Interview • 07.04.2015

"As a grocery retailer, we work on lean logistical processes every day"

Lean and Green Award winner Lidl explains its sustainability concept in this interview with iXtenso

Die Umstellung auf alternative Verkehrsträger ermöglicht im Logistikbereich...
Converting to alternative carriers offers more potential cost savings.
Source: LIDL Dienstleistung GmbH & Co. KGLidl

Sustainability and climate protection are subjects that ultimately also pertain to logistics. Recently, GS1 Germany presented the Lean and Green Award to four companies who plan to reduce their logistics-related CO2 emissions by 20 percent within five years. Award winner Lidl Stiftung emphasizes optimized route planning, the reduction of empty runs or avoidance of smaller subsequent deliveries. In this interview with iXtenso, the company explains the different measures.

Lidl is one of four companies that won the Lean and Green Award by the GS1 Germany for its sustainability action plan. What are the provisions of this plan?

Lidl: With the “On the way to a better tomorrow“motto, Lidl accepts responsibility and emphasizes sustainability against the backdrop of climate change, increasing resource scarcity and rising energy prices. With this in mind, we continuously work on solutions to protect the climate and the environment within our means.

We revised our logistics concept and created an action plan to reduce CO2 by 20 percent within the entire logistics area we are responsible for. Based on a so-called “measured baseline“, Lidl first determined its current state. This pertained to the fields of procurement logistics (including the import division), construction (logistics real estate), cost management (electricity, gas, fuel oil) and distribution (store supply). Our action affects the entire supply chain with custom-fit measures.

How realistic is it to achieve these goals? And how is this development being measured?

Lidl: For many years, Lidl has focused on efficient logistics. Today all transportation activities are already centrally controlled to ensure an optimal level of utilized capacity of carriers. However, this area still offers more potential cost savings. By using targeted measures such as optimizing route planning or converting to alternative carriers, we will emphatically work on implementing our goals for all the defined areas. Within the scope of the “Lean and Green“ initiative by the GS1, the German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) inspects the overall plan. In addition, Lidl regularly reports to GS1 on intermediate results for implementing the action plan.

What efforts does it take for such a large company to implement this concept? What are the biggest challenges and what is easiest to implement?

Lidl: As a grocery retailer, we work on lean logistical processes every day and are very well positioned in the respective divisions that pertain to logistics, costs and distribution. One of the biggest challenges is in developing further potential for optimization.

However, over the past few years, Lidl has shown numerous times that its efforts in developing sustainable and resource conservation measures, among others in the logistics area, have paid off. In 2006, we set up our warehousing and logistics by implementing various energy conservation measures. In this instance, we use generated waste heat for the refrigeration and air conditioning of temperature-sensitive foods and for heating the storage areas.

We exclusively use cooling systems operated with natural cooling agents with every new development. We are able to direct our actions towards these time-tested standards in the future.

From your point of view, what significance do the sustainability efforts by Lidl have for consumers/customers? And how is this commitment to sustainability being received?

Lidl: Lidl is aware of its responsibility for man and nature and continuously lobbies to improve in the areas of environment and climate protection, employees, corporate citizenship and selection of goods. Climate protection is one of the biggest challenges of our times.

By revising and optimizing our logistics concepts, we primarily want to do justice to our corporate social responsibility. Being part of society, our customers naturally also benefit from this.

Are there other areas beyond logistics where Lidl uses sustainable solutions?

Lidl: We would like to update you on further areas in which we also follow a sustainability approach:

  • Product selection: We know that today our customers increasingly value products that represent a sustainable way of life and therefore conscious consumption. This is why we have been offering an attractive selection of various products from sustainable agriculture and fair trade for many years. These items are fair trade-certified and carry the organic label.
  • Cooperation: Still further potential savings can be achieved by a collaboration between manufacturers and Lidl, for instance by reducing the packaging size. In this case, Lidl already focuses on working with selected suppliers.
  • Retail store construction: Lidl sets high sustainability standards with its real estate. The new generation of retail stores therefore features climate-friendly technologies that were developed by Lidl during an extensive process. Our expectation was to combine more sustainable building technology and energy-efficient construction with attractive architecture. At this point, Lidl has already built over 200 retail stores in this way.
  • Warehouse construction: In our central distribution centers, we use the generated waste heat for the refrigeration and air conditioning of temperature-sensitive foods and for heating the storage areas for example. We exclusively use cooling systems operated with natural cooling agents with every new development. In addition, we reduce heat loss by using energy efficient insulation materials.

