21 January 2022

Guideline On Climate Action in the Supply Chain

Climate protection is an essential part of our sustainability strategy at the REWE Group. As a retail company, we set our first climate goal at the company level back in 2009, and now we want to help further reduce climate related emissions in our supply chains. These guidelines provide information about our commitment to climate protection for the upstream supply chain and serve as a guide for contractual partners developing and implementing their own climate protection guidelines and management systems.


The effects of climate change can already be felt. Record heat, storms, droughts and flooding are threatening ecosystems, biological diversity and the lives of millions of people. Climate change is also impacting the food sector and the extraction of raw materials. Agriculture alone bears 63 percent of the damage and losses resulting from extreme weather events. Temperature fluctuations, strong rain and the frequency of weather extremes reduce yields, which can also result in lower reliability of supply.

In total, 25 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food industry supply chains. In European retail, emissions of the upstream supply chain account for the largest share of total emissions in this sector, at 90 percent. It is therefore crucial for companies to take these into account when addressing climate change. For this reason, at REWE we have defined a climate strategy for the upstream supply chain.

Our Goals

We want to continuously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus help to limit global warming. In doing so, we adhere to the principle of first avoiding, then reducing, and then offsetting. We have also set ourselves the strategic goal of adhering to the internationally recognised standard of the Science Based Targets initiative.

  • For example, by the end of 2030 we aim to achieve an absolute reduction in supply chain greenhouse gas emissions of 15 percent compared to 2019.

  • And by the end of 2024 we aim to have agreements in place with all of our strategic suppliers – who account for 75 percent of product-related emissions overall – on meeting targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative.

Our Measures

In order to achieve our goals, we determined the CO2 footprint of our supply chains in 2019. The analysis confirmed that all of the REWE Group’s supply chains generate climate-related greenhouse gases, but that upstream Scope 3 emissions account for the largest share. We also identified nine product groups that particularly impact the climate and will therefore be the focus of initial steps in developing measures to reduce the CO2 footprint. These measures will be continually expanded and are planned for all other product groups as well.

In order to promote climate protection in the supply chain on a broad scale, the REWE Group is providing its suppliers with clear recommended actions that are intended to become binding requirements in the long term. In addition, identifying and realising the potential for improvement across the entire range and in specific product ranges will form the basis for implementing greenhouse gas-reducing measures in the value chain. We also want to actively shape and drive forward transformation and climate protection in our supply chains by cooperating on innovation projects with our partners along the supply chain.