Retailers on the offensive – the German Retail Federation's Climate Action Campaign

Large modern shopping mall with crowds of people walking.

Along with a variety of other sectors and economic spheres, the German retail sector also emits greenhouse gases, either directly as a result of energy consumption in businesses, or indirectly through the purchasing behaviour of end consumers. Greenhouse gas emissions in the retail sector are now to be lowered, and end consumers motivated to make climate-friendly purchasing decisions. This goal inspired the Climate Action Campaign of the German Retail Federation (Handelverband Deutschland – HDE), a broad-based industry campaign on the topic of climate action.

The project aimed to raise awareness among a large number of retailers to the achievable competitive advantages and enable them to identify and exploit climate action potentials on site. It also intended to support the retail trade with helpful materials and actions at the point of sale, to raise awareness among end consumers about the negative environmental impacts of plastic bag consumption and the high operating costs of inefficient household appliances. A study was carried out to evaluate the effects of the point of sale activities. In the course of the publication, a nationwide climate action week was held in collaboration with the Federal Environment Ministry and electronics retailers, offering end consumers additional incentives to purchase particularly climate-friendly appliances.

The project was funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Reactor Safety (BMUB) within the framework of the National Climate Initiative (NKI), via the ministry’s energy and climate fund. The NKI supports projects that create new incentives to tap greenhouse gas emission reduction potentials (in all areas of society) and to reduce barriers and information deficits that hinder broadly effective and cost-effective implementation of climate action through innovative measures.

adelphi was, as part of the Climate Action Campaign, responsible for the preparation of tips and measures for saving energy, the content and technical support of the campaign website, various communications services, and the creation of helpful online tools for the economic evaluation of investments in energy saving technologies.