Logistics: Expand on efficient solutions, slow down/counteract climate change

A major portion of our CO₂e emissions arises from the transport and storage of our products, so it is partic­u­larly important for us to system­at­i­cally reduce the climate impact of our supply chain. The LOTOS (Logistics towards Sustain­ability) programme is a compre­hensive, integrative approach to managing our climate protection programme in logistics. Our core activ­ities include choosing the right form of trans­portation, e.g. using low-CO₂e emission modes of transport such as ship or rail wherever possible. We also ensure optimum utili­sation and loading of containers and trucks and an intel­ligent management of goods movements. These measures also serve to contin­u­ously increase the efficiency of our logistics processes. We have set new goals for the years ahead to realise further savings.

LOTOS: an overview of our programme to counter climate change

The LOTOS programme was launched in 2006 in cooper­ation with the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. In 2013 we won the Germany and Austria Logistics Associ­a­tions’ (BVL) Supply Chain Sustain­ability Award for it. In LOTOS we record, account for and analyse all transport-related CO₂e emissions, and specif­i­cally look for further reduction potential. In 2011 we already achieved our 2015 target of reducing our transport-related CO₂e emissions by 30% in absolute terms compared to 2006. In 2014 we achieved a relative reduction of 30% compared to 2006 (g CO₂e /ton-kilometres). Meanwhile, we also further improved our accounting method: for 2013 and 2014 we conduct accounting according to the new CEN (Comité Européen de Normal­i­sation) DIN EN 16258 standard for the first time and have it checked by external experts. With this amendment, in addition to CO₂e we also include emissions of other relevant green­house gases such as methane. At the same time, we now have an improved data basis: as a member of the Clean Cargo Working Group we obtain more accurate data for each seagoing vessel that we use. In addition, we were able to integrate upstream processes of the respective fuels in our accounting.

Climate change will remain a challenge for us going forward. Therefore, in 2014 we set new, even more ambitious targets for the years ahead. By 2020, we will reduce relative transport emissions (tons of CO₂e /ton-kilometre) by a further 10% compared to 2006. At the distri­bution centres we operate ourselves, we have resolved to reduce emissions by another 15% compared to 2013 by 2020.

Carbon-efficient modes of transport and transport routes preferred

On many routes Tchibo prefers to use CO₂e-efficient transport such as ocean-going vessels or inland waterway barges. We also use ‘inter­modal solutions’ for transport routes, for example trans­porting truck trailers by ship or rail.

We transport 95% of our goods by sea. CO₂e emissions per ton-kilometre can be signif­i­cantly reduced with precise planning, because ships can reach the port of desti­nation in good time even at slower speeds, allowing them to consume less fuel. We therefore choose to work with freight service providers who practice efficient route management. Our inspection centres in China and Bangladesh also ensure that containers of consumer goods are fully loaded on embarkation, so that the freight capacity is well utilised. For the further transport of Non Food consumer goods incoming from overseas, we use barges instead of trucks from Bremer­haven. We also use freight trains to transport our products for longer overland distances. In 2014, we switched from road to rail freight transport for long-distance trans­ports between the Swiss distri­bution centre in Rümlang and our distri­bution points.

These measures have led to a continuous reduction in our transport emissions by the end of 2014. The absolute amount of CO₂e emissions compared to 2006 was cut by over 50%. In terms of ton-kilometres, transport-related CO₂e emissions fell by 30%. In the next few years up to 2020, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing these relative emissions by another 10% compared to the base year of 2006.

Efficient process management

In planning our logistics processes, we take care to avoid any unnec­essary transport and minimise the distances goods are trans­ported. In distri­bution, we focus our actions on system­at­i­cally planning the quantities for each sale point. We have also strin­gently organised the movement of goods at our warehouses. Our main warehouse and distri­bution centre in Bremer, which Bremer Lagerhaus Gesellschaft (BLG) operates for us, is state-of-the-art in terms of equipment and technology. The new storage and retrieval unit alone, an innovative assembly-line system, saves 400 MWh of electricity per year compared to the prede­cessor system. This corre­sponds to the average consumption of more than 100 house­holds. The unit is only activated goods actually need to be moved. Likewise, a smart lighting system only turns on lights when needed. This reduces energy consumption by a further 100 MWh per year. We are planning similar solutions for improving the efficiency of distri­bution processes at our Gallin and Neumarkt distri­bution centres. By 2020, we plan to reduce our CO₂ emissions per m³ of storage space at these locations by 15% compared to 2015.

Intel­ligent management of goods movements cuts CO₂ emissions

A more efficient management of our distri­bution network is another lever to reduce CO₂ emissions in the supply chain. Since 2006 we have set up increas­ingly direct delivery routes between our roasting plants and distri­bution centres. This enabled us to do without inter­me­diate storage warehouses and avoid unnec­essary trans­ports. The CO₂ emissions from our distri­bution activ­ities fell accord­ingly.

Offset emissions from shipping the merchandise

Besides reducing CO₂ emissions we also offset unavoidable CO₂ emissions in our supply chain, such as those incurred when shipping our products to customers. Since 2012 we have shipped all our letters and packages exclu­sively using Deutsche Post DHL’s ‘GoGreen’ programme. The fee is used to finance accredited climate-protection projects in devel­oping and emerging countries, so our payments contribute to the CO₂ emissions being avoided at a different location. This serves to offset the CO₂ emissions incurred during shipping. Only projects that are certified to the Gold Standard developed by the WWF environ­mental foundation among others are funded. The standard ensures that each project would not have been possible without the income from these certifi­cates, so that they comply with the principle of “addition­ality”. It also ensures that the project strengthens the local economy in the vicinity of the project.

One of these climate projects, which Tchibo has supported since 2012, is a biomass power plant in the Indian state of Karnataka. The surcharge also goes to finance the construction of a landfill gas power plant in Mamak, Turkey, a wind farm in Liuao, China and another wind farm in Nicaragua.