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GRI 102-46, 102-47, 102-49

Materiality Analysis

From food retailing to DIY stores and tourism – the business operations of the REWE Group cover a broad range of areas. The potential material sustainability topics that could affect the company are just as varied. In addition to such instruments as Product-related Risk Analyses, materiality analysis is a method that the REWE Group uses to identify material topics and set priorities in its policy-development work. Two considerations play a major role in these efforts: the views of internal and external stakeholders and the impact of the company’s business operations on people, animals and the environment.

GRI 102-46:

Defining report content and topic boundaries

In 2020, the REWE Group revised its materiality analysis to reflect new conditions. The results of the analysis conducted in 2018 served as the basis of this work. The original 18 sustainability issues in the area of corporate responsibility were reviewed in terms of their currency and relevance. In addition, considerations were given to focal points that had not yet been addressed. In this work, the list of topics was compared with various frameworks, including the GRI Standards and the German Sustainability Code. To improve comprehension, the terminology used to describe selected topics was revised. As a result, the topic “conscious diets” was broken down into two segments: “promotion of healthy diets” and “expansion of the range of sustainable products” to simplify the issue. The result of the work was a consolidated list of 19 sustainability topics.

The REWE Group also added five other topics to these 19 issues. However, these issues were not included in the analysis because they affect overarching management concepts that are particularly relevant for the business activities of the REWE Group or because the company would have to disclose information about these topics to meet the requirements of the GRI standards. The five topics are:

  • Sustainability in company management
  • Integrity and compliance
  • Fair business relationships
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Business performance

In a second step, the REWE Group conducted an online survey of consumers, employees and other expert stakeholders. A total of 6,150 respondents in Germany and Austria* rated the relevance of the 19 topics. The respondents considered the following issues to be particularly relevant to the REWE Group:

  • Animal welfare
  • Increased environmentally friendly packaging
  • Climate protection
  • Fair working conditions in the REWE Group’s own companies
  • Environmental aspects in the supply chain

The topic of animal welfare was rated as a higher priority than it was in the last survey conducted in 2018.

In addition to prioritising the 19 topics, the respondents had an opportunity to express their specific expectations about their own top issue. In regards to the most highly relevant issue of animal welfare, respondents expressed a desire in particular for a larger selection of animal-based products created under very good livestock farming conditions. Another key expectation was the delisting of animal-based products created under poor livestock farming conditions.

In terms of increased environmentally friendly packaging, a large number of respondents cited the need to avoid plastic, reduce packaging volume, increase reusable solutions and make environmentally conscious improvements in packaging.

The respondents viewed the topic of climate protection as a cross-sectoral issue. They expect the REWE Group to base all decisions on climate protection. Many of the respondents rated short delivery routes resulting from the use of a larger range of regional products as an important factor.

The respondents were also asked to rate the REWE Group’s performance in terms of their own “top issue”. Overall, at least half of the respondents gave the REWE Group’s performance regarding each of the 19 topics a grade of C. The respondents were most satisfied with the company’s performance in education and training: 77 per cent gave the company a grade of C or better in this area. The topics that ranked two and three on the performance list were expansion of the range of sustainable products and occupational health and safety. The REWE Group’s performance in the areas of more sustainable logistics, digitalisation and sustainability as well as animal welfare received the lowest scores.

The results of the materiality analysis were presented to top management in a range of committees and working groups. They will be used along with other information in the company’s annual review of its sustainability strategy (for more information, see the segment Sustainability Strategy).

* Number of respondents to the consumer and employee survey by group: 3,848 Germany (external), 655 Germany (internal), 505 Austria (external), 1,144 Austria (internal). The groups were weighted to calculate the overall result.

GRI 102-47:

