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GRI 302


From stores and offices to transports – the REWE Group uses energy to conduct its business activities. Responsible consumption and the use of alternative energy sources can help to reduce environmental impacts.

Three areas of action were defined in the pillars Energy, Climate and the Environment of the group-wide sustainability strategy climate-relevant emissions, energy efficiency and conservation of resources. Energy is part of the energy efficiency area of action. Within this area, the REWE Group is continuously working towards reducing its energy consumption per square metre of sales area. In this process, it makes a key contribution to climate protection.

GRI 302: Energy

Management approach


Energy consumption includes electricity, mainly for refrigeration and lighting, energy for heat generation and fuel for transporting the products – from the warehouse to the points of sale or, with online orders, to the customers. This part of logistics is a category that the company can influence directly. As a result, consumption by the group’s own vehicles as well as those of external service providers in Germany and Austria were included (for measures in the areas of logistics and mobility see Logistics and mobility).


The foundation of the REWE Group’s systematic efficiency activities is the combine-wide energy management system that the company has been applying with the help of the Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) since 2008. The energy service provider – since 2014 a 100% subsidiary of the REWE Group – has equipped the stores and warehouses with measuring points, which enables exact daily energy consumption to be recorded centrally. In addition, a monitoring platform called FRIGODATA keeps close watch on temperature and energy data.

The central energy management system of the REWE Group in Germany is certified in accordance with the current version of ISO 50001:2018. The system tracks all electricity consumption of the entire REWE Group in Germany with all sales lines and about 5,000 locations. This includes grocery stores, DIY stores, travel agencies, logistics centres, administrative offices and online shops. An exception to this is Lekkerland, which became part of the group in 2020, and is not yet part of the central energy management system of the REWE Group in Germany. The production operations Wilhelm Brandenburg and Glocken Bäckerei have been operating an energy management system certified in accordance with ISO 50001 since 2014. In April 2016, REWE International AG in Austria also received ISO 50001 certification for about 2,100 stores (BILLA, BILLA PLUS, PENNY Austria and BIPA) and the entire logistics operations. BILLA Czech Republic, BILLA Slovakia, BILLA Bulgaria, IKI Lithuania and PENNY Romania have also been ISO 50001 certified since spring 2017. All other companies of REWE International AG were certified in 2018. In taking this approach, the REWE Group is bundling its many energy-related activities. At the same time, it is meeting the standards of the European Energy Efficiency Directive and fulfilling legal requirements in individual countries (the German Energy Services Act (Energiedienstleistungsgesetz)).

Electricity consumption has been collected for all countries and companies of the REWE Group since 2019. At about 57 per cent, it makes up the biggest share of total electricity consumption and was reduced by 1.2 per cent between 2020 and 2021. The driving forces behind this improvement were the use of LED lighting, steps involving more energy-efficient refrigeration and new stores that are more energy efficient.

Overall, this success reflects the effectiveness of the energy management systems that have been put into place. The REWE Group will continue to work on boosting its energy efficiency as part of a continuous improvement process. This will also help the REWE Group reach its overall targets regarding climate neutrality by 2040 (for more information, refer to Climate protection on a company level). With regard to energy, the REWE Group has also defined the KPI energy consumption per square metre of sales area for all countries and companies. The target here is to achieve a 10 per cent reduction between 2019 and 2030.

Development of electricity consumption per square metre sales area in detail

2019 2020 2021 Status
Reduce electricity consumption per square metre of sales area by 10% by 2030 (compared to 2019) in kWh/m² 329.43 319.36 312.28
Change compared with 2019 – 1 - 3.1% - 5.2%
In progress
Goal attained
Not available
Goal not attained
Scope: All countries and companies of the REWE Group, including retailers and REWE Dortmund.
No data, as it is the base year.

Optimising energy consumption

The established management structure is an important requirement for continued optimisation of energy consumption, as detailed recording enables central energy targets and sub-targets to be defined and tracked. In addition, the link between measured energy usage and implemented programmes can be better understood and monitored. In this way, high-impact solutions can be identified and refined. In addition to the administration employees and energy managers responsible, employees on site also play an important role. Through their actions on the job, they can make a key contribution to the success of the measures and suggest improvement ideas that can make a difference. Therefore, the REWE Group has established a central e-mail address for employees who have questions or who wish to make suggestions: EnMS@rewe-group.com

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. It is supplied by Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) and fulfils the requirements of TÜV SÜD according to Label EE01. 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, the 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). In 2021, 83.4 per cent of the green electricity purchased via EHA came from hydro electricity and 16.6 per cent from photovoltaic systems.

