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Climate Change

We invest in the adoption of responsible and proactive behaviour, with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint resulting from our activities.

We intend to reduce energy and scarce goods consumption such as water and we opt for less pollutant refrigeration gases since we believe that only an efficient approach to natural resources may bring benefits to the ecosystems.


RATIONALISATION OF ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION

Water and energy consumptions give rise to the implementation of initiatives which aim to fight climate change, as well to obtaining savings as result of greater efficiency.

The "Water and Energy Consumption Management Teams", a project started in Portugal in 2011, achieved a reduction of these consumptions of 376,119 m3 and 16,564,720 kWh in these 5 years. This project, which is promoted through monthly challenges and internal benchmarking, has obtained an accumulated saving of over 2.4 million euros since its implementation.

In 2015, the Group cut back energy and water consumptions by over 10% and 3.5%, respectively, for each 1,000 euros of sales when compared to 2014.


RENEWABLE ENERGIES

We invest in renewable energy systems such as passive air conditioning systems through the soil, solar collectors for water heating, lamp posts powered by photovoltaic panels and tubular solar light transport system.

These systems enabled us to save approximately 65,000 euros in 2015. This gain in efficiency made it possible to avoid the emission of 610 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, an improvement of 413 tonnes.


LOGISTICS PROCESSES

As our business's core activity is Distribution, we want to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the logistics processes throughout the entire value chain, by minimising the consumption of raw materials and energy resources, as well as by decreasing the amount of emissions and waste.

In Portugal, 65% of the goods transport vehicles comply with the Euro 5 requirements (197 vehicles) and Euro 6 requirements (18 vehicles). In Poland, 89% of the goods transport vehicles comply with the Euro 5 requirements (763 vehicles) and Euro 6 requirements (160 vehicles).

The backhauling programme consists of routes optimization and load maximization by collecting empty pallets on return trips from its stores as well as the Group's suppliers in Portugal and in Poland.

This programme enabled the Group to collect more than 518,000 pallets, thereby saving more than 4.2 million kilometres, the equivalent of around 3.6 thousand tonnes of CO2.

In the last 5 years, this programme enabled a volume of 2.2 million pallets collected, resulting in a saving of 30.7 million kilometres in trips and the emission of 28.9 thousand tonnes of CO2.


REFRIGERATION GASES

Effective management of refrigeration gases is fundamental for minimising the release of greenhouse gases and/or gases that deplete the ozone layer. Investments in natural coolants have been made both in Portugal and in Poland:

  • In Poland, the 15 Distribution Centres (DC) have cooling systems installed with thermal roll-containers with CO2 snow. In Portugal, the same system has been in operation in the Algoz DC;
  • Cooling technologies are installed which run exclusively on CO2 (3 stores in Portugal and 2 DC in Poland);
  • 5 DC (4 in Portugal and 1 in Poland), have refrigerated warehouses (positive and/or negative cold) with systems running on ammonia combined with glycol;
  • 150 stores in Portugal have freezers that use only propane;
  • In Poland, the centralized refrigerator system for 700 stores uses the R407f refrigerant gas, replacing the R404a gas. This resulted in a reduction of over 50% in the Global Warming Potential (GWP) and, therefore, causing less impact on the atmosphere;
  • In Poland, three trucks use CO2 as a refrigerant gas and R404a gas has been replaced by R452a gas (having a GWP almost 50% lower than the former) in 219 trucks.


CARBON FOOTPRINT

In 2015, the Group's carbon footprint was 1,100,906 equivalent tonnes of CO2, showing an increase of 1.1% compared to 2014, which is mostly explained by the Group's growth in the number of stores and Distribution Centres. The specific value decreased from 0.086 to 0.081 equivalent tonnes of carbon for every thousand euros of sales, representing a decrease of 5.8% when compared to 2014. This value enables the fulfillment of the target for reducing this indicator by 2% in the 2015-2017 three-year period.

See the Carbon Footprint in Related Content.