In 2008, the REWE Group began developing a new generation of supermarkets that make sustainability come alive for customers and employees and make a measurable contribution to sustainable development. The Green Building concept of the REWE Group combines modern architecture with energy-efficient technologies and the use of renewable energies. For example, primary energy consumption was cut by up to 40 percent compared with conventional stores. By successfully introducing the Green Building concept, the REWE Group has made the environmental and business case for building and operating more sustainable retail properties.

ANGED associated companies are analysing ways to carry out actions offsetting their carbon footprint through reforestation and management of forests. Moreover, companies put in place maintenance operations to ensure good equipment operation and to avoid excessive consumption. Regarding energy efficiency, they use sustainability criteria in the design, construction and refurbishment of buildings, incorporating elements such as certified wood or high-quality insulation and elements of efficiency management of energy and water. In 2021, ANGED companies reduced up to 9% of energy consumption thanks to energy efficiency programmes.

HDE member Metro Properties has reduced their energy consumption from 378 kWh per square meter to 150 kWh per square meter of retail space and less. In order to be able to plan, implement and control energy and efficiency measures in a targeted manner, METRO uses an energy management system as a central database for all energy and resource consumption. Instruments such as benchmarking for energy and leakage rates as well as CO₂ accounting are used to monitor demand. On the basis of the determined savings potential, savings are to be achieved within the framework of an ISO 50001-certified energy management system, on the one hand via a so-called energy awareness program for employees and on the other hand through investments in energy-saving technology.

FederDistribuzione, together with member companies operating in both food and non-food sectors, have defined voluntary guidelines in a common effort to curb energy consumption in the country. These guidelines affect both operational activities and intervention in energy efficiency. The areas of intervention take into account the specificities of the sector, which must guarantee essential service levels to protect consumers, such as food safety and cold chain management. It also confirms the commitment, already undertaken some time ago, by retail companies, to direct specific investments to achieve an ever-greater level of energy efficiency, for example by incentivising the self-production of electricity through renewable sources.

HDE member Biomare Leipzig, now four Biomare supermarkets in Leipzig stand for practical sustainability with their range of regional organic products. In addition to the product range, this also includes the resource-saving management of the sales areas with reduced energy consumption and the implementation of extensive climate protection measures. The Connewitz location served as a model for two other Biomare branches. In the meantime, 100% of the hot water requirement at all branches is covered by heat recovered from the refrigeration system. More than the needs of Biomare can be covered in the Connewitz plant: the other tenants in the building also receive warm water through heat recovery. In addition, in 2020 work began on converting the vehicle fleet for all operational transport needs to electric vehicles. The JobTicket and the JobRad for employees were introduced in 2019 and are subsidized to the maximum by Biomare.

RND has agreed on the following best practices at the level of management of business operations. To choose a revolving door or draft lock (with good settings) or choose an automatic sliding door. For automatic sliding doors, RND always uses an HR air curtain that automatically switches on doors (door open = curtain on; door closed = curtain off). This solution is called a ‘smart door’. In the scorecard of Indoor Climate Technology information is provided on how to install the air curtain correctly. An automatic sliding door with air curtain saves about 40% gas consumption compared to an open entrance door. With the Calculation Tool of Indoor Climate Technology and TNO, it’s possible to calculate the savings on energy and CO₂ emissions.

HDE member, Ernsting’s family, aimed to make 95% of the entire branch portfolio energy efficient by 2020. Since 2007, the branches of Ernsting’s family in Germany and Austria have been equipped with the latest technical systems as part of every construction project. Heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting in around 1,500 of the more than 1,800 branches can be controlled centrally from the company headquarters. This is made possible by web-enabled controllers that act as an interface between the sales outlets and the head office and make practically all technical processes controllable via the Internet. Fixed parameters from system data and energy curves ensure automatic control of the room temperatures and the lighting in the branches. Times of day and seasons are taken into account, as are opening hours. Furthermore, the energy management system enables a future forecast of the individual energy consumption of a branch. To do this, the system evaluates consumption values ​​from the past stored in the database and creates a forecast for energy consumption up to the end of the year. In this way, problematic consumption levels can be detected at an early stage and suitable measures can be initiated if necessary.

Efficient logistics are essential to improving sustainable mobility. ANGED promotes a series of measures to achieve improved sustainable mobility. One of these is to renew the old fleet that uses fossil fuels. This includes incorporating electric, hybrid, zero-emission or environmentally certified vehicles, as well as alternative fuels such as liquified and compressed natural gas vehicles. To improve the mobility of cities and to reduce pollution, some of ANGED companies have set last-mile delivery targets of 100% zero emissions by 2025, in both its own and leased fleets. The optimization of reverse logistics loads and processes, as well as two-temperature trucks, has a direct and positive impact on a more sustainable supply. Actions are also taken to reduce the external effects of transport on cities. For example, trucks can optimize night delivery processes, such as by adapting locking systems, alarms, insulation or specific training for staff to mitigate noise pollution. Digitalisation can also be helpful in the reduction of GHGs emissions and energy consumption.

As the first grocery chain in the world, Salling Group now provides several hundred stores for flexible consumption. Netto stores will balance their electricity consumption in relation to the supply of green electricity in the network. The Netto stores have electrical systems such as ventilation, cooling and heat pumps integrated into one building management system. That system is connected to the Flex Platform, which can balance consumption in the electrical systems with the production of green electricity. The Salling Group can itself decide where, when, how much and for how long the electricity consumption in the stores can be turned up and down, so that neither users nor goods are affected. It is all controlled via artificial intelligence.

The companies of Schwarz Group (Lidl, Kaufland, Schwarz Produktion, PreZero) rely on electricity from renewable sources to achieve the goal of the 1.5°C Science Based Targets Initiative. The Schwarz Group expands its share of self-generated renewable energy. Through photovoltaics, the companies of Schwarz Group were able to generate around 196 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity in fiscal year 2021. The companies of Schwarz Group will have additional photovoltaic systems by the 2025 fiscal year, either in or on buildings.

Irish retailers are evaluating their stores and implementing energy saving measures, wherever possible. Larger retailers are looking to install solar panels through government grants that were announced in September 2022.

HDE member Breuninger Stores cut their carbon footprint with energy control. Breuninger is committed to exemplary targets in its sustainability strategy: In the building sector, all properties under Breuninger’s control are to be CO₂-neutral by 2025. To achieve this major goal, Breuninger chose a digital and innovative sustainability measure and equipped its store in Freiburg with self-learning technology energy control. In doing so, they permanently and automatically reduced the property’s carbon footprint. Results at a glance: 28% Energy savings, CO₂-footprint reduced, room climate stabilised on all floors.


HDE member Modehaus ebbers’ efficiency project sets new standards across real estate and property boundaries. The fashion house and the surrounding houses on Münsterstraße are listed buildings and had to be renovated according to the design statutes for the city centre. Six heating systems with ten heat generators, three ventilation and 18 air conditioning systems were combined in one energy center. With the energetic modernization, a local heating network was created, which also supplies commercial and residential areas in the neighborhood.