7 minutes

The time is 8:58 pm at your nearest Pingo Doce store. The outside lights are on. Inside the store, minutes away from closing its doors, the final preparations for locking up are being made. The floor is clean, the fish, meat and cheese counters have been carefully washed, and staff take a last look around to check that no task has been left undone. At the end of another day, the last one out turns off the light. 

But in food retail, there are lights that can never go out.  

Not all tasks are limited to working hours. For example, staff clock in and clock out again at the end of their shifts, and there are opening hours for our customers. But there is a silent form of work that goes on in all our stores, 24 hours a day: the task of conserving the food we offer our customers. 

Every day, hundreds of refrigerated display cabinets, freezers and cooling systems ensure that, in the over 5,500 stores that we operate in Portugal, Poland and Colombia, items such as dairy products, fresh produce, ice cream and frozen meals are conserved so as to guarantee maximum food quality and preserve food safety – up to the moment somebody puts them in their trolley. 

This is just one example of how energy is needed on a continuous basis in food retail, not just in the store, but in warehouses, production processes and transport.  

Because we know that only efficient consumption of natural resources can protect the ecosystems essential for sustainability, decarbonisation is the main priority in our strategy for a responsible business. With the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the Jerónimo Martins Group Climate Transition Plan is under way in our operations in Portugal, Poland and Colombia.  

Our energy transition ambition: 


Reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions in own operations by 2031 (taking 2021 as the baseline).


power consumed from renewable sources by 2030.


By this date, achieve carbon neutrality in our operations and value chain (scopes 1 and 2).


By 2030, 60% of the energy we consume will be from renewable sources. Our plan is to increase renewable power generation for our own consumption, to purchase renewable electricity from power companies and to obtain renewable energy certificates that guarantee that the energy we consume is from a source emitting no greenhouse gases. 

Biedronka is currently working on a project to install photovoltaic solar panels at around 2,000 stores. The solar power will be for in-store consumption. In 2022, close to 120 establishments producing their own solar power avoided 2,311 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.  

Pingo Doce, Ara and Recheio also have plans for adding photovoltaic solar panels to their stores and distribution centres, which already prevent the emission of 1,850 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. 

Most stores in Portugal are installing heat exchangers that use the hot air generated by cooling equipment to heat water for sanitary use, like bathrooms and hand washing. 

aerial image of solar pannels on the roof of a Biedronka store.


Using electricity rather than fossil fuels has become an important way of addressing climate change. 

Liquid and gaseous fossil fuels account for less than 15% of our total energy consumption, but we are keen to use more electric vehicles and to invest in the use of cleaner combustion technologies, for example using biofuels. 

We’re also offering our customers a warmer welcome, with charging stations for electric vehicles available in more and more of our store car parks. 

 image of a vehicle eletric charger, with Biedronka's logo, on na outside parking station.


In our refrigeration and air conditioning systems, our aim is to only use natural coolant gases or gases with low global warming potential by 2030 in Portugal and Poland, and by 2035 in Colombia, and install leak detection and control technologies. We will do this by substituting systems and installing new refrigeration equipment. 

 image of the inside of a Recheio sotre, focusing the frozen food area.


Showing the way is often the best way to lead. We work with our staff, customers and our local communities to raise awareness of the need to protect the environment. 

As signatories to the Portuguese Plastics Pact, Pingo Doce and Recheio have signed up to the “Recycle your Plastic” campaign, educating customers about how best to separate plastic waste. Ara has tackled the same issue, launching its “Let’s do it together” campaign in 2022, encouraging people to switch from single-use plastics to reusable bags. In order to fight food waste at home, Biedronka has launched a project with the slogan “Smart people don’t waste, they save food!”. 

image of three Pingo Doce's recycling bins, inside the store


We believe that, in nature, “nothing is lost, everything is transformed” and so the circular economy, which means producing less waste and recycling more, has been a priority. In 2022, we recovered 85.5% of all our waste. 

The Ecodesign project sets out to develop private brand products with more sustainable packaging, reducing the environmental impact of production, transport and waste management. Between 2011 and 2022, we made changes to 1,156 products, thereby avoiding 36,250 tonnes of materials (5,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide not emitted). 

In order to fight food waste, our initiatives include regular donations to institutions, using so-called “ugly” vegetables in products such as soups, available at stores in Portugal, and markdowns on products nearing their best before dates, at Pingo Doce and Biedronka. 

image of a carton of almond milk, on a shelter, with the ecodesign label on it.


You might remember a time when you needed to wrap up to visit the yoghurt aisle… Today, the freezers and the cabinets for displaying fresh milk, ice cream and cheese have doors that close. The reason is simple – it’s to keep the cold where it belongs, and so save energy. 

We’re aiming for a reduction in energy consumption by being more efficient. We’ll achieve this by using freezers with doors, LED lighting, heat exchangers and devices to control energy performance in stores. In the last three years, our companies have invested more than 240 million euros in these technologies, generating annual savings of more than 100 million euros and 560,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Nothing can be done without involving employees; our in-house Let’s Go Green project was launched in Portugal in 2015 and has reached all the companies, raising awareness of best practices in the use of energy, water and paper, and promoting recycling.


Every day, thousands of food products are transported from our distribution centres to our stores. “How can we do this efficiently?” is a question we’re always asking when it comes to logistics. Conventional wisdom has it that, if you’re going somewhere, you should make the most of your journey. And that’s what out backhauling and fronthauling programmes are about.  

Backhauling refers to our vehicles that drive from the distribution centres to supply our stores. On their way back to the distribution centres, they take the opportunity to collect goods from suppliers along the way. 

Fronthauling refers to our suppliers’ vehicles and involves making use of their return journeys, after delivering to our distribution centres, to drop off goods at stores.  

Between 2011 and 2022, our backhauling programme e avoided journeys totalling 134 million km, which would have emitted 122,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent; in 2022, the fronthauling programme avoided close to 153,000 km and emissions of 135 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. 

In other projects, Biedronka and Pingo Doce are joining the Lean & Green initiative to speed up the climate transition in logistics and investment in computerisation has improved stock management, as well as route planning and monitoring. 

In Colombia, transport of non-palletised products resulted in a reduction of 947,000 km in 2022 (1,548 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) and the use of trailers saved 3 million km and emissions of 2,360 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. 

 aerial image of two biedronka trucks on a bridge, crossing it, on a clear day.