REWE Group Sustainability Report 2020

Climate Protection on a Company Level

The climate is massively impacted by human activity; climate change has a powerful effect on ecosystems and, as a result, on societies as well. REWE Group understands its responsibility for the climate: A large portion of global CO2 emissions is created during the production and consumption of products, the provision of services and by transport.

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. In terms of climate protection, the activities of REWE Group are included in the area of action climate-relevant emissions.

GRI 305: Emissions

Management Approach

REWE Group has made energy conservation and the avoidance of climatically harmful emissions a high priority. And this issue will become even more important as energy prices rise. Key challenges to be faced by REWE Group in future include cutting energy consumption while addressing rising needs in the areas of freshness and convenience, work that will require increased transports and refrigeration.

The declared strategic goal of REWE Group is to make a measurable contribution to climate and resource protection or, at the very least, to keep impacts on the climate and the environment to a minimum. This commitment is clearly spelled out in the Guidelines on sustainable business practices of REWE Group.

REWE Group defined its first climate goal and drafted its first carbon footprint report in 2009. The reporting framework includes all parts of the value chain that can be directly controlled. Specifically, this means: Emission data relates to the process chain from the central warehouses to the stores of the REWE Group and to the travel agencies and administration. Manufacture and transport of the products are not taken into account, nor use and disposal of the products by the customers.

In 2013, REWE Group modified the climate goals it set in 2009 and is working to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area in half by 2022 compared with the base year 2006. This target was already reached during the 2020 financial year.

KPI Target Status
Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalents) for Germany and Austria per square metre of sales area A 50 % cut by 2022 compared with 2006 -53.6 %

Total greenhouse gas emissions for Germany and Austria have fallen from 2.37 million tonnes in the base year of 2006 to about 1.76 million tonnes in 2020. This represents a decrease of about 26 per cent. Specific greenhouse gas emissions (unit: CO2 equivalents per square metre of sales area) plunged by 53.6 per cent during the same period (see Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity).

In addition to this overarching environmental goal, REWE Group has defined other KPIs, focussing on activities in energy, climate and the environment. These are areas where significant levels of consumption occur and where REWE Group can have a direct impact by taking its own measures: Energy efficiency (refrigeration and lighting, see the section Energy) and refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions. As in previous years, REWE Group in Germany and Austria also achieved these goals for 2020. For the KPI on electricity consumption per square metre of sales area, the use of LEDs, measures for energy-efficient refrigeration as well as construction and remodelling activities have played a key role. Within the context of the energy management system, REWE Group is currently developing a new target. Specific measures to reduce energy consumption can be found in Energy).

New climate targets for REWE Group: reduction before climate neutrality

By halving greenhouse gas emissions per square metre sales area, REWE Group reached an important milestone in reducing its climate-relevant emissions in Germany and Austria during the financial year. Therefore, it set new targets in 2021: REWE Group wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. This will apply to all countries in which it operates. As part of this, in a first step total greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 30 per cent by 2030 compared with base year 2019. To do this, REWE Group will continue to take consistent measures to prevent or reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a company level.

KPI Target
Reduce total greenhouse gas emissions on a company level 30% reduction by 2030 compared to 2019
Climate neutrality on a company level Climate neutrality by 2040

Carbon footprint as a monitoring instrument
To document the progress being made in reaching climate goals and to facilitate monitoring of the emission-reducing steps, REWE Group has hired independent experts to prepare an annual carbon footprint report since 2009. During the reporting period, this was carried out for Germany by INFRAS AG and for Austria by denkstatt GmbH. In addition to outlining the achieved savings, the Carbon Footprint Report highlights the fundamental levers that the company has at its disposal. The major causes of greenhouse gas emissions are electrical, heating and refrigeration systems (for information about energy-related steps, see the section Energy).

Greenhouse gas emissions were calculated in accordance with the GHG Protocol. In determining CO2 equivalent emission factors, as in the previous years, data from the material-flow-analysis model GEMIS, the transport emission model TREMOD and the life-cycle analysis database Ecoinvent were used.

Promoting the use of alternative energies
At the beginning of 2008, the company shifted the source of the electricity used by its stores, warehouses and travel agencies in Germany and Austria to certified green power. This power is purchased from Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA), a wholly owned subsidiary of REWE Group. The green power generated by REWE Group Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group only applies the share of young systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint in Germany (about 25 per cent). In 2020, the green electricity purchased through the EHA comprised 89.7 per cent from hydro, 4 per cent from wind turbines and 6.3 per cent from solar.

In addition, REWE Group employs photovoltaic technology and other regenerative technologies to produce its own energy. Photovoltaic systems are used in administrative offices, warehouses and stores in suitable locations (particularly Green Building stores). At the end of 2020, REWE Group operated photovoltaic systems at 53 locations in Germany. These units have a potential peak power output of 16,699 kWp.

Reduction of refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions
The greenhouse gas emissions produced by refrigerating systems are largely the result of the refrigeration agents used in them. To cut emissions, REWE Group decided at an early stage to use the most climate-friendly refrigeration agents. As a way of reducing refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions, REWE Group defined the following KPI and related target:

KPI Target Status
Refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre (in kg of CO2 equivalent/m²) in Germany and Austria Reduction of 35 % between 2012 and 2022 -46.7 %

Through the reduction of 46.7 per cent, REWE Group in Germany and Austria hit the target for 2022 in 2019. The use of climate-friendly refrigeration agents played a key role in reaching this target. These agents increasingly also include natural refrigerants like CO2 and propane and refrigerants with lower greenhouse gas potential.

