MO.1.E || What Gets Measured, Gets Improved – Impact Assessment and Environmental Labeling Along the Production Chain

Alig, Martina; Kunz, Jenny

Migros is one of the leading Swiss retailers. To improve transparency and enable consumers to make informed choices, Migros has introduced a sustainability rating. At the moment, the two dimensions «climate» and «animal welfare» are being considered. For both dimensions, a star system is applied, with the best products being attributed five stars, the worst one star. Any trade-offs between different dimensions of sustainability thus become visible. The climate rating is based on LCA data. The company had calculated its greenhouse gas footprint and had also determined the emissions of the goods purchased. The emission factors used in this process served as the starting point for the climate rating. The size of the product range did not allow a specific emission factor to be developed for each product within a reasonable period of time. Therefore, the product range was summarized according to range segments. Depending on the relevance and diversity of the corresponding segment, different levels of detail were chosen. The most detailed level went down to the GPC bricks. For each category, an emission factor for production was determined, which was then assigned to all products in the respective category. Since Migros has its own food processing industry, it was partly possible to use emission factors from LCAs that had been prepared in-house. Where this was not possible, generic LCA data or estimates via the Swiss environmental input-output table were used. In addition, emissions from transport (based on the composition of the countries of origin) and from packaging (generic factor) were taken into account. In total, over 250 emission factors were compiled. The sustainability rating was successfully launched in March 2021. It is a good example of how existing data can be used for product ratings with manageable effort and how successful implementation and communication is possible despite existing data gaps. The system is now being continuously improved and refined.