NABU and REWE Group establish strategic partnership

NABU and REWE Group establish strategic partnership

Hand in Hand for More Sustainable Business Practices, Environmental Protection and the Conservation of Natural Resources

The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU e. V.) and REWE Group have entered into a long-term strategic partnership. An extensive consulting and licensing agreement was concluded on 6 July 2015 in Berlin by the President of NABU, Olaf Tschimpke, and the CEO of REWE Group, Alain Caparros. NABU is Germany’s largest environmental and nature conservation association; REWE Group is the second-largest food retailer in Germany.

NABU and REWE Group have been working together very closely on a project basis since 2009. Now, the strategic partnership is to create an even broader platform.

The recently signed strategic partnership between NABU and REWE Group is based on the objective to provide new, additional impetus for more sustainable business practices and more sustainable consumption in Germany and to further improve environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources along the value chains. To this end, specific fields of actions such as marine protection, plastic bags, forest conservation and paper, preservation of natural resources and the promotion of biodiversity have been agreed. In the context of the strategic partnership, NABU and REWE Group will establish working groups, conduct regular strategic workshops and develop roadmaps for achieving jointly defined sustainability objectives. At the same time, Tschimpke and Caparros agreed upon a regular exchange on the level of the CEO and the President of REWE Group and NABU. The management and coordination of the strategic partnership will be assumed by the Federal Manager of NABU, Leif Miller, and on the part of REWE Group by the Manager of the Sustainability Holding Area, Dr. Daniela Büchel.

Olaf Tschimpke said: “This strategic partnership will foster our existing cooperation with REWE Group and extend it by further important fields of action. What is decisive for NABU is that we can exercise an influence on the sustainability decisions of REWE Group through the cooperation. Moreover, we can draw on additional resources for our own environmental protection projects in the areas of forest, bird and bee protection. When collaborating with REWE Group, we will not lose sight of our association’s objectives. We have agreed upon a partnership that does not preclude criticism and NABU will not hesitate to remind REWE Group of its responsibility for nature and the environment, even if this involves the public. This forms the credible and strong basis of our cooperation.”

Alain Caparros explained: “The strategic partnership with NABU offers us the opportunity to gain new momentum for the further development of our strategy and sustainability management. NABU is a constructive, yet critical consultant and project partner with whom we have already established a good cooperation. By further strengthening the collaboration with NABU, our aim is to consolidate our leading position when it comes to more sustainable business practices and more sustainable consumption in the German retail sector. What is particularly important for us is the fact that, thanks to its organisational structure, NABU is also present in local groups throughout Germany. This offers us the opportunity to make our involvement in concrete environmental and nature conservation projects even more tangible and effective for our customers and employees down to the level of our stores.”

Concrete Project Work Extended Further
The concrete project work of REWE Group and NABU will be intensified and extended further through the strategic partnership. In doing so, REWE Group and NABU can build on numerous successful cooperations.

Already since 2009, NABU is represented in the PRO PLANET Advisory Board of REWE Group. The PRO PLANET label identifies foods, consumer goods and services which, in addition to high quality, also feature positive ecological and social properties. As part of the PRO PLANET label awarding for store brand products, REWE Group aims to analyse and systematically reduce problems in the value chain. This ensures that products and services bearing the PRO PLANET label are less harmful to the environment and people during their production, processing and use than conventional products. The Advisory Board supports REWE Group in every step of the process as an expert and technical advisor.

Sustainable Cultivation of Apples
One of the major projects is the PRO PLANET apple project, which is organised in cooperation with NABU and other partners. The PRO PLANET apple project is dedicated to creating habitats for insects from the Lake Constance region up to the “Altes Land” region and from the Rhineland all the way to Saxony by planting flowering hedgerows and flowery meadows. This ensures a variety of food supply for bees all year round. As honeybees pollinate the apple blossoms, they help the producers to improve the harvest yield and quality. Apples from this kind of cultivation are awarded the PRO PLANET label.

Sustainability Weeks for Animal and Plant Protection:
the Meadow Orchard as a Valuable Habitat

In order to draw attention to the imminent danger of bee mortality, the REWE supermarkets in Germany support NABU with 30 cents for every jar of honey sold in the context of the nationwide sustainability weeks. NABU is involved in nationwide projects for the creation, protection and nature-friendly cultivation of meadow orchards. From 2013 to 2015, REWE raised a total of 400,000 euros to support NABU in these campaigns.

For the first time, REWE supported the German Forest Protection Fund (Deutscher Waldschutzfonds) of NABU this year. With the help of the Forest Protection Fund initiated by the NABU National Natural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung ”Nationales Naturerbe“) in 2013, it is possible to purchase vast contiguous forestland. REWE aims to ensure the protection of a total of 100,000 square metres of forest by collecting donations in a drawing competition for children in July this year.