German wholesale giant Metro aims to reduce water consumption across its operations by 10% per square metre of net operating space by 2030 compared to the base year 2021.
The move will contribute to the global community's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, which seeks to produce and consume sustainably and reduce the company's operating costs.
The new target replaces the previous goal of a 5% reduction in water consumption by 2025 compared to fiscal year 2016/17, the wholesaler noted.
The company exceeded this target by cutting water consumption by 19% in the current fiscal year.
Ivonne Bollow, SVP of public policy and corporate responsibility at Metro AG, said, "Water scarcity is one of the biggest global challenges today. Global water demand is continuously increasing, while available water resources are steadily declining due to climate change – with drastic consequences for the world's food supply and nutrition. [...]
"As a globally active food wholesaler, water and climate protection are therefore a high priority for Metro and we have set ourselves ambitious goals that we will consistently pursue and, if necessary, formulate even more ambitiously."
Measures such as passive water-saving systems for faucets and toilet flushes, the use of rainwater and water recycling, the repair of leaks and damage to water pipes, and the sensitisation of the workforce in dealing with water as a resource help in reducing water consumption, the company noted.
In addition, major levers for reducing water consumption lie in the supply chain.
To address this, Metro uses the 'CDP Supply Chain Programme' to identify and address potential opportunities and risks at its own suppliers at an early stage.
In 2021, the company set a group-wide climate protection target to achieve climate neutrality in its operations by 2040.
It plans to spend more than €1 billion on corresponding investments to achieve this goal.