Energy and resource management

To successfully operate our core business and to meet our customers’ needs, we need energy and natural resources now and for the future. However, the supplies of both are finite.

As a retail and wholesale company, we assume responsibility for climate and resource protection within areas of the value added chain that we can directly influence: from the storage, refrigeration and transport of products to the operation of our stores and administrative offices. We pursue two central goals in this effort: First, we intend to reduce climate-relevant emissions produced in connection with our business operations. By 2020, we intend to lower the level of greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of selling space by 20 per cent compared with the baseline year of 2011. Second, we intend to lower our consumption of resources. By taking this approach, we will do more than promote climate and environmental protection. We will also reduce our operating costs.

Energy consumption reduced

Lighting as well as heating and cooling systems are responsible for the largest share of energy usage. To cut our consumption levels further, we pressed ahead with our energy-conservation programmes during the reporting period and invested a total of more than €30 million in technical improvements at all four sales lines.

Media-Saturn added LED strip lighting to five new Media Markt stores and one existing store. As a result of this change, energy consumption can be cut by about 40 per cent from the level produced by the previously used lighting systems (T5). The savings potential is even higher for older lighting solutions (T8). Media-Saturn will add LED strip lighting to other stores as well in order to determine the right point for the economically sensible use of LED lighting.

Real Germany lowered its use of electricity per square metre of selling space by 3 per cent in the short financial year compared with the previous year’s figure. To achieve this reduction, our sales line took a number of steps that included further optimising store lighting, adding covers to freezers and the doors of equipment used to store cold cuts and dairy products, upgrading ovens and converting the energy sources of these units from electricity to natural gas, and creating an energy management system. Since 2007, Real has been able to lower its energy consumption per square metre of selling space by 7 per cent, adjusted for divested stores, even though the demands placed on product displays, lighting and the sales line’s entire concept have grown.

In 2013, the management team and works council of Galeria Kaufhof paved the way for improving efficiency in the implementation of measures to lower energy consumption in future. Both groups have agreed on rules that cover the introduction of systems that can measure and manage atmospheric parameters such as temperature, air quality and air circulation. The objective is to optimise heating and air-conditioning systems and the way they are operated as a way of further cutting energy consumption in stores.

Electricity and heat usage

in kWh per m2 of selling space

Energy and resource management – Electricity and heat usage (bar chart)

To become less dependent on energy-price trends and to further reduce our environmental impact, we are concentrating on projects that will facilitate decentrailised energy supplies. One efficient and environmentally conscious alternative for many applications is to produce electricity, heat and cooling directly where they are needed. In this regard, we forged a strategic partnership on energy production with Eon in 2013. The German energy provider is setting up gas-powered combined heat and power units at METRO Cash & Carry locations. These units will provide each store with power and heat. In Germany, the first combined heat and power units have gone into operation in wholesale stores in Düsseldorf and Berlin. At each store, the unit generates more than 25 per cent of the electricity needed by the wholesale store and all of its heat. This will lower our energy costs by about 5 per cent at each store and our specific greenhouse gas emissions by about 300 tons of CO2 per year at each site. The company intends to install other combined heat and power units. Two are already in the planning phase.

Behaviour-modifying programmes launched

In addition to investments in technology, we are undertaking efforts to change the habits of each individual employee. By adopting environmentally conscious behaviour, our employees can make a major contribution to our drive to save energy. For this reason, METRO Cash & Carry started the Energy Awareness Programme (EAP) during the short financial year 2013. It is designed to encourage employees to use energy more efficiently. In this effort, we are focusing on lighting, commercial refrigeration, air conditioning and water. This programme includes the use of refrigeration curtains to separate temperature zones. Lights are used only when needed. At other times, the lighting is reduced to the level of so-called third switching. In addition, every location has been assigned a specific reduction goal. From January to September 2013, the EAP led the electricity consumption of all METRO Cash & Carry stores around the world to decrease by 9.5 per cent compared with the period of January to September 2011. The overarching goal of METRO Cash & Carry is to cut electricity usage per square metre of selling space by 18 per cent and heat consumption by 8 per cent by 2015 compared with the reference year of 2011. Using today’s electricity rates as a benchmark, this would represent annual cost savings of €36 million produced solely by a change in behaviour.

During the short financial year, energy consumption for electricity and heat at METRO GROUP totalled 303 kWh per square metre of selling space (1/1/12 – 30/9/12 307 kWh/m2; 1/10/12 – 30/9/13: 413 kWh/m2; 1/1/12 – 31/12/12: 417 kWh/m2).

Climate protection target and carbon footprint

From January to September 2013, METRO GROUP generated 222 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per square metre of selling space (1/1/12 – 30/9/12: 226 kilograms of CO2/m2; 1/10/12 – 30/9/13: 295 kilograms of CO2/m2; 1/1/12 – 31/12/12: 300 kilograms of CO2/m2) in relation to the emission sources of the climate protection goal. As a result, our group-wide emissions fell by about four kilograms of CO2 per square metre of selling space compared with the previous year’s period. This amounts to 1.8 per cent. This reduction was primarily achieved by energy-saving programmes.

