Annual Report 2023

Our contribution

Fighting climate change is one of the priorities defined in our Environmental Policy1. The commitments and the actions we have undertaken and implemented in this regard are detailed in “Respecting the environment” and “Sourcing responsibly”.

In 2023 we submitted our short- and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). We estimate that these targets will be validated in the first half of 2024. Our objectives are as follows:

Short term

  • by 2033, reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions (energy and industry) by 55%, compared to 2021.
  • by 2033, reduce our scope 3 emissions (energy and industry) by 33%, compared to 2021.
  • by 2033, reduce our forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) emissions by 39.4%, compared to 2021.

Carbon neutrality2

  • by 2045, reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions (energy and industry) by 90%, compared to 2021.
  • by 2050, reduce our scope 3 emissions (energy and industry) by 90%, compared to 2021.
  • by 2033, reduce our forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) emissions by 72%, compared to 2021.

These reduction targets ensure that we are aligned with the EU 2030 emissions reduction targets and with the science-based carbon reduction pathways for compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Until the end of 2023, we worked consistently to meet the carbon reduction targets we had set ourselves and which were:

  • reduce by 40%, compared to 2017, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in scopes 1 and 2, for every 1,000 euros of sales;
  • reduce carbon emissions resulting from transporting goods to stores by 5% compared to 2020 (in tonnes of CO2e for every 1,000 pallets transported).

At the end of 2023, we had reduced GHG emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 60% compared to 2017 per 1,000 euros of sales, meeting and exceeding the target. Regarding emissions associated with transport per 1,000 pallets transported, we achieved a reduction, compared to 2020, of 1%. Additionally, we reduced total carbon emissions in scopes 1 and 2 by 24.2% compared to 2017 and in absolute value.

The implementation of our commitments is underpinned by continuous investment, with execution cycles aligned with the business plan, through which we promote the adoption of carbon-reduction technologies that will enable us to transition our activities to a low-carbon economy. The majority of this expenditure is allocated to the acquisition of goods and services from economic activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Energy efficiency is an integral part of the activities involved in building and refurbishing our facilities, especially stores and distribution centres in the countries in which we operate. The measures implemented include the installation of highly energy-efficient equipment, heat recovery and cold conservation systems for refrigeration appliances, speed controllers for the motors of the refrigeration equipment and LED lighting.

We have also invested in installing photovoltaic solar panels to generate renewable electricity that powers our stores and distribution centres. At the end of 2023, such technology was installed on around 780 sites in Poland, Portugal and Colombia and, as a general rule, supplied between 5% and 45% of those sites’ consumption. Also in 2023, in the first year (of 15) of the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA), Biedronka guaranteed the supply of 55 GWh (198,000 GJ) of renewable energy, avoiding the emission of 37,500 tonnes of CO2e. Since July 2018, we have purchased 100% certified renewable electricity to power our operations in Portugal, avoiding the emission of 120,000 tonnes of CO2e.

Although the Taxonomy does not yet identify them as being eligible, nor does it define technical screening criteria for these technologies, reducing refrigerant gas leaks from our heating, ventilation, air conditioning and industrial cooling equipment also play a relevant role in reducing our carbon footprint. In 2023, emissions from this type of equipment accounted for around 11% of scope 1 and 2 emissions.

In 2015, we established a Group-wide plan to replace high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant gases with natural refrigerant gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, ammonia or propane) or those with low GWP (e.g., R407f). At the end of 2023, 4,875 of our stores and platforms had freezers running solely on propane. In addition, 2,953 stores and 24 distribution centres and industrial units used natural refrigerant gases in their cooling systems.

Along with managing refrigerant gases in such equipment, we implemented other energy efficiency measures that are not yet considered in the Climate Delegated Act, but which also constitute an important contribution towards meeting the European Commission’s targets, namely:

  • installation of equipment with improved energy performance (e.g., fridges and freezers with doors and lids that prevent energy loss);
  • sale of products and packages with sustainability certification, that guarantees the implementation of good agricultural and production practices and/or those not linked to deforestation or the conversion of high conservation value ecosystems;
  • the work we have carried out with our suppliers to promote sustainable agricultural practices and to eradicate deforestation in our supply chains3.

1 Available for consultation on the “Responsibility” page at www.jeronimomartins.com/en/responsibility/.

2 Includes the neutralisation of residual greenhouse gas emissions.

3 According to the EU regulation on deforestation-free supply chains, it is estimated that deforestation is responsible for around 11% of total global carbon emissions and that around half of these are linked to agricultural production.

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