REWE Group Sustainability Report 2019

Waste

A range of wastes is produced by REWE Group’s business activities. Proper recycling of unavoidable waste is an important objective of the trade company in order to conserve valuable 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. In addition, 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, reusable material found in logistics is sorted to the greatest extent possible and can thus be optimally provided for further use.

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. In the year under review, this quota was 97.8 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

REWE Group strives to keep food waste 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 quantities by type

The amount of non-hazardous waste in the company group in Germany and Austria totalled about 694,000 tonnes in 2019. This was a slight increase over the previous year (about 682,000 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 previous years, less than one per cent. It is not expected that the volume of hazardous waste will increase significantly. Therefore, because of the complex effort of recording this, it is no longer reported separately in the Sustainability Report.

Non-Hazardous Waste – Total Volume (tonnes)
2017 2018 2019
Total volume (tonnes) 650610 682080 694032
Non-Hazardous Waste – Specific Volume per Square Metre of Sales Area (kg/m²)
2017 2018 2019
Specific waste volume (kg/m²) 88.4 88.8 91.6
Non-Hazardous Waste – Percentage Volume by Type of Waste
Waste for recycling 10.8%
Organic 18.8%
Paper and cardboard/boxes 45.1%
Plastics 13.2%
Residual waste 6.1%
Other (e.g. wood, metals, construction waste) 6.0%
in %

Scope: Companies of REWE Group Germany and Austria excluding retailers (share increasing). Units that left REWE Group during the reporting period were excluded.

More topics:

Materials

GRI 301

Energy

GRI 302

Operational Water Consumption

GRI 303

Climate Protection

GRI 305

Logistics and Mobility

GRI 307

Green Building

RG 1