Ecofys supports Belgian arm of Lidl with climate strategy

14 July 2017 Consultancy.uk

Energy and environment consultants Ecofys have advised Lidl on the climate strategy of their Belgian wing. The supermarket chain hopes the support will see their carbon emissions fall dramatically.

Lidl Belgium is able to track its carbon footprint over time, enabling the supermarket to set new targets to improve its emissions statistics, thanks to the completion of an advisory project undertaken by consultants from Ecofys. Lidl’s regional entity now claims it holds a leading position in the international climate arena, thanks to the science-based targets the energy strategy overhaul has enabled, while also stating the chain’s commitment to reducing its climate impact has been renewed, as it seeks to turn the data gleaned into a concrete action plan.

Lidl are in a period of international expansion. Having pledged in 2014 to open 30 new stores a year in the UK, the super-discounters announced earlier this year they planned to launch as many as 100 stores in the United States by the end of 2018, following the launch of their first US locales in 2017. In the face of concerns raised at the level of emissions this expansion will cause however, Lidl has reaffirmed its commitment to balance this growth with a cut in its global emissions. In Belgium, this led to the company drafting in Ecofys, who are at the heart of a number of sustainability projects across Europe, particularly in the Benelux region, notably working to support the Dutch government’s assessment of energy yields from offshore windfarms.

Ecofys supports Belgian arm of Lidl with climate strategy

The Ecofys analysis of Lidl’s activities along its complete supply chain revealed the largest challenge the discount retailer faces is to drive down the emissions of its supply chain, which form the largest part of Lidl Belgium’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Analysts from the professional services group assessed energy and material consumption rates of Lidl’s stores, offices, distribution centres and vehicles – including those involved in employee commuting, customer travel and waste collection – with the comprehensive analysis being compiled into an impact scan of Lidl’s purchased goods and services, and the energy use of its sold products.

Ecofys, which joined the energy practice of professional services firm Navigant in 2016, is also partnering research by the Generation Foundation project, requiring the consultancy to assist enquiries into carbon pricing mechanisms over a three year study. The research, which is aimed at considering billing businesses for emissions along their value chains, seeks to deliver a number of quantitative insights into how a carbon pricing mechanism could help limit global warming to 1.5°C, a target of the Paris Agreement. If carbon pricing relating to the supply chain is likely to become a key climate policy of the future, Ecofys have stood Lidl in good stead to face the changes.

Commenting on the role of the firm, Lidl Belgium’s Head of Sustainability, Philippe Weiler, said, “Ecofys has been a crucial partner in the development of our climate strategy. We are very satisfied with the collaboration with Ecofys… [They] helped us in understanding the full carbon impact of our business and in developing meaningful yet ambitious science based targets. This process allowed us to create buy-in across all departments. Now we can start fighting climate change as one organisation, together with all our 7.000 employees.”

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