By Riad Beladi

On 21st of  June, the United Nations conference on sustainable development has recognised REWE Green Building as one of the 100 best sustainability concepts in the world during the “Sustainia” presentation in Rio de Janeiro. As a virtual world model, “Sustainia” demonstrates how people will live in 2020, if sustainability technologies are deployed on a wide-range today.

Internationally renowned sustainability experts like Connie Hedegaard (European Union Climate Action Commissioner), Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC), the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harem Brundtland and  Arnold Schwarzenegger (former Governor of California) selected the most sustainable solutions from industry and organisations.

“We are very pleased about the award that underscores our pioneering role in sustainable retail property construction and operations,” said Lionel Souque, Member of the REWE Group Board and responsible for REWE stores and explained: “As part of the Sustainability Strategy, REWE has defined key technologies which help to achieve significant energy savings. To combine these innovative technologies and to test them in a retail property is the underlying idea of the REWE Green Building pilot project – a concept for the future. As a result of our accrued practical experience, we already implement appropriate sustainability features in further stores – wherever it is possible and makes sense.” REWE’s sustainability comprehension extends far beyond its product range.

The sustainable use of resources is of increasing importance in architecture and use of buildings. The first REWE Green Building store, opened in November 2009, in Berlin-Rudow is CO2-neutral. This means, the heating, ventilation, lighting, air-conditioning and cooling systems are not burdening the environment with any CO2 emissions. A further highlight is the use of daylight architecture, which is combined with energy-saving building techniques, the best insulation, sustainable materials and the use of renewable energy. As a result, the Green Building concept store uses virtually 50 per cent less energy than a standard store.

With the Berlin REWE Green Building, designed by Koch architects (Düsseldorf), REWE has set national and international standards. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) (German Sustainable Building Council) awarded the 1,830 square metre REWE store as the first supermarket worldwide with its gold Seal of Approval. Further awards followed: The Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) (German Retail Association) awarded the store number one in the “Food” category “Store of the year 2010” prize. The REWE Green Building was awarded “Environmentally Friendly Retail Property 2010” by the Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e. V. (B.A.U.M. e. V.) (German Environmental Management Association) at the ExpoReal