METRO GROUP’s carbon footprint

Carbon footprint and climate protection target

In 2012, METRO GROUP resolved to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent per square metre of selling space by 2020. The basis for this calculation is our level of emissions as measured in 2011. In CO2 equivalents, this means that we want to reduce emissions from 330 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per annum in 2011 to 264 kilograms of CO2 equivalents.

The climate protection target refers to emissions that are central to our activities as a retail company and, above all, that we can influence directly. These are emissions from:

  • Consumption of heating oil, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, district heating, district cooling and paper
  • Refrigerant losses for commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • Fuel consumption by company cars and emergency power generators
  • Upstream chain emissions and network losses for all direct and indirect energy sources
  • Business travel

METRO GROUP has been recording and publishing its greenhouse gas emissions since as far back as 2008. In doing so, we take into account all the main greenhouse gas emissions that we cause directly and indirectly in the course of our business activities. This detailed documentation forms the basis for our goal of minimising our impact on the climate. The emissions that are actively managed under the climate protection target make up almost 40 per cent of overall emissions. Our carbon footprint reporting also covers the following additional emission sources:

  • Fuel consumption by the company’s fleet of trucks
  • Overall external logistics
  • Procured goods and services (with the exception of paper)
  • Capital assets
  • Waste
  • Commuting by employees
  • Leased assets

Unlike in previous years, portfolio adjustments will no longer be made for environmental key performance indicators as of this reporting period (Real sales in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Turkey in 2012 and 2013). This means that the prior-year data and the figures for the reference year 2011 quoted in this report differ from those cited in previous years. There are also deviations from emission levels stated in earlier reports: this is due to emission factors being updated and estimates corrected. Particularly in the case of emissions from refrigerants, this gives rise to a slight change in figures all the way back to the reference year 2011. As a result, the emission figure for the reference year 2011 has increased slightly to 330 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre of selling space.

Methodology and scope

Our reporting is based on 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, service companies and back offices are taken into account. With the aid of the group-wide Carbon Intelligence System introduced in 2011, we record consumption data for the aforementioned emission sources at virtually all stores, department stores, back offices and warehouses. We report on the overall effect of all greenhouse gas emissions in the form of CO2 equivalents in order to gauge the impact of other greenhouse gases as well as CO2.

Since 2011, our carbon footprint has been subject to an audit by KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. We have also provided information on our climate protection strategy and emission management activities since 2006 by taking part in a survey by CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project). CDP is an international not-for-profit organisation that aims to disclose how the world’s largest companies deal with climate change issues, thereby contributing to transparency in corporate reporting of climate-relevant data.

Developments in the reporting year

In the reporting period 2013/14, METRO GROUP generated – directly and indirectly – a total of 9.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents (prior-year period: 9.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents). The emissions covered by the climate protection target stood at 273 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre of selling space (prior-year period: 301 kilograms of CO2 equivalents). This means that we were already able to reduce the emissions by 56 kilograms or 17 per cent compared with the reference year 2011. Most of this reduction can be attributed to emissions from electricity consumption, which fell by more than 51 kilograms per square metre of selling space or 24 per cent. A further 5.4 kilograms were saved by reducing paper usage – this is equivalent to 23 per cent. There is still room for improvement with regard to emissions from refrigerant leakages. Here, we were only able to reduce emissions per square metre of selling space by 0.5 kilograms or 0.9 per cent compared with 2011. In the next few years, we want to bring about a substantial reduction in these emissions. Our efforts to achieve this include making use of natural refrigerants with a far lower greenhouse gas potential. Emissions from the use of district heating and cooling and from the consumption of fuel by emergency power generators increased by 1.5 kilograms per square metre of selling space, up by over 5 per cent. We succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions relating to company cars’ fuel consumption and business trips by 4 per cent or more than 21 per cent compared with the reference year 2011.

With 273 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per square metre of selling space, we are already very close to achieving our goal of 264 kilograms per square metre. The decrease in emissions compared with the reference year 2011 can essentially be attributed to three factors:

  • Measures to reduce consumption with respect to energy, company cars, paper and business travel and emissions from refrigerant loss (fall of approximately 6.5 per cent)
  • Sale of locations in Eastern Europe and Turkey, which were very emission-intensive for the most part (fall of 6.6 per cent)
  • Alignment of emission factors with the current state of technology and scientific research (fall of 4 per cent)