Interviews / Stories

“You cannot put the environmental challenges on hold.”

Martin Schwemmer

For mor than twenty years, Colruyt has been intensively involved in the topic of sustainability. What drives your company in this context?

As a family business with a long tradition, we are aware of our responsibility to society and the environment. Starting from an economic impulse, we want to make a positive contribution in social and ecological terms and create sustainable added value through value-oriented action and sensible investments. After all, you cannot put the environmental challenges on hold.

At Colruyt, more than 150 sustainability projects are currently being implemented. What is the focus of these activities?

As a Retail company our range of impact is very wide. Form Agriculture and animal welfare to biodiversity. My expertise and one of these important areas of impact is Mobility. We are pursuing several strategic approaches, such as further optimization in route planning, strengthening intermodal transport solutions, and using alternative and renewable fuels. Behind all these activities lies a common goal: Zero-emission transport by 2035.

How do you intend to achieve this ambitious goal?

By continuing to pursue our plan as consistently and purposefully as before, in partnership with all the stakeholders in our value chain.  For example, Colruyt Group has committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions under Scope 1 and Scope 2 by 42 percent by 2030 compared to 2021, to lead by example.

Electrification of the vehicle fleet obviously plays a major role in this, doesn’t it?

In fact, Colruyt started looking at electric trucks back in 2007 and even built its own hybrid truck in 2010. This continuity in research and development is bearing fruit. We now have a 44-ton truck with electric drive and are gradually adding more e-vehicles to the fleet. We are driving this change forward very vigorously, always subjecting the fuels, vehicles and infrastructures used to careful selection and testing, in which the feedback from our drivers, among others, helps us enormously.