METRO GROUP´s carbon footprint

New climate protection target

In 2012, the METRO GROUP Sustainability Board adopted a new climate protection target: we now plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of selling space by 20 percent by 2020. The basis for this calculation is our level of emissions as measured in 2011. In terms of CO2 equivalents, this means specifically: reducing our emissions from the current level of 323 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per year to 258 kilograms of CO2 equivalents.

METRO GROUP has been publishing its carbon footprint since 2008. It includes all the fundamental climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions that we either directly or indirectly cause as part of our business activities. Our carbon footprint reporting is the basis for our goal of reducing our impact on the climate as much as possible. In 2011, we further professionalised our carbon footprint reporting and expanded it in line with the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We also added a number of extra reports on additional emission sources. Therefore, it was also necessary to update the climate protection target that had been in place since 2008.*

We are only able to represent the years before 2011 to a limited extent in our extended reporting. This is mainly because we have no data from that period for the emissions sources that have been added since then. For that reason we have defined 2011 as the base year for the new climate protection target. Additionally, our previous climate protection target also included emission sources such as logistics. Emissions from logistics are increasing at a disproportionate rate due to our expansion into countries such as China and Russia, where considerably longer transport routes are the norm. We therefore no longer include them in the new climate protection target.

As our new target concentrates on emissions that are fundamental for us as a retail and wholesale company, and more importantly, we are able to directly influence, we are concurrently also able to improve the management of our climate-related activities. The new climate protection target includes emissions from

  • the consumption of electricity, thermal energy, paper and refrigerant losses for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning,
  • fuel consumption from company cars and emergency power generators as well as
  • business travel.

These make up almost 40 percent of the total emissions detailed in the carbon footprint.

Methodology and scope

Our reporting is based on the standards laid down in the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The emissions from all sales lines and service companies as well as the administration buildings are taken into account. In total, we include 19 different emission sources (see graphic on p. 58). Using the Group-wide Carbon Intelligence System (introduced in 2011) we record the energy consumption and other key environmental effects in almost all stores and department stores, administration buildings and warehouses. As more than 95 percent of the emissions in Scope 1 and Scope 2 relate to gathered data, the data quality is very good. Less than 5 percent involves extrapolations. The overall effect of all fundamental greenhouse gas emissions is reported in the form CO2 equivalents.

KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft has been auditing and certifying our carbon footprint since 2011. In addition, we have also been publishing our climate protection strategy and emission levels as part of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2006. The aim of the independent organisation of the same name is to create transparency in the way companies report climate-relevant data.

Developments in the reporting year

In 2011, METRO GROUP directly and indirectly caused 10.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. In 2012, the level of these emissions fell to 10.3 million tonnes. That corresponds to a reduction of 1.4 percent. We were able to reduce the emissions under the new climate protection target yet further. We lowered the emissions per square metre of selling space by over 8 kilograms of CO2 equivalents (2.5 percent) over 2011. Measures from the energy-saving programmes introduced in 2011, for instance, helped to reduce energy-related emissions by just under 7 kilograms per square metre of selling space. We achieved savings of a further 2 kilograms by reducing paper consumption. We still see potential for further optimisation in the level of emissions caused by leakages of refrigerants. Here the emissions per square metre of selling space increased by over a kilogram. Over the next few years, we intend to achieve a significant reduction in loss of refrigerants. We are also looking to use natural refrigerants more frequently.

*The climate protection target from 2008 planned a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of selling space by 2015 in comparison with 2006.


METRO GROUP’s carbon footprint and climate protection target


METRO GROUP’s carbon footprint and climate protection target (bar chart)

Operational audit of the carbon footprint 2012

For the reporting year 2012, the auditing company KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft assessed our data collection processes and data entry system as part of an operational audit and also verified our carbon footprint for 2012 in accordance with ISAE 3000. The certification by the independent auditor can be seen at: