The effects of the climate crisis can already be felt today. Heat records, severe weather, drought and flooding threaten ecosystems, biodiversity and the existence of millions of people Our planet faces enormous challenges. The aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Germany has signed the Agreement and derived regulatory parameters: According to the Federal Climate Change Act, greenhouse gas neutrality must be achieved by 2045. Society also demands stricter climate protection measures, as seen by movements such as Fridays for Future.
As part of the materiality analysis, stakeholders confirmed the importance of climate protection measures for the REWE Group: The issue was classified as particularly relevant and was ranked No. 3 in priority (for more information, see the section Materiality analysis).
Energy, Climate and the Environment is a pillar of the REWE Group's sustainability strategy. As part of this pillar, the company has set the strategic objective of making a measurable contribution to climate and resource protection or, at the very least, keeping impacts on the climate and environment to a minimum.
A large portion of global CO2 emissions is created during the cultivation, production and consumption of products as well as the provision of services. In its climate strategy for the supply chain, the REWE Group focuses on these upstream scope-3 emissions (see also Climate protection in the supply chain). But greenhouse gas emissions are also produced in stores, logistics and at business locations. The REWE Group accepted this challenge very early on: The company prepared its first carbon footprint report on a company level back in 2006 and, with its publication in 2009, defined its first climate goal; the complete changeover to certified green electricity took place in 2008.
The REWE Group itself is affected by climate change in various ways (see also Risk management): Climate change and extreme weather events can have an adverse effect on the products and services of the REWE Group, which relies on the long-term, reliable availability of food. Extreme high temperatures and flooding can threaten the cultivation and harvesting of raw materials and lead to higher purchase prices. In travel and tourism, climate change can pose a threat to entire destinations over the long term. In particular, these areas include islands, coastal regions and ski resorts.
The efforts that the REWE Group has undertaken in terms of climate and resource protection are included in the Guidelines on Sustainable Business Practices. In this, the company pledges to continuously reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that occur in its business processes, to espouse the use of renewable energies, to lower its specific energy consumption through suitable energy efficiency measures and to make employees aware of how their changes in their behaviour can help save energy. The REWE Group strives to use resources sparingly and to increase the amount of recycled and sustainable materials it employs (see Packaging and Circular economy).
To further reduce climate-relevant emissions in the supply chains, the company defined a climate strategy for the upstream supply chain, which was enshrined in the Guideline on climate protection in the supply chain at the start of 2022.
The topics of energy, climate and the environment are controlled by the Energy, Climate and Environment Working Group, in which all sales lines and relevant holding areas are represented. The working group is led by Telerik Schischmanow (Divisional Management Board Trade Germany – Administration and Services).
The pillar of sustainability Energy, Climate and the Environment focuses in essence on environmentally relevant activities that lie in the REWE Group’s own business processes. These include the construction and operation of stores, warehouses, administration offices, production sites, logistics operations as well as resources and materials needed for the company’s own business operations. To save energy and prevent climate-damaging emissions, the REWE Group has introduced a central energy management system to oversee its efficiency activities, has used green power since 2008, taps the optimisation potential of logistics and has applied a holistic sustainability approach for its stores since 2009 with its Green Building concept (see Green Building). The REWE Group reviews its progress in an annual carbon footprint report (see Climate protection on a company level), which is prepared by independent experts. The data for this report has been collected for all countries and companies of the REWE Group since 2019.
In its strategy process, the REWE Group identified the following three areas of action in the pillar Energy, Climate and the Environment: Climate-relevant emissions, energy efficiency and conservation of resources.
Targets and key performance indicators (KPIs)
To measure its progress in the pillar Energy, Climate and the Environment, the REWE Group has defined various KPIs with related targets. In 2020, the company prematurely achieved all its old targets with regard to greenhouse gas emissions, electricity consumption and refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square meter sales area. As a result, the company set itself a new absolute target in 2021: the REWE Group wants to achieve climate neutrality at the company level by 2040. This applies not only to Germany and Austria, but to all countries and companies in which it is active. To do this, in a first step, it will reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to the base year of 2019. The emission level set by the REWE Group takes account of the use of certified green electricity in all stores, warehouses and travel agencies since 2008.
In addition to its climate targets, the REWE Group has also defined KPIs for its electricity consumption and refrigerant-related greenhouse gas emissions. These KPIs make the effectiveness of the energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction measures transparent.
To reach its targets, the REWE Group will consistently continue to implement measures to avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a company level. In this respect, the company will focus on electricity, heating, refrigerants and logistics.
The following sections of the GRI Report contain all measures, data and topics related to the pillar Energy, Climate and the Environment: