Environmental standards

Our standards: supply chain responsibility

Wildflower meadow at the edge of the forest

We recognise environmental standards as fundamental values and focus our business activities on reducing our impact on the environment. We act in accordance with international standards and integrate them into our activities. Through risk analyses and improvement processes in the supply chains as well as ambitious corporate goals, we strive to have a positive impact in the long term.

Anchoring within the company

We take environmental due diligence along the supply chain seriously. It is anchored in our Group-wide sustainability mission statement and all Migros Group companies are obliged to implement the requirements for operational environmental protection along the supply chain. This requires all Migros Group suppliers to be classified according to their environmental risks. If an increased risk of negative environmental impacts is identified, the suppliers must undergo a process in accordance with OECD Guidelines in order to minimise the negative environmental impacts.

In cooperative retailing, we have set ourselves additional sustainability targets that go one step further: specifically, we implement raw material strategies for ecologically critical raw materials such as palm oil or coffee.

Our impact

Responsibility in global supply chains and business relationships

Migros has tens of thousands of products and thus just as many supply chains and business relationships across the globe. Every supply chain and relationship with other parties carries the risk of negative impacts on the environment or a link to the same through the activities, products or services of suppliers. We recognise our responsibility in the context of these complex supply chains. We are willing to carry out our due diligence along the entire supply chain. This includes assessments and measures to comply with international environmental standards and agreements to protect the environment and ecosystems.

Performance of environmental due diligence in accordance with the OECD Guidelines

In order to carry out our environmental due diligence for responsible trading, we follow the due diligence process in line with the OECD Guidelines. This due diligence is intended to minimise or prevent potential negative impacts on the environment and ecosystems. We have carried out a comprehensive materiality analysis to determine the impact of our business activities

  • Use of land and deforestation

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    The conversion of natural ecosystems into agricultural or industrial land can lead to a loss of biodiversity and have a significant climate impact. This has far-reaching consequences on ecosystems and can affect the habitats of many plant and animal species.

    • Water usage and pollution

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      Agricultural operations often require significant amounts of water for irrigation. This can lead to water scarcity in certain regions and affect the local water cycle. In addition, agricultural operations sometimes use fertilisers and pesticides that can end up in bodies of water and pollute them. In manufacturing operations, water is used to clean or cool products. This wastewater must be disposed of in a controlled manner, otherwise it will pollute the environment and bodies of water.

      • Chemicals and pesticides

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        The use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture, the use of chemicals in dyeing processes or the improper storage of chemicals can have harmful effects on the environment. These chemicals can end up in the soil, bodies of water and the atmosphere, leading to soil pollution, eutrophic waters and air pollution.

        • Energy consumption

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          Modern industrial agriculture requires significant amounts of energy, be it for the operation of machinery, the transport of food or the production of fertilisers. In production, cooling or heating processes and outdated machinery in particular consume the majority of energy. The consumption of non-renewable energy sources can contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases and exacerbate climate change.

          • Greenhouse gas emissions

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            Agriculture is a considerable source of greenhouse gases, including methane (from the digestion processes of ruminant animals), nitrous oxide (from fertilisers) and carbon dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels). In factories, outdated refrigerants and unfiltered incinerators also lead to greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions contribute to climate change. 

            • Soil erosion

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              Monocultures and intensive agricultural practices can lead to soil erosion, especially on slopes. This can lead to a loss of fertile soils and cause sediments to end up in bodies of water and pollute them.

              To prevent, mitigate and reduce actual and potential negative impacts on the environment along the supply chain, we have set ourselves the goal of performing our environmental due diligence across all our business activities. 

              Our approach

              We have set ourselves the goal of keeping the environmental impact of the entire Migros Group as low as possible. To this end, we are implementing specific measures to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, protect endangered animal and plant species, use natural resources sustainably and handle chemicals responsibly.

              To succeed in this endeavour, we implement international standards, industry standards, memberships, partnerships, guidelines and agreements (e.g. Paris Climate Accords) and develop our own sustainability strategies.

              • Amfori BEPI

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                To fulfil our responsibility along the supply chain, we assess the actual and potential negative impacts of our activities on the environment as part of comprehensive risk analyses. Similarly to our social standards, the risk analysis includes criteria such as industry-specific, geographical, product-related and company-related factors. If we identify a potential risk along our supply chain based on these criteria, we turn to amfori BEPI.

                amfori BEPI is based on the values set out in the standardisation frameworks for due diligence and the environment, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct.

                With amfori BEPI, we aim to measure, assess and improve any environmental impact along the supply chain. To this end, we require our suppliers with potential risks to carry out a risk assessment.

                The risk assessment serves to provide an overview of potential hotspots in production plants along the supply chains. The following areas perform risk-based surveys for this purpose:

                • Environmental management system

                • Energy and climate

                • Water and wastewater

                • Greenhouse gas emissions

                • Waste

                • Chemicals

                • Biodiversity

                • Further environmental pollution

                The results determine the next steps in the amfori BEPI process. amfori offers companies various measures, such as training, to optimise and strengthen their environmental efforts. amfori assessments also help to quantify the measures and make them visible.

                For amfori BEPI, an audit system for operational environmental protection along the supply chain is currently being set up that works similarly to amfori BSCI. Independent auditors are trained to validate the efforts of production facilities along our supply chains by external control bodies. amfori pursues a development approach that aims to continuously reduce the environmental impact along our supply chains in the long term. If suppliers achieve inadequate results in an audit, this does not necessarily mean the end of our cooperation. However, suppliers must correct the identified deficiencies and prove that the situation in the factory has improved.

                Furthermore, amfori is developing an environmental code of conduct for suppliers. This code is intended to make suppliers aware of their environmental impact and give them an understanding of the principles of responsible behaviour. By signing the code, suppliers undertake to gradually implement the behaviours it specifies. New suppliers to the Migros Group must agree to the amfori BSCI code of conduct in the internal supplier database or separately in writing (unless they have already signed a comparable code) when starting the business relationship.

                • Global GAP

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                  We are committed to sourcing fresh fruit, vegetables, potatoes, flowers and plants from abroad exclusively from producers or producer groups that are GlobalGAP certified. GlobalGAP is a private organisation that promotes good agricultural practice on a global level and develops and maintains appropriate practices.

                  GlobalGAP aims to increase food safety, protect the environment, ensure animal welfare and improve the health and safety of agricultural workers. This also includes measures to improve energy efficiency, protect biodiversity, use the most natural methods possible to control pests and use water sparingly. These aspects are reviewed on the farms via annual audits by external inspection bodies.

                  Compliance with the GlobalGAP standard is verified once a year for the entire Migros Group. The standard is now well established and achieves an average implementation level of almost 95% across all Migros Group companies.

                  This year, the Migros Group is also starting to query the GlobalGAP additional module “SPRING”. With this add-on for irrigation and groundwater, we are also focusing our attention on the topic of sustainable and responsible water management on the farms along our supply chain. By 2025, all producers of fresh fruits and vegetables should be GlobalGAP SPRING certified. More about our goals for reducing our water footprint.

                  In addition to the standard for good agricultural practice (GlobalGAP), the extra module GlobalGAP GRASP focuses on social aspects in agriculture.

                  More about our social standards

                  • Supply chains free of deforestation and conversion

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                    The preservation of valuable natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and peatlands is crucial for climate regulation, biodiversity and human livelihoods. Much of the destruction of these areas is due to the commercial production of a few raw materials. It is therefore particularly important to set up supply chains free of deforestation and conversion.

                    Through our partnership agreement with WWF, we have committed to eliminating deforestation and conversion from our supply chains by 2030 at the latest. This commitment applies primarily to Migros Group own-brand products and Migros Industrie products for third-party customers, and includes raw materials with a high risk of deforestation and conversion: cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy, wood, paper and pulp.

                    In our core business (Migros supermarkets and Migros Industrie), we want to achieve this goal by 2025.

                  • Science-based targets

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                    Our long-term goal is for the entire Migros Group to emit zero greenhouse gases on balance by 2050. More about our climate and energy targets. Our climate targets were officially validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in 2022.

                    To achieve these targets, reducing emissions in our supply chains is of great importance. To do this as efficiently as possible, the emissions footprint of all our products was determined using a CO₂ analysis and CO₂-intensive segments such as meat, dairy products, cocoa and coffee were prioritised. We encourage our suppliers to set their own targets and implement their own direct reduction measures.

                    We also set ourselves SBTi FLAG targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.

                    • Increasing the proportion of products from label production

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                      In cooperative retailing, we rely on strategies for raw materials with social or ecological risks. These ensure minimum requirements in terms of environmental standards at the cultivation and processing levels. Sustainability labels can serve to ensure such minimum standards or offer additional added value.

                      In the textiles sector, for example, cooperative retailing relies on the GOTS. From the cotton field through the entire processing chain to the manufacturer of the end product, all companies involved must have been audited. The GOTS examines environmental management and the handling of chemicals along the supply chain.

                      Our guidelines for raw materials

                      Implementation follow-up

                      We use internationally recognised monitoring tools such as amfori BEPI, GlobalGAP and other equivalent standards and labels to track the progress of operational environmental protection within our value chains. As part of our Group-wide sustainability strategy, we review the progress of environmental targets annually with centrally managed controlling and an internal progress report.

                      More about our sustainability governance
                      More about our key figures

                      How we implement environmental standards

                      Find out what we are doing to implement the highest possible environmental standards in our supply chain.

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