Selected measures and projects
NEW CLIMATE PROTECTION GOAL
METRO GROUP has decided on a new, Group-wide climate protection target: by 2020 we aim to reduce our specific greenhouse gas emissions to a level 20 percent lower than in 2011. This corresponds to a reduction from 323 to 258 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre of selling space. In 2012, we managed a reduction of 2.5 percent emissions compared with the previous year. Our specific emissions per square metre were 315 kilograms.
METRO GROUP has been publishing its carbon footprint since 2008 as part of its commitment to climate protection. To achieve an even higher level of transparency regarding the directly and indirectly caused greenhouse gas emissions, in the financial year 2011 we substantially expanded our reporting on our carbon footprint and correspondingly reworked and adapted our climate protection target. With our new target, we are concentrating even more on the emissions that are fundamental for us and that we, as a retail and wholesale group, can directly influence (see chapter “METRO GROUP’s carbon footprint”).
EFFICIENT USE OF ENERGY
The major part of our energy demand is down to lighting and the heating and cooling technology used in our stores and outlets. To further reduce our consumption, we followed up on our energy-saving programmes in the reporting year. The measures involved included, primarily, exchanging fluorescent tubes at METRO Cash & Carry and Galeria Kaufhof for LED lamps with a lower energy consumption and equipping freezer units and refrigerated displays with sliding doors. In almost all of its stores, Media-Saturn is compiling data on its electricity, gas, district heating, district cooling, heating oil and water consumption via smart metering systems and using it to optimise the on/off cycles and the control parameters of its heating and ventilation systems. The introduction of the smart metering systems was a component of the 2009–2012 project Saving Energy. This project has helped the sales line to reduce electricity consumption by 250,000 MWh at almost 600 stores and consequently save more than €30 million. In 2012, METRO GROUP’s energy consumption for electricity and heating was 433 kWh per square metre of selling space. We reduced consumption by 3.4 percent over the previous year.
The manufacture of paper demands large quantities of wood, water and energy. To help conserve these resources, we have been advocating a more economical use of paper for many years. Our strategy includes reducing the amount of paper purchased and also increasing the percentage of ecologically optimised paper. With this in mind, the company responsible for buying our paper, METRO GROUP Advertising (MGA), ensures that the proportion of recycled paper is as high as possible and that any virgin fibre paper purchased is, where possible, chlorine-free and FSC®-certified. Over 80 percent of the paper procured by MGA already fulfils these criteria.
Losses of refrigerants due to leaks in cooling systems are a major source of emissions of greenhouse gases and also a significant cost factor. Therefore, we have made it our goal to reduce our top-up rates for refrigerants. Since 2012, in addition to remote monitoring for the refrigeration systems, we have been carrying out at least 4 instead of the previous 2 leak-tightness inspections per year on the seals on all refrigeration systems at Real and Galeria Kaufhof. Since METRO GROUP committed itself to exclusively using natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide in all of its new stores from 2015 onwards as part of its involvement in the Consumer Goods Forum, we have already seen a number of positive results: in 2012, we installed corresponding refrigeration systems in 5 other stores. Natural refrigerants have a much lower global warming potential than the traditionally used gases. Due to climatic reasons or because of safety aspects, however, existing installations cannot simply be converted and thus it is not possible to use natural refrigerants at all locations without extensive refitting.
MORE EFFICIENT REFRIGERATION
Uninterrupted refrigeration or freezing of products is one of the fundamental prerequisites for quality and freshness. For this reason, it is necessary for the refrigeration systems in our stores to run around the clock. Nevertheless, there are still possibilities for reducing electricity consumption. METRO Cash & Carry has come up with a simple, yet highly effective measure: the sales line is replacing the ventilator in its refrigeration units with energy-saving fans. In Germany alone, METRO Cash & Carry has been able to reduce its electricity requirements by more than 3,000 MWh by using around 17,000 energy-saving ventilators. This corresponds to the annual consumption of 850 German households.
IDEAS AND ACTION WANTED
Environmentally aware behaviour on the part of employees offers another source of potential savings. To make targeted use of this potential, METRO Cash & Carry prepared its Energy Awareness Programme (EAP) in 2012. It was launched on International Energy Saving Day on 5 March 2013. The sales line’s goal is to inspire and motivate its employees worldwide to use energy more efficiently.
The EAP is structured in 2 phases: During the first phase, the employees will be challenged to come up with energy-savings potential in their own homes. The Best Home Energy Saver will receive an award from METRO Cash & Carry at the end of 2013. The second phase will involve getting the employees to realise savings measures in the wholesale stores. Every location will be assigned a set reduction target that takes specific factors such as the local climate into account. All employees are encouraged to contribute their ideas and to make a conscious effort to change their behaviour in the workplace in order to save energy.
The best suggestion and the wholesale store that makes the greatest level of savings will also be awarded a prize. In total, METRO Cash & Carry has made it its goal to reduce its energy consumption by August 2013 by 5 percent from its 2011 level and by 2015 by a total of 18 percent. This corresponds to an overall saving of €37 million.
How savings potentials can be realised in the area of lighting is well illustrated by the example of our warehouse in the German city of Hamm, which opened in 2011 and is operated by our subsidiary METRO LOGISTICS (MGL). During construction of the around 3,200-square-metre freezer warehouse, LED lighting was installed throughout. Compared with standard lights, LED lamps are considerably more energy-efficient. What is more, they can immediately produce 100 percent light output even at cold store temperatures of minus 24 degrees Celsius – unlike standard lamps. This reduces the operational hours of the lighting. Standard lamps run for 24 hours as they need a certain amount of time to reach their maximum illumination at the cold temperatures. The warehouse in Hamm managed to reduce its electricity requirement for lighting by around 40 percent. Lighting accounts for around a quarter of the electricity consumption at the Hamm warehouse. Encouraged by this positive result, MGL is refitting a number of other locations.
A WIN-WIN SITUATION
Protecting the environment and cutting costs at the same time: that is the core idea of the municipal project Ökoprofit. 2 Galeria Kaufhof department stores in Düsseldorf am Wehrhahn and in Hanau both took part in the project and implemented a number of small-scale measures that, taken as a whole, have led to significant energy and cost savings. In Düsseldorf the lights on the escalators and in the advertising boards were replaced with LEDs and motion sensors were installed in the employees’ stairways. The fresh-air circulation system is now controlled using CO2 sensors which deliver air as required. In this way, the department store has achieved annual electricity savings of 3 percent and thus a 5-figure sum off its bills. The new Energy Saver fluorescent tubes that are now being used to provide basic illumination in the store in Hanau require 30 percent less power. In some areas, such as escalator lighting and jewellery display cases, replacing the existing lights with LEDs has brought a saving of around 80 percent. By mid-2012, the escalator lighting in a further 67 outlets had been converted to LEDs.