REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Green Building

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

Management Approach

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Heating: For heating purposes, no fossil fuels are required thanks to the use of heat pumps and the waste heat of refrigeration systems.
  5. Use of rain water: To clean floors, flush toilets and water outdoor areas, rain water is collected in containers.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Certification by the German Sustainable Building Council

In 2013, REWE Group decided to apply the Green Building concept to all new construction projects and all new leases in Germany as long as fundamental conditions permitted its use. Since 2012, REWE’s Green Building concept has received multiple certification at the “Gold”* level by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). For the REWE sales line, new buildings are designed in accordance with the Green Building concept or the council’s criteria for sustainable construction practices. In 2014, toom Baumarkt DIY stores received multi-certification from the DGNB. The DGNB’s criteria for the “Gold” standard were incorporated into building specifications and application of the Green Building concept is now a standard operating procedure at toom Baumarkt DIY stores. The PENNY sales line achieved multi-certification for the “Gold”* standard for its building specifications in 2016. Since then, all new PENNY buildings are erected in consideration of the DGNB’s criteria. Increasingly, the buildings are certified according to these criteria as well. As a result of the inclusion of the DGNB’s criteria in the sales lines’ building specifications, these requirements also explicitly apply to the property leased by REWE Group.
The DGNB’s seal of quality evaluates a wide range of building features. These include environmental aspects, the stages of the construction process and sociocultural factors regarding well-being, including visual comfort, ambient air, bicycle parking places and customer restrooms. The multiple certification of the building specifications significantly simplifies the certification process because the entire concept has already been subjected to a thorough review. This is a key pre-condition for the fast, cost-efficient development of Green Building stores.

* Corresponds to the current classification following a change in the criteria by the building council in 2015.


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.

2016 2017 2018
REWE 79 106 144
PENNY 1 7 25
toom Baumarkt DIY stores 9 12 13
Warehouses 1 1 1
Total 90 126 183

Further topics in this area:


GRI 301


GRI 302


GRI 303

Climate Protection

GRI 305


GRI 306