As part of REWE Group’s sustainability strategy, all multicompressor systems of commercial refrigeration used in new stores and most of remodelled stores at REWE and PENNY use the natural refrigerant CO2. Plug-in refrigerating units that will be used in future at all new and remodelled stores will use the natural refrigerant propane (R290).

GRI 305-1, 305-2, 305-3:

Greenhouse gas emissions scopes 1–3 (tonnes of CO2equivalents)

Greenhouse gas emissions scopes 1–3 (tonnes of CO₂ equivalents)¹
2006 2018 2019 2020 Change 2006-2020
Scope 1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-1) 759995 681020 698169 663872 -12.6 %
Scope 21: Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-2) 1343027 1070009 940980 725919 -45.9 %
Scope 3: Other indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-3) 270855 322901 317576 369364 36.4 %
Total greenhouse gas emissions 2373877 2073929 1956725 1759155 -25.9 %

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. In the 2020 financial year, Lekkerland was integrated into the scope and the data for 2019 was adjusted retroactively. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

1 The green power generated for companies of REWE Group in Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group only applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint in Germany (about 25 per cent).

GRI 305-4:

Greenhouse gas emissions intensity

During the reporting period, both the total and the specific greenhouse gas emissions (per square metre of sales area) of REWE Group decreased. In 2020, specific greenhouse gas emissions totalled 162 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre. They were reduced by 53.6 per cent compared with the base year of 2006. The calculation of emission intensity comprises direct and indirect energy-related emissions as well as other indirect emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions1

Unit 2006 2018 2019 2020
Total greenhouse gas emissions t CO2 equivalents 2,373,877 2,073,929 1,956,725 1,759,155
Specific greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area kg CO2 equivalents/m2 350 194 181 162
Achieved savings of specific greenhouse gas emissions since the base year 2006 % -44.5 -48.3 -53.6

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. In the 2020 financial year, Lekkerland was integrated into the scope and the data for 2019 was adjusted retroactively. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

1The green power generated for companies of REWE Group in Germany meets the requirements of the Label EE01 of TÜV SÜD, a technical services company in Germany. In accordance with the convention of the German Environment Agency regarding the calculation of green power, a regulation that is designed to facilitate the expansion of power produced from renewable sources, REWE Group only applies the share of new systems pursuant to Label EE01 as an emission-lowering factor in calculating its carbon footprint in Germany (about 25 per cent).

The greenhouse gas emissions of REWE Group were broken down in the following manner for 2020:

Share of Greenhouse Gas emissions in 2020 by Originator Group (Scopes 1–3)
Electricity 869,030
Heat 278,167
Refrigerants 232,125
Logistics 310,779
Business trips 47,960
Paper 178,410
in tons

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

GRI 305-5:

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

REWE Group has launched a variety of electricity-saving measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of these efforts, about 8,533 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were saved in 2020.

Steps to Lower CO₂ Emissions¹

Measures Savings of CO2 equivalents (tonnes)
2018 2019 2020
Lighting
Conversion of lighting systems to LED, optimisation of light management, reduction of turn-on times
8,123 6,670 5,203
Refrigeration
For example, use of glass on dairy-product display cases and doors on freezers, retrofitting of glass doors, optimisation/upgrading of system technology, replacement of refrigeration systems and energy-efficient display cases
3,242 3,621 2,141
Improvements in the technology of other systems, ventilation systems and IT infrastructure 373 76 1,188
Total 11,738 10,366 8,533

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. Lekkerland and units that left REWE Group during the reporting period that is significant for the scope are not included in the measures to lower electricity usage.

1The basis for the calculation are the energy-saving initiatives used for GRI 302-4.

GRI 305-6:

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

In recent years, REWE Group has systematically cut its use of ozone-depleting substances – since 2006 by about 99 per cent. The chief reason for this decline was the legally mandated replacement of the refrigerant R22 with non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. In 2020, emissions from ozone-depleting substances from replenished refrigerant was 3 kilograms of CFC 11 equivalents.

Emission of Ozone-Depleting Substances by Weight (Kilograms)

Unit 2018 2019 2020
Total emissions of ozone-depleting substances from replenished refrigerant kg of CFC-11 equivalents 11 9 3

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

GRI 305-7:

Nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and other significant air emissions

The airborne pollutants associated with the business activities of REWE Group are primarily caused by upstream combustion and production processes used to make electricity, heat and paper. In addition, emissions generated by refrigerants, logistics and business trips have an impact on air quality.

Air emissions including upstream chains (tonnes)

2018 2019 2020
NOx 2,821 2,694 2,439
SOx 1,528 1,401 1,256
Fine particulate matter (particle < 10 µm) 173 162 176
Non-methane volatile organic compounds 431 438 498

Scope: Companies of REWE Group in Germany and Austria including independent REWE retailers. In the 2020 financial year, Lekkerland was integrated into the scope and the data for 2019 was adjusted retroactively. Units that are no longer part of REWE Group were excluded during the reporting period in terms of the scope.

More topics:

Materials

GRI 301

Energy

GRI 302

Operational Water Consumption

GRI 303

Climate Protection on a Company Level

GRI 305

Waste

GRI 306

Logistics and Mobility

GRI 307

Green Building

RG 1