI 302


GRI 303

Climate Protection

GRI 305

Green Building

RG 1