METRO aims to be climate-neutral in its own global operations by 2040 – a pledge the company committed to in July 2021. Many of the measures designed to achieve this target are being implemented in the wholesale stores. Photovoltaic systems, for example, have proven valuable, as have cooling systems using natural refrigerants as well as simple yet effective measures like automatic doors separating specially cooled areas.
‘For us, the responsibility that we as a company have for the environment is important, but so are the economic benefits that come with energy efficiency – because both not only make us more sustainable but also cut costs long-term,’ says Olaf Schulze, Director Energy Management/Real Estate Sustainability. St. Pölten, Austria, boasts the first METRO zero emission store – a wholesale store whose operation is entirely climate-neutral. METRO Ukraine is certified to the ISO 14001 standard for sustainability management. METRO is not just building wholesale stores to the latest standards; it is also stepping up its investments in upgrading and revamping existing locations. ‘After all, sustainability also encompasses working with what you have and optimising it in such a way that it contributes to a better, climate-friendly future ,’ says Schulze, who drives an electric car on principle. Thus far, METRO has already achieved to cut it's specific greenhouse emissions by 36.5% since the basline year 2011. Take a look inside the wholesale stores – and outside, too, at their roofs and parking areas:
Sustainability at METRO
We target our actions on 8 focus areas that affect us and our customers the most and where we create the greatest leverage.
Read more about our sustainability strategy and the 8 strategic focus areas in our Corporate Responsibility Report 2020/21.
Here comes the sun
The roof of a METRO wholesale store is perfect for operating a photovoltaic system. That is why 68 stores in 11 METRO countries feature them. These systems generate a total of 26,374 kWp (as per 30.09.2022), which is the equivalent of the energy consumption of 7,000 4-person households.
Let there be LED light
By switching to energy-saving LEDs, METRO has now reduced its total electricity consumption worldwide by 25%. That saves over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, or about 2 billion kilometres’ worth of car emissions – and rising.
Out of gas
190 METRO wholesale stores in 18 METRO countries use cooling systems with natural refrigerants instead of the halogenated hydrofluorocarbons known as HCFCs and HFCs that are so devastating to the environment, destroy the ozone layer and promote global warming. 1 kg of HFCs has the same effect on our climate as 3,922 kg of CO2. An extra benefit of the new, eco-friendly cooling systems: not only do they cut down on maintenance – and on electricity by over 20% – but their steady temperatures also have a positive effect on food quality.
Little drops make a mighty ocean
Whether it’s contact-free taps, the use of rainwater or wash bays for transport boxes that harness the waste heat from the cooling system to heat the water – even tiny changes can make a big difference. Every METRO country does what it can to be more careful and sparing in its use of the resource of drinking water. Since 2016/17, these efforts saved 800,000,000 litres of water – or about 4.4 million full bathtubs’ worth.
With more than 808 charging stations in 18 METRO countries available to customers and employees, and a total of 1,000 planned by 2030, METRO is helping to drive the transition to e-mobility. Schulze is convinced this goal will be reached even far sooner. Customers who drive electric vehicles know they can recharge at METRO, in some cases for free or at competitive – i.e. low – rates. And the company’s own fleet also becomes increasingly electrified – more than 36 electric delivery vans up to 7.5 tonnes and 742 electric company cars are rolling already, demand further rising.
Awarded an A Score for Climate Change by CDP
The global environmental non-profit organisation CDP commended METRO in December 2020 for leadership in corporate sustainability. METRO scored high marks for tackling climate change, honoured especially for its actions designed to cut CO2 emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy. By joining the A list, METRO is one of a small number of high-performing companies out of 5,800+ that were scored. METRO also received B scores for water security and forests; B scores for palm oil, paper/wood and soy; and C for cattle.