Quantification of transport emissions in the process of waste-paper disposal

Customer: Kaufland / Green Cycle GmbH

Category: Recycling

Date: May 2016

Company Website

Kaufland is the largest German grocery retail chain, together with Lidl, which also belongs to the Schwarz group. About 1.200 stores in Germany and in other European countries are run by the group; in Germany, the company employs about 80.000 employees.

GreenCycle GmbH is part of the Schwarz group and coordinates among other tasks the resource disposal at more than 10.000 stores of the retail chains Kaufland and Lidl. GreenCycle also consults other companies regarding optimal technical equipment and concepts for logistics and supply, and implements these concepts together with qualified service providers. The company has locations in Neckarsulm, Essen, Oberhausen and Olomouc (Czech Republic).

“Acting sustainably is part of our company strategy, but it is equally important to communicate these actions in a valid way. The DFGE supported us in quantifying our emission reduction measures; the results can now be used by us for our external communication.“


The GreenCycle GmbH takes care of supply systems and waste logistics at the Schwarz group, operating collection, concentration, transport and recycling of the accruing resources.

Sustainability is a top priority for GreenCycle; in this context, a pilot scheme was started at selected Kaufland stores, which was intended to investigate whether it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions of the waste transport.

In several stores, new and more efficient waste presses were installed which make transport more efficient by allowing for larger waste volumes while at the same time having a lower empty weight; furthermore, an intelligent collection system could reduce the number of collection runs considerably.

GreenCycle relied on DFGE to quantify the resulting emission reductions. A scientifically correct calculation having a low bandwidth and an evaluation of the relative efficiency of the single measures were – besides a quick implementation – part of the explicit requirements Kaufland asked for.


Towards a certified emission reduction in just a few weeks

The DFGE has an experience of more than 20 years in calculating carbon footprints and eco-balances. By means of DFGE’s TopDown approach, the emissions of the baseline scenario (prior to the implementation of the pilot scheme) could be compared to the emissions afterwards.

All calculations were executed in accordance with the principles of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the DIN 16258 norm (regulating greenhouse gas emissions in transport and logistics). Besides total reductions, the respective shares of the contributing measures (change of container type, intelligent collection system) were quantified as well in order to enable GreenCycle to compare these measures in a cost benefit analysis.

The results show that the implemented measures led to a total emission reduction of about 60%. Both individual measures contributed with about equal shares to this development.

The analysis of DFGE enables GreenCycle to prioritize these measures and expand the pilot scheme to additional Lidl or Kaufland stores. Besides a detailed report comprising assumptions and methods of the calculations, GreenCycle also was provided with a short report for the external communication, in which the reductions are officially certified.

„DFGE’s expertise helped us to review our emission reductions in a very short timeframe. The results will help us in assessing the reduction measures properly and in allocating our resources accordingly. Having certainty about these emission savings, we can also start further projects of this kind at other stores“. states Linda Friederich, project manager at GreenCycle GmbH

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