The sustainability of large-scale retail trade, the MD and Lidl cases


Less CO2, less concrete. More good news from retail, on the sustainability front. They come from MD and Lidl, projected on reducing the ecological footprint of their business. As are several other players in the large-scale retail industry, on stage these days at the Green Retail Forum 2019.

MD adopts poplars to neutralize exhaust gases

Neutralizing the CO2 emissions of 25 trucks is the goal of MD, an Italian large-scale retail chain (started as a hard discount store) founded in 1994 by Bolzano entrepreneur Patrizio Podini, 2.3 billion in sales in 2018, 700 stores across Italy.

The goal of the‘Good Spending Not Just Words‘ initiative, is being pursued by MD through the adoption of a green area. More than 100 hectares of poplar groves – 23,850 trees, in the provinces of Mantua, Rovigo and Cremona – to balance in one year emissions of 1,800 tons of CO2 . Poplar, as it turns out, can be a champion on the ecological front.

MD, the contribution of ConsumAtors

The project will be extended over the next few years until the emissions of the entire MD fleet are bridged. PEFC Italy, the leading organization in forestry certification, is called in to certify its progress, and will monitor and ensure that the CO2 sequestered by the arboreal areas matches that emitted by the group’s transport vehicles.

Consumers can contribute to the project by purchasing theeco-friendly household hygiene products, branded ‘DAT5ecological‘ and‘DAT5 green‘. Out of each product sold, 1 cent is allocated to the growth and development of the project.

Lidl, sustainability on energy and soil

Good news also comes from the sustainable development policy review of the German chain Lidl, the 9th largest supermarket chain in Italy. The report presented in Milan shows that all needs are met by electricity from renewable sources (620 thousand tons of emissions less, in the last 6 years), the company fleet is powered by natural gas, and land consumption is reduced.

Lidl’s attention also extended to shelf product selection. And to the social sustainability expressed toward workers. Particularly with the rejection of the gender pay gap, the serious phenomenon of reduced compensation for female workers simply because they belong to the female gender.


(1) See Avvenire 4.10.19,‘Lidl’s commitment to sustainability and human resources

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