REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Materiality Analysis

From the food retail sector and DIY stores to travel and tourism – REWE Group is broadly positioned with its business segments and fields of activity. Equally diverse are the potentially significant sustainability aspects that can affect the company. In addition to other instruments such as product-related risk analyses, the materiality analysis is a method that REWE Group uses to identify material topics and set priorities when developing measures. In particular, the assessment of internal and external stakeholders as well as the impact of company activities on people, animals and the environment play an important role here.

GRI 102-46:

Defining report content and topic Boundaries

To adapt to changed circumstances, REWE Group updated its materiality analysis in 2018. The results of the previous analysis from 2014 formed the basis for this. As part of an internal workshop, managers from all business segments of REWE Group checked the originally 38 sustainability topics for timeliness, relevance, lack of focal points, and in terms of positive and negative effects. Benchmarks were performed for this and the list of topics was compared with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The result was a list of 18 sustainability topics.

In addition to these 18 topics, REWE Group defined five further topics. These were not discussed further in the analysis, however, since they concern higher-level management concepts that are particularly relevant for the business activities of REWE Group, or the company needs to disclose information relating thereto due to requirements of the GRI:

  • Sustainability in company management
  • Integrity and compliance
  • Fair business relationships
  • Dialogue
  • Business performance

In a second step, REWE Group conducted an online consumer and employee survey. In total, 4,772 stakeholders in Germany and Austria* assessed the previously consolidated 18 topics in terms of their relevance. In the results, the respondents rated the following topics as particularly relevant for REWE Group: more environmentally friendly packaging, climate protection, animal welfare, fair working conditions, and environmental aspects in the supply chain. Compared with the last stakeholder survey in 2014, the topics of more environmentally friendly packaging and environmental aspects in the supply chain have increased significantly in relevance. In order to find out about stakeholder expectations, the cross-sectoral topic of “digitalisation and sustainability” was a new inclusion for this financial year. In the results, it was of significantly less relevance for the stakeholders in relation to the other topics. For this reason, no separate report chapter was created. However, REWE Group continues to pursue the internal and external requirements arising from this cross-sectoral topic for the different areas.

In addition to prioritising the 18 topics, the respondents had the opportunity to openly express their specific expectations for their “top topic”. With regards to more environmentally friendly packaging, a large proportion of the respondents mentioned the reduction/avoidance of plastic (especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables) and the use of plastic alternatives. The respondents viewed the topic of climate protection as a cross-sectoral topic and expect REWE Group to ensure that climate protection forms a basis for all decisions. In particular, short delivery routes are an important factor for a large number of respondents. When it comes to the topic of animal welfare, most respondents expect species-correct husbandry activities as well as the rejection of intensive livestock breeding and cheap meat.

In addition to other information, the results of the materiality analysis flow into the annual review of the sustainability strategy (for more information, see the Sustainability strategy section).

Relevance from the perspective of internal and external stakeholders

Finally, the 17 sustainability topics identified through the materiality analysis were confirmed by top management and defined as material.

* Number of participants in the consumer and employee survey by group: 3,299 Germany (external), 636 Germany (internal), 505 Austria (external), 332 Austria (internal). The groups were weighted to calculate the overall result.

GRI 102-47:

