Energy & Emissions

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber CBE, Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber CBE,
Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

The threat to the world’s food supply caused by climate-related droughts, floods and harvest failures only can be overcome if we keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius. This means we need to bring our production of greenhouse gases down to zero by 2050. As a vital part of our economy, the food retail business also bears responsibility for achieving this goal. The Schwarz Group should therefore make an appropriate contribution to the stabilization of our climate. To do this, it needs a solid plan for rapidly reducing its emissions resulting from the cooling, lighting, distribution, and of course the production of its goods. This will make it possible for our grandchildren to also live safely and eat well.

Here you can find out more about our management approach to energy and emissions


Kaufland and Lidl stores are each provided with at least one e-charging station


photovoltaic plants are operated by the Schwarz Group (2019). This corresponds to an area of around 111 soccer fields

Implementation and Measures

During the reporting period, the Schwarz Group further extended the availability of e-charging stations in Kaufland and Lidl store parking lots. By the end of fiscal year 2019, 308 stores in Germany were each provided with at least one e-charging station, whose electricity comes exclusively from renewable energies. A total of 1,184 stores exist throughout the Group.

Lidl is currently constructing an additional 72 stores in Germany, with roughly 200 in planning. Kaufland is aiming to equip 20 of its own facilities as well as selected rental locations with e-charging stations each year until 2028 and to reach a number of 136 e-charging stations operating on green electricity by the end of 2020 alone. Kaufland and Lidl’s common goal over the medium term is to have an e charging station available at each of their stores in Germany.

The Schwarz Group is driving the energy and mobility transformation by further expanding the availability of e-charging points at Kaufland and Lidl stores.
The Schwarz Group is driving the energy and mobility transformation by further expanding the availability of e-charging points at Kaufland and Lidl stores.

In cooperation with the e-mobility partner WeShare, the retail divisions are also making their stations available for charging at night – which has been the case at their Berlin stores up until now. The cooperation is to be extended to other major cities in Germany. Because of this massive expansion, the Schwarz Group is becoming the operator of the largest e-charging network in the German food retail sector. In addition, Kaufland has also provided e-charging stations to almost 60 stores of other national entities, including the Czech Republic and Romania.

Schwarz Produktion and Kaufland’s meat processing plants have implemented a wide variety of measures intended to provide climate protection through energy efficiency. These measures range from the large-scale rollout of illumination measures using LED bulbs and compressed air measures using so-called air leader control, to the designing of complex energy networks at the Übach-Palenberg facility.

During the fiscal years 2018 and 2019, Schwarz Produktion implemented measures for improving energy efficiency, which resulted in a total savings of more than 17,000 megawatts – this corresponds to the annual power consumption of roughly 7,000 two-person households.

Energy efficiency also plays a key role inthe store concepts of the retail divisions, for example, exploiting the heat loss from refrigeration systems. Kaufland and Lidl are making increasing use of the heat lost from their refrigeration cabinets and systems to heat buildings.

One example of the realization of this long-term commitment can be found at Kaufland, where a total of 241 stores throughout the world have already been equipped with so-called compound refrigeration/climate systems. In order to reduce CO2 emissions even further, refrigeration cabinets in many locations are being operated with natural refrigerants like propane or with CO2.

Kaufland underlines its commitment to climate-efficiency through the use of refrigeration/air conditioning composite systems.

Another example of the continuous improvement in energy efficiency is a baking station newly introduced by a manufacturer during the reporting period. Old baking stations from this manufacturer are gradually being replaced by the new model. This will initially affect Lidl stores in Germany, Portugal and Slovakia.

Following two optimization phases, the new model now consumes around eight percent less energy than its predecessor. The energy-efficient baking station is currently also being tested in the Netherlands, Poland, Cyprus and Greece. In the future, it may also be used in five other countries. Work is currently underway to improve the energy efficiency of the other baking station suppliers.

The Schwarz Group places great value on designing its stores, administrative buildings, and logistics centers to be sustainable and energy-efficient, and it incorporates relevant national and international standards on sustainable construction into these designs. Lidl takes into account the requirements established for the DGNB’s gold certificate for the construction of its new stores in Germany. The Lidl logistics center in Waddinxveen in the Netherlandshas been awarded the “Outstanding” seal of quality.

