Coop is taking an innovative approach to climate action by creating emission reduction projects in its value chains
The Coop Group, one of the largest retail groups in Switzerland, is taking action in its value chains to reduce emissions, protecting the planet and benefiting local people and wildlife connected to its operations around the world.
What is the context?
Coop made a commitment to
WWF to cut its operational CO2 emissions in half by 2023 compared to 2008 levels. Today, the company has already achieved a reduction of 33 percent, despite continued growth. Coop, firstly, avoids and reduces emissions where possible and then offsets only the unavoidable CO2 emissions – relating to business trips, to goods that are transported by air (which is the largest proportion) or by coop@home delivery trips. This practice of reducing emissions as much as possible, before offsetting unavoidable emissions, is a requirement when working with WWF.
What was the challenge?
Those emissions that cannot be reduced should be offset by climate action projects located in Coop's value chains whenever possible. This approach is called "insetting" projects. Insetting was new to the market when Coop's initiative started a decade ago; they required innovation, long-term commitment and development power.
How did Coop proceed?
Developing emission reduction projects from scratch in global supply chains, is not an easy task: it requires proven experience on the ground, a global reach, and professional project management skills. This is why Coop selected WWF as its environmental partner and South Pole as technical expert. The aim was to reduce emissions while creating maximum benefits for people, nature and climate, that could be measured.
South Pole carried out feasibility studies at Coop producers and supported project development, ensuring that the added value from these projects could be passed on to the farmers.
What was the solution?
All climate protection projects that Coop invests in with South Pole comply with the insetting approach: the projects take place exclusively in regions where the products on Coop's shelves are grown, for example coffee, cocoa, rice or cut flowers - which are Fairtrade and certified organic where possible. Coop's long-term investment measurably benefits communities, wildlife and contributes to global climate mitigation efforts. All projects meet the requirements of the "Gold Standard for the Global Goals" and are regularly certified by independent third parties. They also meet the criteria of additionality – they would not be implemented without Coop financing.
With these insetting projects, Coop is setting a new standard for corporate social responsibility and showing climate leadership for the rest of the world.
About the client
Coop is one of the largest retail groups in Switzerland. Close to its customers and organised in five sales regions, Coop operates over 1,800 stores and has a workforce of approximately 53,000.
In addition to its supermarkets, the Group boasts a wide variety of different sales formats, as well as various wholesale and manufacturing companies. Coop is Switzerland's clear market leader in environmentally friendly and fair-trade products.