METRO heads towards an approved well below 2°C climate target

01 August 2019

METRO has been pursuing a clear climate strategy for several years now. Now the wholesale and food specialist has been the first retail company in Germany to have its climate targets confirmed by the Science Based Targets initiative.

Calling for faster progress in climate protection and the energy transition - solar cells
Renewable Energies are part of METROs climate strategy

METRO AG has submitted its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the categories 1 (e.g. fluorine gases from cooling in wholesale stores) and 2 (e.g. emissions from purchased electricity) by 60% per square metre of sales and delivery space by 2030 compared to the base year 2011. The international wholesale specialist has also submitted its commitment to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas emissions of category 3 (upstream processes, e.g. along the supply chain or business trips, as well as downstream processes, e.g. supplying customers) by 15% by 2030 compared to the base year 2018.

These targets have now been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The initiative is a joint project of CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the We Mean Business Coalition.

The initiative aims to support companies with a scientifically sound objective in their transition to a low-emission economy. The overarching goal of the Science Based Target initiative is to ensure that by 2020 the setting of science-based targets becomes a standard business practice and therefore companies play an important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement—to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and thus preventing the worst effects of climate change.

In the opinion of the Science Based Target initiative, with the submitted commitments in categories 1 and 2 METRO is working towards a "well below 2°C" climate target. METRO's climate strategy thus is in line with the reductions that are necessary to keep global warming well below 2°C.

As of today, 233 companies have received confirmation of their science-based targets through the Science Based Target initiative, 8 of them headquartered in Germany. METRO is the first retail company in Germany to have its science-based climate targets confirmed.

The international wholesale and food specialist has been committed to its climate strategy for many years. According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), on which the science-based targets of the Science Based Target initiative are based, a first climate target was already set in 2011. To achieve its climate target, METRO is pursuing the following activities, among others:

Scope 1:
Emissions from refrigerants: By 2030, emissions from refrigerants shall be reduced by 90% vs. 2011. This will be achieved by further driving our f-gas-exit program (substituting fluorine gases in cooling with natural gases) as well as reducing leakage rates.

Scope 2:
Energy: METRO is continuously expanding its supply of renewable energies, partly with installations directly at the store. In addition, the wholesaler relies on energy-efficient technologies and a growing awareness among employees for the resource-conserving use of electricity.

Scope 3:
Commuter Traffic: As a founding member of EV*100, METRO promotes the transition to e-mobility for employees and customers by providing a growing network of charging infrastructure at the stores and at the headquarters.

Flexible Working: Up to 3 home office days per week are possible for METRO AG employees, thus saving emissions through commuter traffic and promoting a flexible working environment at the same time.

Products in Upstream Processes: Wherever possible, METRO relies on regional suppliers to keep emissions from delivery traffic as low as possible.

Waste Management in Downstream Processes: METRO has been working on packaging optimisation since 2014. Until September 2018, some 11,000 own brand products have already been subjected to a packaging optimisation check. The objective: to reduce the weight, material strength, dimensions and coatings of a packaging. That way, as much as 400 tons of packaging material have already been saved since 2014. As part of its commitment to the New Plastics Economy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the wholesaler has also set itself the target of saving a further 300 tonnes of plastic packaging by September 2023 (basis: October 2018).

As a member of the Consumer Goods Forum, METRO has also committed itself to halving food waste in its own operations by 2025. To this end, the wholesale stores work closely with the respective national food banks in 21 countries. In addition, the wholesaler relies on cooperation with innovative start-ups such as TooGoodToGo, SirPlus, WholeSurplus or tsenso.