In 2012, the Sustainability Board of METRO GROUP set a target: by 2020, we will reduce our specific greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with the 2011 level. This means that we will lower emissions per square metre of selling space by 309 kilograms of CO2 equivalents per year to 247 kilograms of CO2 equivalents. The change in the level reported in 2012 resulted from the adjustment of the carbon footprint and the target- and base-year levels that was made necessary by the divestment of Real in Eastern Europe. Our climate protection goal covers the emissions that are material to us as a retail company and, above all, can be directly influenced. These are emissions created by

  • the use of electricity and thermal energy as well as their upstream chain emissions and network losses,
  • coolant losses for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning,
  • the use of paper,
  • the fuel consumption of company cars, emergency power generators including the upstream chain and
  • business travel.

Emission sources included in the climate protection target

9M 2013

Energy and resource management – Emission sources included in the climate protection target (pie chart)

These emissions make up about 40 per cent of emissions that we include in our carbon footprint. In addition to the emissions we can directly affect, our carbon footprint contains those emissions that we cannot manage or can control only in part. In terms of transparency, we are well above the industry average regarding our contribution to the greenhouse effect.

Our climate reporting is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and its Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. The emissions of the sales lines and cross-divisional service companies are considered. In this review, we examine 19 different resources of emissions.

With the help of the group-wide Carbon Intelligence System that we introduced in 2011, we track energy consumption and other critical environmental impacts at virtually all outlets and department stores, administrative offices and warehouses. The quality of collected data is high. More than 95 per cent of emissions for Scope 1 and Scope 2 draw from the collected data. Less than 5 per cent are based on projections. We report the total impact of all relevant greenhouse gas emissions as CO2 equivalents.

Since 2011, the auditing firm KPMG AG has audited our carbon footprint and certified its correctness. Since 2006, we have also been reporting about our climate protection strategy and our emissions in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The mission of the organisation with the same name is to create transparency in companies’ reporting about climate-relevant data.

Degree of goal achievement

Measure not yet started

Measure started

Measure ongoing

Measure concluded

New goal implemented

In progress

Goal reached

Goal not reached



Status goal


Status measures







Die METRO GROMETRO GROUP will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent from 309 kg/m2 in 2011 to 247 kg/m2 in 2020.

Continuation of “low-hanging fruit programme” as an energy saving Programme; additional Energy Awareness Programme (EAP) starting in 2013.

Reduction of climate-harming refrigerants initiated

We also see room for improvement in the area of emissions created by the loss of refrigerants (commercial and air-conditioning coolants). Here, emissions generated from January to September 2013 in the short financial year rose by 4.4 kilograms of CO2 per square metre of selling space compared with the previous year’s period (1/1/12 – 30/9/13: 44.8 kilograms of CO2/m2; 1/1/12 – 30/9/12: 40.4 kilograms of CO2/m2; 1/10/12 – 30/9/12: 55.8 kilograms of CO2/m2; 1/1/12 – 31/12/12: 51.3 kilograms of CO2/m2).

Status climate protection target

greenhouse gas emissions in kg CO2 (CO2 equivalent) per m2 of selling space

Energy and resource management – Status climate protection target (bar chart)

Losses of refrigerants due to leaks in cooling systems are not just a significant source of emitted greenhouse gases. They are also a significant cost factor. For this reason, we have set a goal to cut the refill rate of refrigerants. Since 2012, in addition to remote monitoring for the refrigeration systems, we have been carrying out at least four leak inspections per year on the refrigeration systems used by Real and Galeria Kaufhof in Germany. From January to September 2013, the refill rate for commercial refrigeration systems was 12.3 per cent (1/1/12 – 30/9/12: 11.0 per cent; 1/10/12 – 30/9/13 15.4 per cent; 1/1/12 – 31/12/12: 14.2 per cent).

As part of its membership in the Consumer Goods Forum, we have made a commitment to only use natural cooling agents such as carbon dioxide in new cooling equipment starting in 2015. This voluntary commitment was widened by the Sustainability Board during the reporting period. In addition, new cooling units that are due to be retrofitted will be converted to natural coolants when this is technically feasible. In the short financial year 2013, a total of 14 commercial refrigeration systems were converted to natural coolants at METRO Cash & Carry, Real and Galeria Kaufhof.

For carbon footprint measured emission sources

9M 2013

Energy and resource management – For carbon footprint measured emission sources (pie chart)

The use of natural cooling agents is a key component of our strategy to comply with new regulatory requirements regarding the use of cooling agents. In the next few months, we expect the EU to issue an amended directive on fluorinated greenhouse gases. This directive is currently undergoing revision. Its goal will be to lower the global warming potential (GWP) of refrigerants used in the EU over the medium term. This goal is to be achieved by taking a number of steps, including a ban on introducing hermetically sealed refrigerating and freezer units that contain a coolant with a global warming potential of more than 150 to the European market. Another step will be the gradual reduction in the amounts of climate-damaging refrigerants. From 2020 onwards, existing refrigerating units that use a coolant with a global warming potential of more than 2,500 may not be refilled under the plan.

You will find in-depth information and other key performance indicators regarding our carbon footprint on our website under the section Sustainability and CSR.