Our commitment to the climate

As part of our climate protection commitment, we have partnered with WWF to prevent and cut greenhouse gas emissions. We take responsibility for the minimised emissions and invest in climate protection projects together with WWF and Fair Recycling.

Since 2007 we have been preventing and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions taking responsibility for the emissions caused by air freight, coop@home deliveries and business trips. We invest in out own climate protection projects, which WWF implements along our supply chains. In addition, we work together with the Fair Recycling Foundation. The goal of our partnership with WWF is to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce them according to a science-based reduction path. In this way we have already cut CO2e emissions from air freight by some 13 percent and reduced a total of around 669 000 tonnes of CO2e through climate protection projects (as at end of 2019).

Our climate protection projects with WWF

photo: Christian Lamontagne

To promote sustainable consumption and the protection of the environment, we have a successful long-term partnership with WWF. Since 2007 we have also been making an important joint contribution to protecting the climate and creating added value for the environment and society with climate protection projects. All of our projects get relevant interested local groups involved, meet the high Gold Standard requirements – the world's strictest standard – and are regularly certified by independent third parties.

With a total of 16 WWF climate protection projects, six of which we have already successfully completed, we reduced some 400 000 tonnes of CO2e by the end of 2019. In addition, we were able to improve the quality of life of more than 460 000 people by providing them with access to clean water, lowering energy costs and improving indoor air quality. We also planted trees or reduced deforestation rates on around 2,100 hectares of land.

photo: Ecotop

In 2011, together with WWF, we developed the approach of only investing in climate protection projects along our own supply chains. This means the projects are implemented in regions where Coop products such as coffee, rice and cut flowers are grown, which are Fairtrade or organic where possible. The project investments and added value benefit our producers directly. That makes our approach unique worldwide.

More about our climate protection commitment with WWF

Overview of all ongoing WWF climate protection projects across our supply chains:

  • Thanks to Fairtrade organic rice, we are protecting the climate and tigers in India.
    We are financing the construction of biogas units for around 3,900 organic basmati rice smallholders. This will not only reduce CO2e emissions but also prevent deforestation while at the same time preserving the habitat of tigers.
    To the factsheet
  • We are committed to reforestation in Kenya.
    We are planting trees on barren land in the drainage basin of Lake Naivasha. This will reduce soil erosion, boost soil fertility and safeguard the vital local rose production for longer. 
    To the factsheet

  • We are enabling clean drinking water in Tanzania.
    We are enabling the sale of affordable ceramic water filters and thus providing local people with access to clean drinking water which does not have to be boiled first. This saves on wood and CO2e emissions.
    To the factsheet

  • We are enabling the acquisition of efficient cookstoves in Kenya.
    To prevent deforestation and protect the health of local people, we are enabling flower farm employees in particular to obtain efficient cookstoves.
    To the factsheet

  • We are establishing dynamic agroforestry systems in Ghana.
    With this Sankofa Project we are encouraging dynamic agroforestry among cocoa farmers. The new cocoa and timber trees absorb greenhouse gases, while the smallholders can produce high-quality cocoa and also diversify their income.
    To the factsheet

  • We are enabling the acquisition of energy-saving light bulbs in Madagascar.
    We are committed to cutting fossil fuel consumption while at the same time improving the quality of life of local people by distributing affordable energy-saving light bulbs.
    To the factsheet
  • We are committed to planting trees in Honduras.
    To absorb CO2e emissions and diversify the income of cocoa smallholders in Honduras, we are supporting a local reforestation project.
    To the factsheet

  • We are establishing agroforestry systems in Ecuador.
    We are planting trees on barren land around the mountain lake Lago de San Pablo. This will absorb CO2e emissions, improve the water quality in the lake and create a sustainable source of income for local people.
    To the factsheet

  • We are establishing dynamic agroforestry among cocoa farmers in Ecuador.
    In the provinces of Guayas, Los Rios, Bolivar, Azuay and El Oro we are establishing dynamic agroforestry among cocoa farmers who supply the cocoa for our Ecuadorian chocolate.
    To the factsheet

Our climate protection programme with Fair Recycling

Since 2010 we have been making sure that old refrigerators are disposed of correctly in Brazil, in cooperation with the Swiss climate protection foundation Fair Recycling. Old refrigerators are recycled using methods to ensure that the hazardous CFC gases which they contain can no longer be emitted into the atmosphere. Without the endeavours of Fair Recycling and funding from Coop, this would not be possible. We are thus making an important contribution towards protecting the climate.

We support Fair Recycling by investing in the disposal plant belonging to local partner Indústria Fox and thereby creating training positions and jobs for local people and acquiring CO2e certificates from Fair Recycling. 

By the end of 2019 we had recycled some 269 000 refrigerators and returned more than 13 500 tonnes of precious materials such as copper, iron and aluminium to the recycling loop in cooperation with Fair Recycling. This cut CO2e emissions by around 269 000 tonnes, since one tonne of CO2e can be avoided with each recycled refrigerator. 

Our climate protection projects in Switzerland

We have also been implementing climate protection projects in Switzerland since 2017 in partnership with WWF, Bio Suisse and myclimate. Supervised by myclimate, we drew up three climate protection programmes with Swiss farmers and processors who produce goods for our sustainable own-label brands Coop Naturaplan and Miini Region. We are thus implementing some of our own climate protection projects across our supply chain in Switzerland itself:

  • We are encouraging the building of small biogas units to reduce methane emissions.
  • Our agroforestry programme promotes the planting of tall fruit trees and wild fruit trees and thereby also the reduction of CO2e.
  • We are processing farmyard manure to make fertilizer and are thus cutting methane emissions from manure.

Our broad commitment

To achieve our primary goal of reducing and preventing greenhouse gas emissions, we are taking extensive action: we invest around CHF 2 million per year in our climate protection projects and have drawn up clear internal guidelines to govern and reduce air freight.

These state that air freight is only permitted for reasons of quality or if time is of the essence. In addition, we have defined binding targets to reduce CO2e emissions from air freight, coop@home deliveries and business trips, together with WWF. We are therefore able to transport more and more goods from other countries by ship, lorry and rail instead of by plane, thanks to our faster logistics processes and more modern cooling technologies which have come about as part of our commitment to tackling climate change.

The costs of the climat protection projects are borne by our own Purchasing Business Unit. Since this is expensive, those responsible are striving to reduce the amount of air freight. In this way we have already reduced CO2e emissions from our air freight by around 13 percent compared to 2008, despite seeing sales growth over the same period. We label remaining air freight with By Air stickers.