At the time this report was prepared, a Lidl store in Romania (the sales building with the highest rating in the world), a headquarters administrative building, and logistics centers in Greece, the Netherlands and Great Britain also had received BREEAM certification. In addition, a number of retail division stores have also been certified in accordance with EDGE. In the case of Lidl, this certification was granted to 36 stores in Lithuania, 89 stores in Bulgaria and all stores in Romania.

This certification has been issued to 48 Kaufland stores in Bulgaria and one Kaufland store in Romania. More certifications at other facilities in Romania and the Republic of Moldova are being planned. Moreover, Lidl’s US headquarters in Arlington, Virginia received LEED certification in 2017. In 2019 Lidl Italy opened its first warehouse with LEED Gold certification.

Additionally in that same year, the Lidl headquarters in Serbia was even awarded the LEED Platinum certification – and is therefore the first building in the country to be awarded this certification. Apart from focusing on energy-efficient expansion, Kaufland and Lidl are also taking increasing energy efficiency into account when renovating their existing properties.

The Lidl warehouse in Italy has been awarded the LEED Gold certificate.

In addition to using modern vehicles, another primary area of focus for production plants is reducing transport distances when transporting produced goods to retail divisions. This criterion is the basis for investment decisions by Schwarz Produktion. For example, the beverage plant production network has been reworked in recent years, resulting in significant reductions in transport distances.

By 2013, Kaufland had already shown its commitment in this area by joining the Lean and Green environmental initiative, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in logistics processes by 20 percent within five years. In 2016, Kaufland Germany was awarded the Lean and Green First Star for the 30.3 percent reduction in CO2 it achieved between 2010 and 2015. In 2019, Kaufland also received the Lean and Green Second Star for its far-reaching commitment, which included the “Fleet Sharing” project it carried out together with cooperation partners.

Lidl Germany received a Lean and Green First Star in 2018. Numerous national entities are also implementing measures for sustainable logistics – for example, in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, and Slovakia, Lidl has concluded partnership agreements with service providers for the climate-friendly transportation of merchandise using trucks that run on electricity, gas or biomethane. In Romania and Bulgaria, Kaufland achieved a total savings in transport emissions of 348 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019 alone by switching from trucks to rail for the delivery of paper shipments from Scandinavia.

As a component of a climate-friendly energy supply, the Schwarz Group offsets CO2 emissions for individual locations or national companies. For example, the entire consumption of electricity and gas at the new headquarters of Lidl Germany in Bad Wimpfen, which is currently under construction, is to be climate-neutral.

This has already been implemented for the heat supply. Lidl’s national companies in Switzerland and Sweden have made all their own activities in the Scope 1 and 2 categories and some in Category 3 climate-neutral.

Der Verbrauch von Strom und Gas der neuen Hauptverwaltung von Lidl in Deutschland wird klimaneutral durchgeführt werden.

In addition, the entire company car fleet in Germany for all divisions was made climate neutral in the 2019 financial year and will receive a compensation certificate in accordance with the CER Gold Standard. The offset emissions in 2019 amounted to around 63,000 tons of CO2 equivalents.

Water & Oceans

Günther Bonin, Board, One Earth – One Ocean e.V.
Günther Bonin,
Board, One Earth – One Ocean e.V.

At One Earth – One Ocean e.V., we are concerned about our waters. Pollution of our oceans, rivers, and seas endangers the organisms which live in them and represents one of the biggest challenges for our global community. Our oceans already contain an estimated 150 million tons of plastic, and every year this figure increases by more than ten million tons. A number of different factors are often at play with the issue of water pollution – and the retail trade is responsible for some of them because of its enormous consumption of plastic. As a result, the Schwarz Group is a key partner in the fight for cleaner oceans – and one with enormous potential.

Here you can find out more about our management approach to water and oceans

Non-Food Chemicals:
We will strive for a healthy, environmental-friendly use of chemicals in the production of our own brands by the end of 2030. To this end, we will continue to work towards observing our Detox commitments on the basis of a standard restricted substances list, for the production of our textiles and shoes (MRSL).


per employee



Implementation and Measures

Water is one of the most heavily used resources in textile production, and the use of chemicals is also highly relevant. The Schwarz Group’s trading divisions and Schwarz Beschaffung pay appropriate attention to the responsible use of resources at the textile production sites in China and Bangladesh, Asia. In addition to savings in the use of energy and chemicals, this includes reducing water consumption and the environmentally friendly disposal of wastewater and waste. We use on-site training to develop and sensitize our suppliers and producers in targeted areas.

