Shaping the Future Together

Every purchase tells a story. As an international corporate group, we play our part in shaping this story along the entire value chain. The companies of Schwarz Group form their own holistic ecosystem, with the retail divisions Lidl and Kaufland, the environmental division PreZero, the Schwarz Produktion and Schwarz Digits, our IT and digital powerhouse. We are all pulling in the same direction: We recognize our role in shaping change in the economy and society and are happy to share our knowledge outside our ecosystem. Together, we want to make a difference on a global scale.

Eine Biene bestäubt eine Blüte

Developing Renewable Packaging

The green transition is growing in our fields: The silphium plant is a symbol of innovation and sustainability in the packaging industry. While the silphium plant was previously used exclusively as an energy crop, PreZero, the environmental division of the Schwarz Group, has uncovered a wonderful secret: Its fibers can be used to produce sustainable paper and packaging products. Under the OutNature trademark, PreZero develops silphium paper for trays, folding boxes, banderoles and more. The silphium plant is much more than just the basis for a new packaging material. Its many benefits – from being insect-friendly to storing carbon – mean it is a true environmental hero that conserves valuable resources. Further research is planned with the hope of improving the properties of silphium paper, for instance, to produce a material capable of repelling water and fat. The potential? Massive! It is playing its part in our jointly developed plastics strategy REset Plastic as an innovative replacement for conventional packaging.

Portrait images made from mosaic components visualize diversity in the Schwarz Group companies

Shaping the Future with Diversity

A colorful mosaic – every piece is unique, but they come together to form an impressive image. That is how we see diversity in our corporate group – from nations and cultures to generations and genders. Our diversity makes us strong. We are proud to employ people from all sorts of backgrounds. Through their unique skills, knowledge and experiences, they contribute to our continuous improvement and hold us to our commitment to equality of opportunity. Right from the recruitment stage, the companies of Schwarz Group create the framework conditions for equality based on objective selection criteria before appointing their staff. By signing the “Charta der Vielfalt” diversity charter, Lidl Stiftung, Kaufland Stiftung and Schwarz Dienstleistungen are sending a clear signal of our stance on fairness and appreciation. It is also an expression of our commitment to creating a culture in which everyone feels recognized and connected.

CR project BRIC for river cleaning

Letting Oceans Breathe

How can we stem the flood of plastic in the world’s oceans? The companies of Schwarz Group are taking on this challenge. The focus: plastic that is discarded directly into the environment with no collection or disposal points, and that ultimately washes into the sea due to weather conditions. This causes so much plastic to float into our oceans that there are around 700 pieces of plastic for every human being. The trend is increasing – the EU alone causes around 500,000 extra tons each year. We are tackling the problem together, for instance, by establishing preventative waste management systems, and by collecting and recycling plastic and other recyclable materials that have entered the environment. One impressive example is the Bekasi River CleanUp, a project in Indonesia. In this project, we work together with the waste management specialist Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia (W4C) and the non-profit environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean e. V. (Oeoo) to remove waste from rivers and feed it into the recycling loop. In doing so, we create and secure jobs as well as improve the environment for local residents and contribute to climate protection through carbon-neutral project operations.

Making Sustainability Measurable

Together, we initiate change and quantify its effects. Transparent key performance indicators illustrate our progress and identify potential for improvement. Even today, we use more than 1,000 sustainability key performance indicators to monitor our progress. This all provides significant help with advancing our jointly developed vision: “Assuming Global Responsibility. Acting with Diversity”.

Gerd Chrzanowski CEO Lidl
"There is no alternative to sustainable action. As one of the largest retail groups in the world, the companies of Schwarz Group have the opportunity and the responsibility to effect change. We accept this responsibility and take action in accordance with our joint Group-wide sustainability strategy."

– Gerd Chrzanowski, General Partner of the Schwarz Group

Our Sustainability Strategy Serves as a Guide

As companies of Schwarz Group, we set standards for the future. The jointly developed sustainability strategy forms the framework for the sustainability commitment of the divisions and countries in which we are represented. With our focus areas – People, Product Quality, Circular Systems and Ecosystems – we showcase solutions for pressing challenges, because despite all our diversity, we pursue one overarching goal: acting sustainably together and shaping a future worth living in.

Photo of Susanne Marell
“Being Europe’s largest retailer, we bear particular responsibility toward society and the environment. We exist to improve life for both current and future generations by means of our products and services. In order to achieve this, we work consistently with our customers and partners to develop innovative solutions for a future worth living in.”

– Susanne Marell, Executive Vice President Schwarz Unternehmenskommunikation

Fortschrittsbericht GJ 2022 der Unternehmen der Schwarz Gruppe

Our Progress: A Deeper Look

We make our commitment transparent. Alongside our partners and customers, we are striving for a more sustainable future. Who wants to be part of this change with us? The time is now! Find inspiration in our shared sustainability goals, jointly developed strategies and milestones reached, all in the 2022 progress report.

All Just a Click Away

The central point of contact for all documents related to sustainability in the companies of Schwarz Group: from the latest sustainability news to specific topic highlights. Transparent information, whenever you need it.

Memberships and Cooperations

For us, economic success is directly linked to responsible corporate governance. Together with our stakeholders and partners, we strive for a more sustainable future.

ESG Ratings and Rankings

In March 2024, the companies of Schwarz Group received an ESG Risk Rating of 20.1 in the food retail category from Sustainalytics. The management of ESG risks is rated as "strong" and is therefore above average. Sustainalytics, a Morningstar company, is a leading independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analysis organization. The ESG Risk Rating determines how well companies manage material industry-specific ESG risks.