List of material topics

Topics of the materiality analysis Corresponding GRI topics
Green products
Expansion of the range of sustainable products:
Including a larger percentage of products with sustainability labels and certifications (organic, regionality and Fairtrade, amongst other things)
Procurement practices (GRI 204)
Percentage of purchased volume that is certified on the basis of recognised standards (GRI FP2)
Promotion of healthy diets:
Including reduced-sugar products, nutritional information labelling and nutrition tips for a broader and healthy diet
Healthy and affordable food (FP)
Environmental aspects in the supply chain:
Including consideration of environmental aspects in the supply chain / during procurement by the REWE Group (reductions in pesticides and chemicals to protect biodiversity, protection of water-stressed areas and deforestation-free land usage, amongst other things)
Supplier environmental assessment (GRI 308)
Social aspects in the supply chain:
Including consideration of social aspects in the supply chain / during procurement by the REWE Group (in terms of human rights, the avoidance of forced and child labour, fair wages, amongst other things)
Supplier social assessment (GRI 414)
Human rights assessment (GRI 412)
Animal welfare:
Including observance and improvement of animal protection standards (more space for animals, no castration of pigs without anaesthesia and no beak trimming, amongst other things) and protection of animal rights at travel destinations
Animal welfare (FP10)
Transparency and customer sensitisation:
Including the labelling of products and services (clear information about farming conditions, traceability, sustainability seals and labels for products and trips, amongst other things)
Marketing and labeling (GRI 417)
Increased environmentally friendly packaging
Including the avoidance, reduction and improvement of packaging (through non-plastic or unpacked products, reusable packaging and return systems as well as recycling of packaging, amongst other things)
Materials (GRI 301)
Energy, climate and the environment
Conserving company resources:
Including energy efficiency (LED lighting systems and efficient refrigerating units in stores, amongst other things), more sustainable construction practises (stores constructed in accordance with the standard of the German Sustainable Building Council, hotels, amongst other things), reduced water consumption and systematic waste management, amongst other things)
Materials (GRI 301)
Green building (RG1)
Climate protection:
Including the reduction of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions (through additional climate friendly products, renewable energies and environmentally conscious refrigeration agents, amongst other things)
Emissions (GRI 305)
More sustainable logistics:
Including optimised route planning, optimal vehicle usage (vehicle utilisation) and modernisation of the company’s own vehicle fleet
Energy (GRI 302)
Emissions (GRI 305)
Occupational health and safety:
Including the avoidance of occupational accidents and illnesses (through prevention programmes for physically demanding jobs) and the promotion of good health (including with athletic and relaxation programmes), amongst other things)
Occupational health and safety (GRI 403)
Education and training programmes:
Including a wide range of job-entry and educational opportunities, needs-based advanced training programmes (in person and digital), regular performance reviews and feedback, extensive professional growth opportunities
Training and education (GRI 404)
Work and phases of life:
Including the provision of a work/life balance / private life (flexible work schedule models like remote work, part-time jobs, flexitime, care-giver leave or family caregiver leave and sabbaticals) and support during reintegration, amongst other things
Employment (GRI 401)
Fair working conditions in the REWE Group’s own companies:
Including the creation and measurement of employee satisfaction, fair wages and co-determination rights
Employment (GRI 401)
Labor/management relations (GRI 402)
Diversity and equal opportunity:
Including hiring, remuneration and professional growth opportunities (equal opportunity) for employees irrespective of their gender, origin, disability, religion or ideology, age or sexual identity, sensitisation of employees about anti-discrimination
Diversity and equal opportunity (GRI 405)
Non-discrimination (GRI 406)
Social commitment
Commitment in the area of nutrition education and exercise:
Including support of projects that promote balanced diets and exercise (at kindergartens, amongst other areas)
Indirect economic impacts (GRI 203)
Commitment to biodiversity and environmental protection:
Including the promotion of environmental protection projects and the safeguarding of biodiversity
Biodiversity (GRI 304)
Support of underprivileged individuals:
Including support of children, adolescents, refugees, the homeless and senior citizens
Local communities (GRI 413)
Dialogue General disclosures (GRI 102)
Digitalisation & sustainability:
Including the responsible use of digital solutions (through the traceability of products and the creation of additional transparency in the supply chain, amongst other things) and conscientious handling of customer data
Customer privacy (GRI 418)
Digital responsibility (RG 2)*
Fair business relationships Anti-competitive behaviour (GRI 206)
Integrity and compliance Anti-corruption (GRI 205)
Public policy (GRI 415)
Socioeconomic compliance (GRI 419)
Customer privacy (GRI 418)
Sustainability in company management General disclosures (GRI 102)
Business performance Economic performance (GRI 201)
The topic “digital responsibility” is not an explicit topic covered by the GRI Standards. For this reason, the abbreviation “RG 2” bears no relation to the GRI Standards. Rather, it is an indicator created for the REWE Group’s own purposes.

GRI 102-49:

Changes in reporting

See defining report content and topic boundaries