Kaufland started a project in 2019 which focuses primarily on studying chemicals in wastewater and developing solutions to optimize chemical management at our production facilities. The Kaufland textile sustainability initiative was carried out in close cooperation with a university in Bangladesh as well as suppliers and test institutes, and this initiative is also aimed at students. who are concerned about the environment and the conservation of resources. Kaufland plans to further establish the sustainability initiative in the future.

As part of the innovative PURE project, which is scheduled to run for several years and was initiated by Lidl as a consequence of its own Detox Commitment, local experts trained the employees of Lidl textile suppliers. All costs for the participants in the project, which was carried out in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), were borne by Lidl. This involved systematically recording the sites’ resource consumption, defining performance indicators and developing individual savings plans. For example, water meters were installed to record the quantities of water used.

Plastic waste in oceans and waters is a global problem. In order to make its contribution to the elimination of plastic waste, the Schwarz Group has joined forces with the environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO) and the local specialist for waste and recycling management PT Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia, the Schwarz Group has launched a river cleaning project in Bekasi, Indonesia as part of its plastics strategy REset Plastic.

The project was intensively prepared in the reporting period and will be implemented in fiscal year 2020, initially for a period of three years. With the help of so-called sea hamsters – catamarans that are specially manufactured and equipped with electric motors and charged via photovoltaics – the rivers and shore areas in Bekasi will be cleaned of waste in sections to prevent it from escaping into the sea and being returned to the material cycle. The Schwarz Group is financing the entire project and contributing its know-how and network in the field of plastics. In the future, the initiative is to be handed over to local actors and thus also create local jobs.

By participating in “Project STOP”, the Schwarz Group has also been supporting the leading initiative for the avoidance of plastic waste in oceans as part of its plastics strategy since March 2019. Together with affected cities, the initiative, which was founded in 2017, develops effective recycling management systems and provides funding and expertise to help implement them.

The first project started in April 2018 in the Indonesian coastal region of Muncar, and two further partner cities were added at the end of 2019. In addition to the positive effects on the environment, the local population also benefits from the jobs created.

 By participating in "Project STOP", the Schwarz Group supports the avoidance of plastic waste in oceans as part of its plastics strategy.

The subsidiary PreZero of the environmental division GreenCycle is also committed to global marine protection. In cooperation with the WWF, so-called ghost nets – which are left on the seabed – are recovered from the Baltic Sea and recycled. The company also supports the WWF marine protection program in the avoidance and disposal of plastic waste in Southeast Asia.

In the highly sensitive marine protected areas and national parks on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, waste avoidance measures in the tourism sector and the medium-term establishment of a waste management system are being promoted. In the province of Long An, PreZero is contributing its technical expertise in the installation of systems for recycling waste and recyclable materials.

Together with the WWF, PreZero so-called ghost nets from the Baltic Sea.
Together with the WWF, PreZero so-called ghost nets from the Baltic Sea.

In 2018, Kaufland supported the first WIND2WIN maritime windsurfing challenge in Bulgaria as its main sponsor in order to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the Black Sea through various campaigns. A documentary film was made as part of the competition, which will be used to raise awareness of the topic.

As part of a follow-up campaign in 2019, volunteers from Kaufland Bulgaria collected almost 700 kilograms of waste while working together with local surfers. Kaufland Romania is also committed to clean waters and has been initiating campaigns for several years to remove plastic waste off the Black Sea coast and on lake shores.

Together with the windsurfing challenge WIND2WIN, Kaufland in Bulgaria is drawing attention to the pollution of the Black Sea.
Together with the windsurfing challenge WIND2WIN, Kaufland in Bulgaria is drawing attention to the pollution of the Black Sea.

Additionally, Lidl Portugal, as part of the TransforMAR project, is showing its commitment to cleaner Atlantic beaches and toraising public awareness on reducing plastic and recycling. By placing plastic waste collection containers on beaches and by rewarding environmentally conscious behavior, the project succeeded in collecting and recycling more than 267,000 pieces of plastic waste in 2019.

