Logistics: reducing energy and emissions

From roasting our coffee to the lighting at our distri­bution centres, from the packaging of Tchibo products to their delivery to the customer – energy is indis­pensable in our business. But in our efforts to curb climate change, we do identify and reduce all unnec­essary energy consumption – system­at­i­cally and at all sites.

Identi­fying and imple­menting reduction potential

We have been recording, accounting for, and analysing all our transport-related carbon emissions since 2006 as part of our LOTOS (Logistics towards Sustain­ability) climate protection programme, which we developed in cooper­ation with the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg and the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB). The aim of the program is to contin­u­ously improve the carbon accounting method­ology, and to identify further potential for reduction. In 2013, we won the German Logistics Associ­ation (BVL) Sustain­ability Award for Logistics for our efforts, and its Austrian counterpart. We were also able to further improve our calcu­lation method in the process: in 2013 and 2014, we first calcu­lated our impact in accor­dance with the new CEN (Comité Européen de Normal­i­sation) DIN EN 16258 standard, and had the results audited by external experts. As a member of the Clean Cargo Working Group, we also and additionally obtain more and more accurate data – and hence important – for the various seagoing vessel routes that we use.


Reduction in average transport-related CO₂e emissions since 2006

Following the successful imple­men­tation of the LOTOS program to counter climate change in 2006, the Roadmap 2020 adopted at the end of 2015 builds on the goals already achieved, increases our aspira­tions, and has been formative on the path to a 100% sustainable business ever since. Given the clearly defined goal of a more eco-friendly setup of the entire logistics process by 2020, the Roadmap provides for a 40% reduction of transport-related CO₂emissions relative to 2006. The LOTOS target of a 30% reduction in CO₂emissions in absolute terms was already achieved in 2012. By 2020, we plan to reduce emissions at the Gallin and Neumarkt warehousing sites by 15% relative to 2014, and cardboard and paper consumption in B2B and B2C deliv­eries by 30% per selling unit, also relative to 2014. In 2015, transport-related COemissions had already decreased by over 50% in absolute terms since 2006.

Improved calcu­lation: extending the survey radius

For 2016, we made a slight change to the calcu­lation of CO₂ emissions in logistics. We included other types of transport so as to identify and implement additional potential reduc­tions. For example, we included CO₂ emissions from B2B and B2C returns in our transport figures. As a result, the balance showed a slight increase compared to 2015 with 14.5 g CO₂e per tons of kilometres. Apart from the first-time inclusion of additional trans­ports, this increase is mainly due to the fact that high-emission airfreight and road traffic transport has increased, while low-emission maritime shipping has decreased. This change was caused by temporary process adjust­ments in procurement logistics. However, the relative increase was moderate overall, as the improved calcu­lation logic has a positive impact.

Using low-emission modes of transport

In modes of trans­portation, we rely on CO₂-efficient shipping: 95% of our goods are trans­ported by sea or waterway. From Bremer­haven, we use barges instead of trucks for the further transport of Non Food consumer goods incoming from overseas. We are also striving to increase the use of rail; among other things to expand our transport of goods via the Asia-Europe freight train. Optimised loading and utili­sation of containers and trucks, and intel­ligent route management, are other measures we use to reduce CO₂ emissions. Inspection Centres check the packaging and loading of containers accord­ingly. On a ton per kilometre basis, transport-related CO₂ emissions have fallen by around 30% since 2006.

The new Non Food business model counteracts the use of low-emission modes of transport, with delayed purchasing leading to more airfreight transport. We are aware of this problem and are already working to reduce the share of airfreight through timely purchasing.

By having a service provider handle the supply of all Tchibo shops, we reduce kilometres and CO₂ emissions. We also avoid unnec­essary interim storage warehouses and transport, and rely on direct delivery routes between roasting plants and distri­bution centres. In distri­bution, we system­at­i­cally manage the volumes of goods for the points of sale, e.g. through an innovative assembly-line system, thus ensuring greater efficiency with fewer emissions. However, this is currently being counter­acted by additional trans­ports due to the change in the Non Food model.

To meet further climate protection targets in transport, we are also testing new transport modes and routes, such as rail transport from China to Bremen, or the transport by long trucks between the Bremen and Gallin distri­bution centres. It has not yet been possible to establish a suitable rail link on this route.

Roasting plants: efficient roasting

Coffee is the origin of our business. However, roasting coffee consumes a great deal of energy. That is why we want to increase the energy efficiency at our roasting plants, so as to reduce CO₂. As early as 2013, we intro­duced DIN ISO 50001 energy management at our two roasting plants in Hamburg and Berlin, which has reduced specific energy consumption by at least 1.5% per year. In 2016, the energy management system was success­fully recer­tified in accor­dance with ISO 50001, and the roasting plants achieved year-on-year energy savings of 1.7% in relation to the volume of roasted coffee produced. Our Climate Protection Roadmap 2020 stipu­lates another 1.5% potential reduction in specific CO₂ emissions per ton of roasted coffee by reducing energy consumption and optimising process flows.

After analysing and evalu­ating the 2014 results in order to further optimise the processes, we converted the burners at the Berlin coffee roasting plant in 2015, which saved heating gas in 2016. We also commis­sioned an energy monitoring system at the Berlin plant. At the plant in Hamburg, we installed a new drum roaster at the end of 2016, which – unlike conven­tional roasters – requires the use of only one burner instead of two. This measure will have a positive impact on our energy efficiency in 2017.

Admin­is­trative offices, warehouses and Tchibo shops: electricity from renewable energy

Energy efficiency is a priority for us and we strive for eco- and climate-conscious conduct in every respect. For example, for years our sites in Germany have been supplied with ok-power-certified electricity from renewable energy sources. This includes our two roasting plants in Hamburg and Berlin, the distri­bution centres in Gallin and Neumarkt, the company’s headquarters in Hamburg, and all Tchibo shops in Germany for which we buy the electricity ourselves. Since January 2016, we have sourced this electricity from Entega.

The target set in our Climate Protection Roadmap, of a 15% reduction in CO₂ emissions per square metre at the Gallin and Neumarkt distri­bution centres by 2020 (relative to 2015) was narrowly missed. In 2016 the reduction was 13%. The energy-saving measures at both sites were, however, audited in 2015 to identify potential savings and develop appro­priate measures.

The subse­quent conversion to LED lighting at Neumarkt led to a CO₂ reduction of 33% in 2016. The distri­bution centre in Gallin was also converted to this technology in 2016; energy efficiency tests are still ongoing. The imple­men­tation of an energy management system is also planned for both sites.

An innovative assembly-line system at the main warehouse in Bremen now saves 400 MWh of electricity per year compared to the prede­cessor system. The switch to LED lighting as part of our Smart Lighting concept also results saves 100 MWh per year.