olruyt Group issues a warning against companies that claim to be climate neutral through CO2-compensation. They do this by purchasing certificates enabling them to claim they are climate neutral. Colruyt made a conscious decision not to do this, opting instead to set up innovative projects to curb their emissions.

Renewable energy and less emissions

Colruyt indicates they are not climate neutral in the strictest sense of the word but rather than purchasing certificates the group prefers to bank on innovative projects aimed at decreasing CO2-emissions. For instance, they have their own green power producer with Eoly (wind turbines and solar panels), accounting for one third of their electricity consumption. They also invested in an offshore wind energy park called Parkwind. The supermarket chain is also working on projects on energy, mobility, heating and cooling in order to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

This means they have fully embraced renewable energy (wind energy and solar panels) because this has a direct impact on our climate. Colruyt also claims this makes for a much bigger social contribution than buying certificates and having the right to actually call themselves climate neutral.

Incidentally, their investments in green energy haven’t been doing them any harm: they can prove that since 2017 they’ve avoided more CO2 than they’ve emitted.

The graph shows our direct impact on climate change, in absolute values. (Source: Colruyt Group)

On course by end 2020

In 2012 Colruyt set an ambitious goal: by the end of this year decrease its direct CO2 emissions by 20% compared to 2008, in proportion to the turnover. Admittedly, this is for the group’s activities in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. They have already set a future objective as well: they will do everything in their power to cut their direct CO2-emissions by 40% compared to their reference year 2008, again in proportion to the turnover.

DThe graph shows the evolution of our relative greenhouse gas emissions.
These are calculated by dividing the absolute emissions by our turnover. (Source:
Colruyt Group)