Land Use & Biodiversity

Jan Plagge, President, Bioland e.V.
Jan Plagge,
President, Bioland e.V.

The loss of biological diversity represents an existential threat for humanity: For example, only ecosystems which are functional and biologically diverse are able to support the continuous production of food. They are an essential basis for a sustainable food retail sector. We at Bioland stand for the protection of biodiversity and are committed to sustainable land use – we are pleased to have Lidl’s cooperation in this endeavor.

Here you can find out more about our management approach to land use and biodiversity

More than
420,000 m²

of flowered areas have Lidl and the Schwarz Produktion already created in Germany (2018-2019)

Implementation and Measures

In order to promote the protection and expansion of biodiversity in food cultivation together with producers, Kaufland is a cooperation partner of the Bodensee-Stiftung and Global Nature Fund and is also involved in the EU-wide initiative “Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry”. Kaufland works together with various producers for conducting on-site tests.

Together with some initial farmers, Kaufland implemented concrete measures such as the expansion of flower strips or the increased cultivation of more resistant crops. Kaufland’s focus here is on adapting measures to local conditions such as soil type or the size of the crop and area.

In order to support farmers, Kaufland is participating in the piloting of the Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT) developed by the Bodensee-Stiftung. This tool helps agricultural producers to record and evaluate the current situation of their fields with regard to biodiversity, select appropriate measures for an individual Biodiversity Action Plan and record the results of the measures. The tool can also support external audits. Kaufland has already introduced the BPT for two suppliers, and the roll-out to other suppliers is planned.

As part of the Lidl Habitat Initiative established in 2018, Lidl Germany is raising customer and supplier awareness of the threats to biodiversity and is also contributing to the protection of wild bees and other beneficial insects.

In January 2019, the program was recognized by the United Nations as an official project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity. The program is based on four modules:

  • Creation of flower strips in cooperation with producers and suppliers
  • Natural conversion of own Lidl plots
  • Bee-friendly plants and seed mixtures in the assortment
  • Optimization of plant protection measures
Schwarz Produktion promotes the population of domestic honey bees by setting up its own beehives.

Just as one example of successful implementation, Lidl installed over 140,000 square meters of flowered areas in 30 logistics centers in Germany over the course of 2018 and 2019.

The Schwarz Group is committed to the preservation of biological diversity.

Schwarz Produktion also targets and promotes on-site biodiversity at its plant premises in Roßbach (in the Burgenland district). A total area of 275,000 square meters is either being managed sustainably through concrete measures like flower and natural grazing areas or is being left completely alone and up to nature.

An area of 22,000 square meters of this land islaid out as a space for wildflowers, and a permanent habitat for insects with ideal areas for nesting and feeding has been created on another part of the grounds by maintaining the land appropriately without regular mowing (so-called three-field mowing). In addition, a small herd of alpacas is responsible for maintaining an additional section of 12,000 square meters, which enables this part of the land to be maintained through permanent, natural, climate-neutral grazing.

There arecurrently plans to also use the fire protection strip around the plant as a wildflower area, which would create an additional living space of approx. 11,500 square meters for insects.

As a high-protein feed, soy is used as the central component of animal feed for the production of a great number of products. Lidl is therefore working intensely with a number of Lidl national entities to promote a more sustainable global soy production as part of the “Lidl Soy Initiative”. Together with the non-profit organizations ProTerra Foundation, Roundtable on Responsible Soy, and Donau Soja, Lidl has been working on encouraging a move to more sustainable soy cultivation in Brazil (the main production country) and in Europe for a number of years.

By the end of 2019, Lidl had over 700,000 tons of soybeans certified for origin being sold in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

Kaufland and Lidl are committed to the cultivation of certified sustainable non-genetically modified soy.
Kaufland and Lidl are committed to the cultivation of certified sustainable non-genetically modified soy.

In addition, the Schwarz Group’s retail divisions will rely increasingly on soy grown in the European Union in the future. In order to gradually promote the cultivation of certified, more sustainable and GMO-free soy, Kaufland and Lidl entered into a partnership with Donau Soja in 2019. The organization provides long-term support for small and medium-sized producers who grow their products according to a more sustainable, GMO-free standard and can show shorter transport routes.