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Finland: Lidl intends to be carbon neutral already in 2022

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Discount Retail Chain Lidl's (owned by the German Schwarz Group) international climate strategy is also significantly accelerating the company's goals in Finland. Lidl intends to be Finland's first carbon-neutral retail chain in 2022.

Lidl has been doing determined climate work for several years. Now the company has released a new international climate strategy that builds on concrete measures and is based on the methods of the Science Based Targets initiative. In line with the Paris Climate Conference, the aim is to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Global warming has a direct impact on our business, food and raw materials. As a grocery store, it is important for us to take action to curb climate change so that we can offer customers a comprehensive range and affordable prices in the future as well, says Jenni Hakkarainen, Lidl's responsibility expert.

Lidl’s parent company, Schwarz Group, joined the Science Based Targets initiative in August 2020 and committed to setting itself science-based climate goals. Lidl's international climate strategy supports the parent company's ambitious SBTi goals.

Internationally, Lidl aims to reduce emissions from its own operations by 80 percent by 2030 compared to 2019. In 2022, Lidl will switch to the use of electricity produced from renewable energy in all operating countries. The company then offsets the remaining emissions from its own operations through certified climate projects, and is carbon neutral for its own operations. In addition, Lidl aims for suppliers, which account for 75% of product emissions internationally, to set their own science-based climate targets by 2026.

Lidl has operations in 32 countries and the measures of the international climate strategy extend to all of them.

Lidl is one of the largest private retail chains in Europe, and therefore the effectiveness of our climate work is, of course, in a class of its own, Hakkarainen reminds.

Emissions from own operations include the company's direct greenhouse gas emissions, such as emissions from the use of refrigerants and own cars, and emissions from purchased energy, ie emissions from used natural gas, electricity and heating.

In Finland, we are already looking at the following goals

In Finland, Lidl has used electricity produced exclusively from renewable sources since 2019. The transition to wind power reduced Lidl Finland's own emissions by 65 percent. However, the Sustainability Expert welcomes the international tightening on the climate front:

Thanks to the compensation, we will be carbon neutral in our own operations already in 2022. We are hugely proud of this and we will certainly celebrate for a while, but the climate work will continue. The international climate strategy also encourages us to work to reduce indirect emissions. We will continue to work to reduce emissions from, for example, transportation, waste and consumer goods - not forgetting emissions from supply chains. The biggest emissions come from products, Hakkarainen says.

Lidl Finland's responsibility program has published several actions and targets aimed at reducing emissions:

Lidl invests in its own energy production. Solar power is already produced in more than 20 stores and two distribution centers. In the future, solar panels will be installed in all our own new stores. Solar power plants are also added to the roofs of existing stores whenever possible. The goal is for 20% of Lidl's properties to produce renewable energy by 2025.

Lidl skimps on energy use and increases energy efficiency. Electricity is saved e.g. with led lighting, renewing equipment and fine-tuning the use of electricity in stores. All Lidl employees are trained to work as an energy saver in their own work.

Lidl is the only store chain in Finland to use the ISO 50001 energy management system. It is a global energy management management standard, the acquisition and maintenance of which requires continuous assessment of energy use and the setting of new targets, as well as the training of personnel.

Lidl aims to reduce emissions from the transports it purchases. The goal is that by 2025, 20% of the transport fleet will be vehicles running on renewable or low-emission energy.

Lidl minimizes waste with appropriate packaging. Our goal is to use 20% less plastic in packaging by 2025, increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging and use only fully recyclable plastic packaging in our own products.

Lidl aims to keep its own recycling rate above 90%.

Lidl reduces paper usage. In the autumn of 2020, the page size of the weekly advertising magazine was reduced and as much as 1,300 tons of paper are saved per year. This year, in 2021, the Liedellä customer magazine will go online. Lidl actively combats food waste. The goal is to keep food loss per kilogram below 1.5 percent.

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