Lidl is one of four companies that won the Lean and Green Award by the GS1 Germany for its sustainability action plan. What are the provisions of this plan?
Lidl: With the "On the way to a better tomorrow" motto, Lidl accepts responsibility and emphasizes sustainability against the backdrop of climate change, increasing resource scarcity and rising energy prices. With this in mind, we continuously work on solutions to protect the climate and the environment within our means.
We revised our logistics concept and created an action plan to reduce CO2 by 20 percent within the entire logistics area we are responsible for. Based on a so-called "measured baseline", Lidl first determined its current state. This pertained to the fields of procurement logistics (including the import division), construction (logistics real estate), cost management (electricity, gas, fuel oil) and distribution (store supply). Our action affects the entire supply chain with custom-fit measures.
How realistic is it to achieve these goals? And how is this development being measured?
Lidl: For many years, Lidl has focused on efficient logistics. Today all transportation activities are already centrally controlled to ensure an optimal level of utilized capacity of carriers. However, this area still offers more potential cost savings. By using targeted measures such as optimizing route planning or converting to alternative carriers, we will emphatically work on implementing our goals for all the defined areas. Within the scope of the "Lean and Green" initiative by the GS1, the German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) inspects the overall plan. In addition, Lidl regularly reports to GS1 on intermediate results for implementing the action plan.
What efforts does it take for such a large company to implement this concept? What are the biggest challenges and what is easiest to implement?
Lidl: As a grocery retailer, we work on lean logistical processes every day and are very well positioned in the respective divisions that pertain to logistics, costs and distribution. One of the biggest challenges is in developing further potential for optimization.
However, over the past few years, Lidl has shown numerous times that its efforts in developing sustainable and resource conservation measures, among others in the logistics area, have paid off. In 2006, we set up our warehousing and logistics by implementing various energy conservation measures. In this instance, we use generated waste heat for the refrigeration and air conditioning of temperature-sensitive foods and for heating the storage areas.
We exclusively use cooling systems operated with natural cooling agents with every new development. We are able to direct our actions towards these time-tested standards in the future.
From your point of view, what significance do the sustainability efforts by Lidl have for consumers/customers? And how is this commitment to sustainability being received?
Lidl: Lidl is aware of its responsibility for man and nature and continuously lobbies to improve in the areas of environment and climate protection, employees, corporate citizenship and selection of goods. Climate protection is one of the biggest challenges of our times.
By revising and optimizing our logistics concepts, we primarily want to do justice to our corporate social responsibility. Being part of society, our customers naturally also benefit from this.