As a trade and tourism group, the REWE Group sees its key task as providing its customers with high-quality products and services. As part of this, it is important to the company that private label products are produced in a socially and environmentally more sustainable manner or meet higher animal welfare standards. Against this backdrop, the REWE Group developed the PRO PLANET label. PRO PLANET represents one major goal of the REWE Group: to make products more sustainable and to encourage sustainable consumption among a broad group of consumers. REWE, PENNY and toom Baumarkt DIY stores use the PRO PLANET label to identify private label products which take social and environmental aspects as well as animal welfare into consideration. The PRO PLANET label thus provides a reliable and comprehensible orientation for shoppers.
GRI FP2: Percentage of purchased volume which is verified as being in accordance with credible, internationally recognised responsible production standards
The PRO PLANET label
The PRO PLANET label was developed in 2010 and can be used, in principle, for all private label products of the REWE Group. The REWE Group saw the 10-year anniversary in 2020 as an occasion to redesign the label and further develop the awarding process. The Sustainability Advisory Board plays a central role here. It is involved in all PRO PLANET processes as well as the continuous development of the REWE Group's sustainability strategy.
The PRO PLANET involvement essentially pursues a holistic approach to improve sustainability in the supply chain of REWE Group private label products. In order to implement sustainability in a targeted manner, the REWE Group operates in Germany using a due diligence approach. This management approach is based on a guideline of the OECD which was developed to help companies build responsible agricultural supply chains.
The process includes five levels: management system, risk analysis, strategy, review and reporting. This process is used to derive the strategy of the REWE Group in terms of how private label products can be produced in a socially and environmentally more sustainable manner or meet higher animal welfare standards. Measures taken for this purpose include integrating sustainability aspects into purchasing processes, systematically cooperating with suppliers, and maintaining a continuous dialogue with relevant stakeholders. This multifaceted and strategic sustainability commitment of the REWE Group forms the basis for PRO PLANET and its cooperation with the Sustainability Advisory Board.
The sustainability advisory board
The entire PRO PLANET process is supported by an independent stakeholder committee: the Sustainability Advisory Board consists of independent experts and representatives of non-governmental organisations who contribute their knowledge and approve the issuance of the PRO PLANET label. Its members meet up to four times a year for one or two days. During the awarding process, the REWE Group also involves external partners who have the expertise required for each specific project. In addition, the Advisory Board works with the REWE Group to develop, assess and implement numerous sustainability-relevant measures for the REWE and PENNY sales lines in Germany. This includes both additional work within the PRO PLANET process and the continuous development of the REWE Group’s sustainability strategy, e.g. through involvement in the creation and updating of guidelines. Furthermore, each Advisory Board member has been given responsibility for a specific topic.
Members of the sustainability advisory board:
- Georg Abel (Die VERBRAUCHER INITIATIVE e. V.), Advisory Board expert for the topic “consumers”
- Bernward Geier (COLABORA), Advisory Board expert for the topic “organic products”
- Friedel Hütz-Adams (SÜDWIND e. V.), Advisory Board expert for the area of action “people”
- Kristian Klöckner (NABU Bundesverband e. V.), Advisory Board expert for the area of action “the environment”
- Stefanie Pöpken (expert for animal welfare in farming), Advisory Board expert for the area of action “animals”
The PRO PLANET awarding process
The label awarding process comprises the following steps:
1. Analysis and strategy check:
Sustainability officers at the REWE Group and the Sustainability Advisory Board research and analyse challenges and measures in different product groups and their supply chains. The analyses are then summarised and processed together. The REWE Group discusses the results in an internal workshop and derives measures therefrom. These are presented to the Advisory Board and a shortlist of measures is agreed jointly.
2. Definition of measures and PRO PLANET requirements:
The measures worked out in the first step are defined by the Sustainability Advisory Board, the sustainability officers of the respective product ranges and the REWE Group's purchasing department. These can comprise various activities depending on the challenge in the supply chain – from the purchase of certified raw materials, the creation of (raw material) guidelines and the definition of goals through to the implementation of own projects (e.g. a biodiversity project for local fruit and vegetable farming or training programmes for small farmer cooperatives in Brazil). When it comes to purchasing certified raw materials, the Sustainability Advisory Board checks thoroughly whether the criteria of the respective standard (e.g. Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Naturland or EU organic logo/label) address the significant environmental and social problems. In addition, a proposal for measures or goals for implementation by the REWE Group is developed so that product groups or individual products can be awarded the PRO PLANET label. The results are presented to the entire Sustainability Advisory Board in order to subsequently adopt the measures or goals in a strategy and budget process for the REWE Group.
3. Implementation of measures and approval by the Sustainability Advisory Board:
The sustainability officers at the REWE Group create a binding project plan for the agreed measures and requirements, including milestones and objectives. On this basis, the Sustainability Advisory Board makes a final decision as to whether the agreed measures and requirements are sufficient for product groups or individual products to receive a PRO PLANET label. If product groups or individual products meet the finally agreed requirements, they are permitted to bear the PRO PLANET label for a limited period.
The earth in focus: the PRO PLANET label
The PRO PLANET label, which was redesigned in 2020, places the earth at the centre. The measures taken by the REWE Group often deal with challenges from several subject areas – depending on which problems arise for people, animals and the environment during the manufacture of private label products. The contribution to sustainability underneath the globe always only describes the most important contribution of the REWE Group for the respective individual product or product group. Additional information can be obtained on the website pro-planet.info.
There are currently both products with the old label and those with the new label in circulation. The REWE Group informed consumers of this during the financial year.
Development of PRO PLANET products
The REWE Group has formulated the following goal as part of the realignment of PRO PLANET: the aim is for 25 per cent of private labels at REWE and PENNY in Germany to bear the PRO PLANET label by the end of 2025.
In 2021, the label was applied to many additional products. These include, for example, products in the new vegan, climate neutral private label product ranges launched during the financial year – REWE Bio + vegan and Food for Future at PENNY. Overall, PRO PLANET products have developed positively in the individual product groups and there has been an increase in the total number of PRO PLANET products in Germany. Since, however, the total purchasing volume of all product groups also increased in 2021 due to the corona pandemic, the percentage of PRO PLANET products in the purchasing volume of private label products at REWE and PENNY in Germany for the financial year is at the same level as the previous year at nine per cent. At toom Baumarkt DIY stores, both the number and the percentage of PRO PLANET products in the purchasing volume of private label products remained at a constant level.