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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 373,393 m3 and 32,347,700 kWh in these 6 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 2016, the Group cut back energy in 1,6% for each 1,000 euros of sales. The increase in water consumption by 3% is due to the investment made in the Perishables area in Poland as well as to the growth of the Group's infrastructures in Portugal, Poland and Colombia.


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 63,000 euros in 2016. This gain in efficiency made it possible to avoid the emission of 636 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, an improvement of 26 tonnes when compared to 2015.


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, 68% of the goods transport vehicles comply with the Euro 5 requirements (192 vehicles) and Euro 6 requirements (36 vehicles). In Poland, 97% of the goods transport vehicles comply with the Euro 5 requirements (687 vehicles) and Euro 6 requirements (264 vehicles).

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

This programme enabled the Group to collect - in the last 6 years - 2.6 million pallets, resulting in a saving of 38.2 million kilometres in trips and the emission of 35.4 thousand tonnes of CO2.


REFRIGERATION GASES

Effective management of refrigeration gases is fundamental for minimising its impacts on climate change. The Group has been reinforcing the control of leaks, using more efficient technology and co-operating with service providers in these areas:

  • 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 (10 stores in Portugal and 2 stores 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;
  • The Group has 582 stores (183 in Portugal and 399 in Poland) with 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, 3 trucks use CO2 as a refrigerant gas and R404a gas has been replaced by R452a gas in 264 trucks (having a GWP almost 50% lower than the former).


CARBON FOOTPRINT

In 2016, the Group's carbon footprint was 1,267,496 equivalent tonnes of CO2, showing an increase of 17.2% compared to 2015. This increase is mainly justified by the significant rise in the electricity market-based emission factors. For the same reason, the specific value increased from 0.079 to 0.087 equivalent tonnes of carbon for every thousand euros of sales, regardless of the reduction of 1.6% in the specific electricity consumption value.

See the Carbon Footprint in Related Content.