In addition, the 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 2021, the REWE Group operated photovoltaic systems at 57 locations in Germany. These units have a potential peak power output of 17,568 kWp.

10-year contract: green electricity from a north sea offshore wind farm

As the first food retailer in Germany, the REWE Group will use green electricity generated by a North Sea wind farm for REWE, PENNY, toom Baumarkt DIY stores and Travel and Tourism. In September 2021, Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) and Ørsted, the world leader in planning, building and operating offshore wind farms, signed a a ten-year corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA). The green electricity will come from the Borkum Riffgrund 3 wind farm in the North Sea, which is expected to start operating in 2025. The REWE Group will then purchase well over good 10 per cent of its total annual capacity of about 900 megawatts and, as a consequence, operate 1,500 REWE, PENNY and toom Baumarkt DIY stores. By doing this, the REWE Group is promoting the development of renewable energies, accepting its process responsibility and taking a more active role in the energy shift.

GRI 302-1:

Energy consumption within the organization

Total energy usage by the REWE Group rose by about 1 per cent between 2020 and 2021. Despite the electricity savings, this development is due to the increased demand for heating and fuel. The increase in heating can be attributed to the colder winter of 2020/21 compared to the previous year whereas increased fuel consumption for trucks and cars from 2020 to 2021 results mainly from increased consumer demands in the convenience area.

The largest share of total energy consumption in 2021 was attributed to electricity at about 57 per cent, followed by fuel for trucks and cars (including third-party logistics).

Energy consumption within the organisation (in GWh)

20191 20201 2021 Change 2020–2021
Total Total Total Total in %
Electricity 3,999.09 3,933.25 3,886.28 -46.97 -1.2
Heating oil 77.03 73.62 73.43 -0.19 -0.25
Gas (natural and liquefied gas) 1,071.14 1,058.23 1,157.14 98.90 9.3
Self-produced renewable energies 9.72 13.59 16.93 3.34 24.6
District heating2 229.50 209.68 234.23 24.55 11.7
Fuels (trucks/cars) 1,222.56 1,333.61 1,356.06 22.45 1.7
Jet fuel 227.42 79.06 44.98 -34.08 -43.1
Total 6,836.45 6,701.04 6,769.06 68.02 1.0
1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International System of Units (SI))
The conversion factors for the different energy sources are obtained from the GEMIS material flow analysis model and the TREMOD transport emission model.
Scope: All countries and companies of the REWE Group, including retailers and REWE Dortmund. Lekkerland was integrated into the scope in 2020. Excluded are units that left the REWE Group and the data was adjusted retroactively.
Self-produced renewable energies comprise: Solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal, wind power, wood pellets, biomass.
1GRI 102-48, restatement of information: The values differ due to the retroactive discontinuation of consolidation units and because of individual corrections of the previous year’s reports by the units.
2The calculation is based in assumed data from the previous year.

Energy consumption within the organisation – shares of consumption 2021

Scope: The REWE Group including retailers. Units that left the REWE Group were excluded. Self-produced renewable energies comprise: solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal energy, wind energy, wood pellets and organic heat.

GRI 302-3:

Energy intensity

Energy intensity covers location-related use of electricity and heat (heating oil, gas and district heating). Specific site-related energy consumption (energy consumption per square metre of sales area) of the REWE Group increased during the reporting period and in 2021 was 0.4 per cent higher than in 2020. This development is due mainly to increased demand for heating. The implementation of numerous efficiency activities, such as the use of LED lighting, has a reducing effect (see also the KPI for electricity consumption and the table Steps to Lower Electricity Usage).

Energy intensity

Unit 2019 2020 2021 Change 2020-2021
Total energy consumption in GWh 5,386 5,288 5,368 +1.5%
Energy consumption per square metre of sales area in kWh/m² 439.48 428.66 430.27 +0.4%
1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International system of units (SI))
Scope: All countries and companies of the REWE Group, including retailers and REWE Dortmund. Lekkerland was integrated into the scope in 2020. Excluded are units that left the REWE Group and the data was adjusted retroactively.

