Carbon footprint reduction at Colruyt

The Context
The Colruyt Group is a retailer for food and non-food projects. For years they have been taking sustainable actions in order to become a more sustainable company. To pinpoint their actual impact, they asked us for a baseline emission inventory.

The Challenge
How can you evolve from taking random actions towards a strategic approach? How can you scale the importance of your engagement and put your existing initiatives into the right perspective? How do you motivate your staff to actively engage in this sustainability vision?

The Trajectory

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First we calculated the Colruyt CO2 footprint, and delivered a platform that Colruyt can use to manage and track their carbon emissions over time.

Based on our selection of scope 3 emissions, Colruyt selected 10 clusters of opportunities.

Each year, Colruyt uses our platform to update its carbon footprint, and identify important reduction opportunities. We audit their calculations.

The information, insights and ideas boosts the sustainability frontrunners at the group and get people and staff more engaged.

Results and resolutions
Colruyt now has a clear view on the carbon footprint of all entities within the Colruyt Group (more than 22.000 employees). In April 2012, Colruyt launched its own brand of vegetarian products ‘Veggie Eger’ and a vegetarian cookbook ‘Vandaag Veggie’. This was one of the many ideas proposed in the cluster about Colruyt’s products.

And what have we learned for your benefit? Retail companies have a very large number of emissions. The indirect emissions scope especially is very large in comparison to their operational impact. This offers lots of opportunities for sustainable business innovation.


“With our company we want to create added value on a sustainable way. Gaining insight into the environmental impact of your business is important to get CO2 on your radar and get to look at reduction potential. Futureproofed helped us in preparing our first carbon footprint, where we used the GHG Protocol as a guideline. Through this joint project, our engineers are now able to refine and update our numbers each year. Before we publish our results in the annual report, we do an external audit. This boosts the quality of our data systematically and we learn continuously.”

— Jef Colruyt, CEO Colruyt Group


Country: Belgium
Client: Colruyt Group
Sector: Distribution, Retail, Food
Services: Carbon & environmental footprint
Year: 2013