When is it beneficial for retailers to pursue sustainable concepts?

Lidl: As a commercial enterprise, we assume responsibility for the environment and nature within the scope of our possibilities. In our daily actions, we accept economic, social and ecological responsibility to be able to reliably supply our customers of tomorrow and offer our employees a safe workplace in the future.

Interview by Natascha Mörs; iXtenso.com

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Walmart begins pilot with autonomous vehicle company Gatik...
08.08.2019   #logistics #delivery

Walmart begins pilot with autonomous vehicle company Gatik

Self-driving cars for customer delivery and transporting goods between stores

Walmart announced a new pilot with autonomous vehicle company Gatik. The company has been exploring a few pilot projects with self-driving car companies that include both customer delivery as well as transporting goods between locations.Tom Ward, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Blockchain traceability in olive oil supply chain...
03.07.2019   #supply chain management (SCM) #monitoring software

Blockchain traceability in olive oil supply chain

Blocksyte and Caroli share results of monitoring application

Blocksyte, a SaaS-based blockchain supply chain application company focused on the food industry supply chain, and Caroli, producer of extra virgin olive oil, announced the successful introduction of end-to-end blockchain traceability into the olive ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Start-up offering consumers free same-day delivery...
09.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #logistics

Start-up offering consumers free same-day delivery

New online service for online shopping convenience with no membership fees

A new e-commerce company called Waybuy is changing the way consumers shop online, combining the best in convenience and affordability to make it easier than ever to get the products shoppers need.Founded by Houston-area married couple, Ann and Erik ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail imports surging ahead of more tariffs...
16.09.2019   #retail #data warehouse management

Retail imports surging ahead of more tariffs

Imports at major retail container ports in the US reached unusually high numbers

Imports are expected to surge again before another round of tariffs takes effect in December, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Retailers are still trying to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Companies are missing growth opportunities in the supply chain...
26.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #supply chain management (SCM)

Companies are missing growth opportunities in the supply chain

Smart investments and customer focus

In today’s era of ever-growing focus on the customer, only a small number of forward-thinking companies are realizing the unique opportunity their supply chains offer to better meet customer needs, fuel competitiveness and uncover growth, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Daimler Trucks: automated trucks
26.09.2019   #software developement #business developement

Daimler Trucks: automated trucks

Torc Robotics now a part of the new Autonomous Technology Group of Daimler Trucks

Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads. The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered. All ...

Thumbnail-Photo: eBay to launch end-to-end fulfillment service for sellers...
15.08.2019   #services #logistics

eBay to launch end-to-end fulfillment service for sellers

Storing and shipping through logistics partners managed by eBay

eBay is introducing Managed Delivery, a cost-effective fulfillment service to launch next year, beginning in the U.S., that will provide shoppers faster and more reliable delivery on millions of popular products. The initiative will enable sellers ...

Thumbnail-Photo: UPS applies for certification to operate drone delivery unit...
05.08.2019   #logistics #delivery

UPS applies for certification to operate drone delivery unit

Subsidiary will develop and operate unmanned aerial systems

UPS said it has applied to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 135 certification to operate commercial drone flights in the UPS® network under a subsidiary business called UPS Flight Forward, Inc.The new subsidiary is a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “Worldwide shipping: I need it - now!“
24.06.2019   #e-commerce #logistic solutions

“Worldwide shipping: I need it - now!“

Helping eCommerce businesses succeed through international shipping

Micha Augstein, CEO and founder of shipping service provider PARCEL.ONE GmbH is on a mission. He wants to revolutionize online retail with his innovative logistics approach and support online retailers.How does he do it? Retailers simply send their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Shopify to acquire 6 River Systems
17.09.2019   #logistics (software) #warehouse management

Shopify to acquire 6 River Systems

A team of experience in fulfillment software and robotics

Shopify Inc., the leading multi-channel commerce platform, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire 6 River Systems, Inc., a leading provider of collaborative warehouse fulfillment solutions. In June, Shopify introduced the ...