The first step in reducing a company’s carbon footprint – and being able to offset this enough to achieve climate neutrality – is to measure it. This means analysing all the emissions a business creates. Business owners should consider this on 3 levels:
1. The emissions a business causes directly – for example through its own vehicle fleet, through cooking, purchasing or delivery and through food waste.
2. The indirect emissions that relate to the business but are generated by external service providers. For example, emissions created by energy suppliers that provide power for company buildings, or arising from meat production.
3. The indirect emissions that are not in the business’s direct sphere of influence but are part of the overall supply chain – for example, emissions generated by suppliers or in the manufacturing of upstream products or food, or for example when employees and guests drive to the restaurant.
To reduce their carbon footprint, hotels, restaurateurs and caters can start with a few simple measures: they can optimise their storage or switch cooperation partners to reduce food waste, offer environmentally friendly single-use items, decrease water consumption or recycle waste. Converting to green electricity and energy-efficient devices also helps save on emissions. And last but by no means least, climate protection is a team effort – so it’s important to get everyone on board and look for solutions together. (More on ways to work more sustainably: Stepping Up Sustainability – But How? 10 Tips for Restaurateurs.)
METRO itself has likewise committed to a comprehensive, long-term package of measures that it has been implementing for years and is continually improving. In July 2021 the climate target was sharpened: Until 2040, METRO aims to make its global business operations climate-neutral. The baseline value is the emissions in 2011. ‘We have converted to energy-saving LED lights in our markets and installed 49 photovoltaic systems in our markets worldwide; we use modern cooling technology with natural refrigerants to chill our foods; we are converting our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles, building charging stations for our customers and employees and building our new markets in an energy-efficient way with recyclable construction materials – to name but a few of many examples,’ says energy manager Olaf Schulze. Between 2011 and 2020, METRO had already achieved to reduce its specific greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales and delivery space by 34%.