Reducing CO2

Determined action against climate change. We want to protect the climate and the environment with an ambitious plan to lower CO2 emissions.


With its Climate Strategy, the Otto Group aims to reduce CO2 emissions caused by its transports and facilities. Towards this purpose, the Group sets a concrete goal and implementation framework, while the Group companies implement measures autonomously. That way, adjusted CO2 emissions of the Group´s facilities, procurement and distribution transports, and business trips should be halved by the end of 2020 compared to the base year of 2006. 

In 2019, CO2 emissions were reduced to 154,730 tons (2018: 166,392 tons). Compared to the base year, the reduction amounts to 51 percent (2018: 47 percent), which means that the target has already been reached. This can be attributed to increased energy efficiency in all areas of the Climate strategy. Other reasons for the reduction in emissions are the shift of air freight to more climate-friendly sea, road, and rail transport, and the purchase of high-quality certified green electricity by German Group companies (around 40 percent of the total electricity supply at the sites). We will continue to systematically increase this share, and by 2025 the German sites will be 100 percent supplied with green electricity. 

While the Otto Group sets a clear reductions target, the Group companies implement the climate protection measures at a local level. The Group supports them in their operational implementation with measurement and control tools.

Besides activities at the Group's own 400 locations, measures to reduce CO2 emissions also encompass transport from sourcing countries directly to customers, as well as business travel and the use of company cars by the Group’s own employees.

Climate neutrality until 2030

With our new CR strategy, we have set ourselves the goal of becoming climate neutral in our own operations by 2030 - the focus remains on concrete measures to prevent or reduce CO2 emissions. We regard high-quality CO2 compensation as a necessary but last resort of choice in achieving targets. The goal applies to all sites, transportation, employee mobility, as well as external data centres and cloud services.

The Press Release can be found here >>

Practical examples from the Otto Group

Witt Group
Baur Group

Delivering climate-friendly packages
With the "Urban Blue" strategy, the parcel service provider Hermes is pursuing the goal of zero-emission delivery of shipments in the inner-city areas of Germany's 80 largest cities by 2025. Among these, Hermes summarises various new mobility concepts, including e-cargo bikes. In Hamburg, for example, they are used around the Hamburger Meile shopping centre. Cargo bikes were also in use in other cities such as Berlin and Cottbus in 2019.

Hermes Germany is recording a significant CO2 saving through a further innovation: the Group company has introduced a fully digital route planning system for parcel delivery in Germany. Parcel deliverers benefit, besides others, from intelligent route and traffic planning that dynamically adapts to changes in the course of the journey. More than 13 tonnes of CO2 are saved every day. For its environmental commitment, the Hermes Group has been awarded the European Transport Award for Sustainability by the newspaper "Transport".

Experiencing sustainability
October 8, 2018 was all about sustainability for the Witt Group. More than 200 employees from different fields came together to learn about and discuss sustainable cotton, waste separation, CO2 emissions, and the Otto Group’s Social Programme. Besides this, a sustainability forum provided room for a lively discussion. The highlight of the day: In his presentation, Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex, gave an impressive explanation of the economic benefits of sustainable action. He pointed out that Sustainability should not only be a moral imperative, but it can also bring considerable economic benefits. Through this action, we could root the idea of sustainability in employees – as they are the pioneers and the drive of our responsible-minded orientation.

Promoting climate-neutral mobility
In order to reduce its transport-related ecological footprint, the Baur Group is expanding its “Green Transport Fleet” – a total of three hybrid and six electric cars are provided by the company. Baur fosters the utilisation of alternative drives among employees as well: Since 2018 they have been able to charge their private hybrid and electric cars at 14 charging points at selected locations. The modern charging stations have particularly high power, so that the vehicles can be fully charged within two hours at some places. The drivers of e-bikes were also taken into account: Lockable charging cabinets have been installed for them for free use. These initiatives of the Baur Group contribute to the rise of environmental awareness in employees and the promotion of climate protection. 


Climate protection within the supply chain

To significantly reduce CO2 emissions at production facilities as well, in 2012 the Otto Group joined forces with seven other large German retail companies to launch the "Carbon Performance Improvement Initiative" (CPI2). The Initiative has developed an online management tool which allows factories to evaluate and control energy consumption in all company areas.

In addition to CPI2 and other commitments to climate protection along the supply chain, the company-owned consulting firm Systain Consulting was conducting a training workshop in Vietnam in 2018 together with the Otto Group, WWF, UN Global Compact, and companies in the textile industry. The goal here was to raise awareness of climate protection in the factories and to point out concrete solutions. With more than 80 producers and suppliers, the issue of climate protection within the supply chain was discussed for the first time in the framework of a multi-day workshop. Besides the central topics of energy efficiency and renewable energies, the systematic recording of CO2 emissions was dealt with. For the Future, we aim at building on this measure and continuously expanding our commitment to climate protection within the supply chain.



Sustainability Reports, Studies and Code of Conduct

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