REWE Group is committed to protecting our climate. As part of this commitment, the company pledged in 2013 to cut its specific greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2022 compared with the base year of 2006. The 2014 Carbon Footprint Report shows that the company has made good headway in its efforts, having already achieved a reduction of 36 per cent. To systematically encourage reductions, REWE Group has developed two KPIs that set targets for electricity consumption and refrigeration-related greenhouse gas emissions based on sales area.
Carbon Footprint of REWE Group
REWE Group intends to make a measurable contribution to climate protection. In 2009, the company released its first Carbon Footprint Report and has been tracking its emission of greenhouse gases each year since then. Through the company's carbon footprint process, it can also monitor the impact of the steps being taken. In addition to highlighting the achieved savings, the Carbon Footprint Report serves as a fundamental lever in the company. The major causes of greenhouse gas emissions are electrical, heating and refrigeration systems. Absolute greenhouse gas emissions for Germany and Austria have fallen from 2.37 million tons in the base year of 2006 to about 2.12 million tons in 2014. This represents a decrease of 10.5 per cent. Specific greenhouse gas emissions (unit: CO2 equivalent per m2 of sales area) plunged by 36 per cent during the same period (see graphic). As a result, the company has reached its goal of achieving a 30 per cent reduction by 2015. The new target set in 2013 calls for specific greenhouse gas emissions to be cut in half by 2022.
|Savings (CO₂/m²)||Specific greenhouse gas emissions (CO₂/m²)|
* Newly released emission factors were used to determine the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, units that are no longer part of REWE Group were factored out to enhance comparability. As a result of both actions, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions have changed since the previous report.
Area of application: The indicator was applied to the entire REWE Group Germany and Austria, including partners. The units of consumer electronics and Kressner were not included because they are no longer part of REWE Group.
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. With REWE Group's requirement that 25 per cent of the power-generating systems should be less than 3 years old, the company is promoting the development of renewable energy facilities. The green power is acquired by the Hamburg-based Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft (EHA), a wholly owned subsidiary of REWE Group. In 2014, 99.36 per cent of this electricity came from hydropower and the rest from biomass.
In addition, REWE Group employs photovoltaic technology to produce its own energy. The distribution centre in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, that was completed in 2014 uses solar power to produce its own energy and feeds 30 per cent of the electricity that its system generates into the public grid. Photovoltaic technology is also used in Green Building stores and at other suitable locations. At the end of 2014, REWE Group was operating photovoltaic systems at 21 locations in Germany. These units have a potential peak power output of 12,600 kilowatts.
In Austria, BILLA and MERKUR have brought their customers into the process: In the "Energy Payoff" Project, customers had an opportunity to invest in the installation of photovoltaic systems and can receive up to 5 per cent of the invested amount as an annual dividend. This approach has been used to install solar panels at four stores.
Alternative Refrigeration Agents
The greenhouse gas emissions produced by refrigerating systems is largely the result of the refrigeration agents used in them. For this reason, REWE Group has developed a specific KPI for these agents: By 2022, greenhouse gas emissions attributed to refrigeration agents per square metre of sales area should be lowered by 35 per cent compared with the base year of 2012. By 2014, a reduction of 23 per cent had already been achieved.
In its effort to cut emissions, REWE Group decided at an early stage to use the most environmentally conscious refrigeration agents. These agents have low greenhouse gas potential and increasingly include natural refrigerants like propane and CO2. As part of the company's work, it purchased about 17,800 refrigerating units that use the natural refrigerant propane for REWE and PENNY during the reporting period.
One challenge associated with the company-wide use of natural refrigerants in refrigeration systems is to ensure energy-efficient operations through professional maintenance. REWE Group has also installed 27 refrigeration systems that rely solely on CO2 as a refrigeration agent. In addition, hybrid systems cooled by the refrigeration agent R134a for the above-freezing range and with pure CO2 for deep-freeze range are being used.