List of material topics

Topics of the materiality analysis Classified GRI topics
Green Products
Conscious diets:
For example, the expansion of more sustainable product ranges (such as larger product share with sustainability labels and certifications, products with less sugar), dietary tips for a more diverse or healthier diet
Healthy and affordable food (FP)
Commitment in the area of biodiversity and environmental protection:
For example, the promotion of projects aimed at environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity
Biodiversity (GRI 304)
Environmental aspects in the supply chain:
Zum Beispiel Berücksichtigung ökologischer Aspekte in der Lieferkette/beim Wareneinkauf durch die REWE Group (bspw. Reduktion von Pestiziden und Chemikalien zum Schutz der biologischen Vielfalt), Angebot von Bio- und Regionalartikeln oder Produkten mit zertifizierten Rohstoffen
Supplier environmental assessment (GRI 308)
Social aspects in the supply chain:
For example, the consideration of social aspects in the supply chain or when REWE Group is purchasing goods (for example, with regard to human rights, the avoidance of forced and child labour, Fairtrade products)
Supplier social assessment (GRI 414), Human rights assessment (GRI 412)
Animal welfare:
For example, the compliance with and improvement of animal protection standards (for example, more space for animals, no castration of pigs without anaesthesia, no beak trimming), the protection of animal rights at travel destinations
Animal welfare (FP10)
Transparency for customers:
For example, the labelling of products and services (such as comprehensible information on nutritional values and husbandry conditions, traceability, sustainability seals and labels for products and trips)
Marketing and labelling (GRI 417)
More environmentally friendly packaging:
For example, the avoidance, reduction and improvement of packaging (such as through plastic-free or unpackaged goods, reusable packaging, no plastic bags, recycling of packaging)
Materials (GRI 301)
Energy, Climate and the Environment
Operational conservation of resources:
For example, energy efficiency (such as LED lighting and efficient refrigerating units in the stores), more sustainable construction (such as stores in accordance with the standard of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), hotels), the reduction of water consumption, consistent waste management
Materials (GRI 301), Green building (RG1)
Climate protection:
For example, the avoidance of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions (for example, through energy savings, renewable energies, climate-friendly refrigeration agents for refrigeration systems)
Emissions (GRI 305)
More sustainable logistics:
For example, optimised route planning, optimal vehicle use (vehicle utilisation), modernisation of the company’s own vehicle fleet
Energy (GRI 302), Emissions (GRI 305)
Occupational health and safety:
For example, the avoidance of occupational accidents and illnesses (such as through preventive measures for physically demanding activities), maintenance of health (such as through sports and relaxation offerings)
Occupational health and safety (GRI 403)
Education and training programmes:
For example, a broad range of entry-level and career opportunities, regular training, regular feedback and development opportunities
Training and education (GRI 404)
Job and phases of life:
For example, assurance of the reconciliation of work and family/private life (for example, flexible working models such as working from home, part time, flexitime, care periods or family care time, sabbaticals), support during reintegration
Employment (GRI 401)
Fair working conditions:
For example, the assurance and measurement of employee satisfaction, fair wages, right to co-determination
Employment (GRI 401), Labour/management relations (GRI 402)
Diversity and equal opportunity:
For example, hiring, pay and development opportunities (equal opportunity) for employees, regardless of gender, ethnic heritage, disability, religious affiliation or ideology, age or sexual orientation, the raising of awareness amongst employees regarding anti-discrimination
Diversity and equal opportunity (GRI 405), Non-discrimination (GRI 406)
Social Involvement
Commitment in the area of health and exercise:
For example, consumer education on balanced diet, the support of projects aimed at promoting health and exercise (such as at nurseries and universities)
Indirect economic impacts (GRI 203)
Support for the needy:
For example, the support of children, adolescents, refugees and the elderly
Local communities (GRI 413)
Company Management
Dialogue General disclosures (GRI 102)
Fair business relationships Anti-competitive behaviour (GRI 206)
Integrity and compliance
  • Anti-corruption (GRI 205)
  • Public policy (GRI 415)
  • Socioeconomic compliance (GRI 419)
  • Customer privacy (GRI 418)
Sustainability in company management General disclosures (GRI 102)
Business performance Economic performance (GRI 201)

GRI 102-49:

Changes in reporting

See Defining report content and topic boundaries.

More topics:

REWE Group Portrait

GRI 102-1 – 102-7, 102-10

Employee Structure

GRI 102-8, 102-41

Supply Chain

GRI 102-9

Risk Management

GRI 102-11

Industry Initiatives and Memberships

GRI 102-12, 102-13

Principles and Guidelines

GRI 102-16, 102-17

Sustainability Strategy

GRI 102-18 – 102-21

Stakeholder Dialogue

GRI 102-40, 102-42 – 102-44

Materiality Analysis

GRI 102-45 – 102-47, 102-49

Report Profile

GRI 102-48, 102-50 – 102-56

Economic Performance

GRI 201


GRI 205, 206, 307, 419

Public Policy

GRI 415

Data protection

GRI 418