GRI 302-4:

Reduction of energy consumption

To systematically save energy and reduce emissions, the company works with Hamburger Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA) to monitor electricity and gas consumption in the stores supplied by EHA. In 2016, the REWE Group began to use the ISO 50001 certified energy management system in Germany, Austria and central and Eastern European countries. Based on the collected data, the energy managers in the REWE Group check the target and actual consumptions and make recommendations for optimisation measures. These are aimed mainly at optimising lighting and refrigeration, heating and ventilation systems. The REWE Group is also working to reduce its use of heat.


Lighting influences customers’ well-being and product presentation – a pleasant light makes a significant contribution to the shopping experience. At the same time, lighting is responsible for about 24 (REWE) and 21 (PENNY) per cent of electricity consumption in food stores and around 60 per cent in toom Baumarkt DIY stores. To reduce consumption, energy management is devising efficient lighting concepts that address the lighting needs of the sales lines. LEDs play a major part in this effort by saving between 30 per cent and 45 per cent of the electricity required by lighting systems.

Changeover to LED lighting

For a systematic changeover to LED lighting in their stores, the REWE Group sales lines have developed lighting concepts that are appropriate for use in retail, some of which required completely new technical solutions. In recent years, LED lighting systems have improved considerably with regard to light colour and service life. In all of its new construction and renovation projects, the REWE Group uses new LED light concepts for its stores and logistics locations. The use of LED lighting has played a key role in the reduction of electricity consumption per square metre of sales area in recent years.


In food stores most electricity is consumed by refrigeration units and, consequently, this is a significant area in which energy consumption could be reduced. Optimised refrigerated display cases use 20 per cent to 40 per cent less electricity for cooling purposes. Glass doors installed on refrigerated display cases are a visible, highly effective way to cut energy consumption. They are already used as standard for meat products; for dairy products they are used in Germany in new buildings and after major refurbishments. In Austria too, glass doors are used on refrigerated display cases for meat products in the sales lines BILLA, ADEG and BILLA PLUS, while the doors are standard for dairy products in new BILLA and BILLA PLUS-stores.

Another key factor is regular maintenance and professional management of refrigeration systems. These systems can be energy efficient only if the refrigeration equipment is operated optimally. As the range of fresh and convenience products grows in stores and as refrigerating needs rise with them, energy-efficient refrigerated display cases will become increasingly important in future.

Refrigerating forum ensures regular dialogue

Every two years, the REWE and PENNY sales lines invite representatives from refrigeration companies and system suppliers to a refrigeration forum to share experiences. During presentations and workshops, the participants discuss topics such as energy optimisation and operational and temperature reliability. The last refrigeration forum took place in 2018; in 2020 it had to be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

In Austria, the BILLA, BILLA PLUS and PENNY sales lines also cooperate closely with the specialist service providers and award an efficiency prize to successful refrigeration companies within the framework of their refrigeration partner conference.

Steps to lower electricity usage

Measures Reduced electricity consumption (GWh)
2019 2020 2021
Conversion of lighting systems to LED, optimisation of light management, reduction of turn-on times
23.8 22.3 12.4
For example, use of glass on dairy-product shelves and doors on freezers, retrofitting of glass doors, optimisation/upgrading of system technology, replacement of refrigeration systems and energy-efficient display cases, logistics
14.1 10.6 12.5
Improving technology of other systems, especially in production, ventilation systems and IT infrastructure 0.3 4.4 6.1
Total savings 38.2 37.3 31.1
1 TJ | 0.2778 GWh, 1 MJ/m² | 0.2778 kWh/m² (Source: International system of units (SI))
Scope: Companies of the REWE Group in Germany and Austria including retailers. Not included are measures to reduce the electricity consumption of Lekkerland and units that left the REWE Group in terms of the scope during the reporting period.

In 2021, measures implemented by the sales lines of the REWE Group in Germany and Austria reduced electricity usage by about 31 GWh. Refrigeration is responsible for about half of electricity consumption at food retailers. Therefore, many steps in the area of refrigeration to reduce cooling losses were taken during the reporting period. Measures in other areas, such as ventilation and other systems, also have an effect – especially in the production area.

For savings measures in the areas of goods transport and mobility, see Logistics and Mobility.