Customer traffic: Eco-friendly shopping

With branches in central locations, convenient local public transport links and its online supermarket Le Shop, Migros enables its customers to take their shopping home the environmentally friendly way.

Migros points of sale are located where many people live or work. Over four-fifths of all points of sale are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle. Similarly convenient public transport links exist for the roughly 20 large suburban centres. Migros also offers free home delivery of large household appliances like washing machines and refrigerators.

Furthermore, in partnership with the car-sharing enterprise Mobility, Migros keeps small Mobility cars parked at large supermarkets, while eight M-Parc centres also offer Mobility vans. People who do not own a car can use these vehicles for the occasional major shopping trip or to transport bulky items.

With the Migros online supermarket LeShop and its home delivery service, customers can avoid driving at all. Online purchases are delivered by Post Logistics – after hours, when Swiss Post is not using its fleet in its main line of business.

In spite of these eco-friendly offers, more than three-quarters of consumers use their private car for shopping trips, especially to larger shopping centres. A 2009 study* co-financed by Migros found that bulky and large purchases are made by car, no matter how convenient public transport or how scarce parking is. (*Zweckmässige Verkehrsmittelwahl, a study by Hornung on the use of appropriate modes of transport, commissioned by espace.mobilité)

Hence traffic control measures such as parking fees and restrictions on car access to the larger shopping centres are of no benefit to the environment. Even worse, they frequently lead to counter-productive searches for alternative routes or parking sites, thereby increasing emissions, and so Migros takes a critical view of ineffective official restrictions imposed at shopping centres. The company favours measures which target the source of pollution (car engines, for example), which are highly efficient in that they cover all vehicles and all reasons for travel.

Business-related travel

To promote the intelligent use of motorised transport, Migros leads its workforce by example: The company has created a number of mobility offers to enable its employees to avoid climate emissions. For example, staff can use Mobility cars to conduct company business as well as for their personal errands.

The company tries to reduce its business air travel by relying increasingly on video and telephone conferencing. All the same, CO2 emissions from business flights in 2009 amounted to nearly 2,000 tonnes, up seven per cent on the previous year. Migros offset all air travel with a voluntary contribution to the myclimate Foundation, generating nearly 80,000 francs for a climate protection project in South India.

The environment and employees' health alike benefited from the «Bike to work» campaign in which Migros participated last year for the fifth time as the main sponsor. For one month, some 300 Migros teams commuted by bicycle and offset 36 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the process, by Pro Velo's calculations.