Otto to become climate neutral by 2030

Otto to save CO2 rather than offsetting carbon footprint
25 February 2020
Alexander Birken, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Otto Group

The Otto Group is aiming to become climate-neutral by 2030 at all its sites and in terms of transport and employee mobility as well as external computing centres and cloud services, a press release said Tuesday (February 18,2020). This comes after a recent announcement that the group is on course to reach its goal of saving 50 per cent of CO2 emissions by 2020. In 1986 Michael Otto, Chairman of the Otto Group’s Supervisory Board, declared environmental protection an official corporate goal.

Saving and reducing CO2 versus compensation

“Our actions consistently follow the principle of ‘avoid – reduce – compensate’. From a climate protection and cost perspective we always see carbon offsetting as the last resort in achieving our sustainability goals,” said Alexander Birken, CEO and Chairman of the Otto Group Executive Board. The Otto Group will roll out a new *Corporate Responsibility” (CR) strategy with specific measures for reducing CO2 emissions from 2021.

Otto Group Produktion von Ökostrom
© Otto-Pressebild
Otto setzt verstärkt auf Ökostrom

The group is stepping up CO2 reduction measures its own sites by expanding renewable energies including photovoltaic and solar systems and raising energy efficiency through combined heat and power plants as well as modern lighting and building climate-control technologies. The Otto Group will switch to totally environment-friendly energy at all its German and international sites where this is available. High-quality, certified green energy already accounts for up to 40 per cent of group sites’ overall power consumption.

Electric mobility on the “last mile

The plans foresee reduced use of air freight and a systematic shift to more climate-friendly means of transport. The group will ramp up its use of electromobility on “last mile” deliveries to reduce its transport-related carbon footprint. Hermes, for instance, is applying an “Urban Blue” strategy for emission-free goods delivery including returns in the inner-city areas of Germany’s 80 largest cities by 2025. Intelligent transport and route-planning software are set to raise logistics and delivery-process efficiency, for instance, by analysing parcel-delivery flows and optimising transport routes, as well as responding better to current traffic situations and congestion.

Mitarbeiterinitiative „Good Community“

As part of the new CR Strategy, the Otto Group will integrate its employees more systematically and holistically in its measures, as they are key multipliers of sustainable business. The “Good Community”, initiated by group employees, in which they contribute and implement their own sustainability ideas, is an outstanding example. Their ideas range from self-developed apps for saving food, car-sharing opportunities to the joint organisation of sustainability events.
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1949 in Hamburg gegründet, ist die Otto Group heute eine weltweit agierende Handels- und Dienstleistungsgruppe mit mehr als 52.500 Mitarbeitern. Der Konzern ist in 30 wesentlichen Unternehmensgruppen in mehr als 30 Ländern Europas, Nord- und Südamerikas und Asiens präsent. Die Geschäftstätigkeit der Otto Group erstreckt sich auf drei Segmente: Multichannel-Einzelhandel, Finanzdienstleistungen und Service. Im Geschäftsjahr 2018/2019 erwirtschaftete der Konzern einen Umsatz von 13,4 Milliarden Euro (Onlineumsatz: 7,7 Milliarden Euro). Zur Otto Group gehören u. a. das Fashion-Tech-Startup About You, das als erstes Unicorn aus Hamburg gilt, und der konzerneigene Companybuilder Otto Group Digital Solutions.