REWE Group operates stores throughout Germany and Austria. Energy and other resources are used to run these stores every day. The company is determined to systematically reduce the energy that these stores use and to design its buildings in a more sustainable manner.
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 Green Buildings are part of the areas of action energy efficiency and conservation of resources. REWE Group’s goal is to lower the amount of energy and resources used by its stores by applying the Green Building concept.
RG1: Green Building
“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 Green Building concept of REWE Group 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 at the time. 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 Group frequently leases its stores, the support of investors and landlords for more sustainable building concepts must be gained. Criteria such as economic value, flexibility 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.
Elements of the Green Building Concept The concept includes the following elements, which are applied in accordance with business locations’ needs:
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.
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.
Renewable energies: Green Building stores use 100 per cent certified green power, just like all other stores, warehouses and travel agencies of REWE Group. Photovoltaic systems are installed in areas where such technology makes sense.
Heating: For heating purposes, no fossil fuels are required thanks to the use of heat pumps and the waste heat of refrigeration systems.
Use of rain water: To clean floors, flush toilets and water outdoor areas, rain water is collected in containers.
Refrigeration systems and units: The natural coolant CO2 is used for normal and combined refrigeration and deep-freeze systems. The natural refrigerant propylene 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 glass heaters for glass panels on freezer units.
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.
Stores That Meet the Requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (Green Building)
Finished Stores That Meet the Requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (Green Building). Status: the End of Each Financial Year.