No.: 5/2022Newsletter "UBA aktuell"

Dear readers,

What large supermarket chains offer in their assortment, what they advertise and how they refrigerate their goods is important with regard to environmental and climate protection. But how sustainable are the operations of the eight food retail companies with the highest turnover in Germany? Read more in this newsletter issue.

Wishing you an interesting read,

The Press Office of the German Environment Agency

More Environmental and Climate Protection in Supermarkets: Trade and Policy in Demand

Woman with shopping cart in supermarket in front of fruit aisle
The big supermarket groups have a great influence on production conditions and consumer behaviour.
Source: Olga Chernetskaya /

With their own organic brands, an expanding range of vegan products, more energy-efficient freezers, etc., German supermarkets have done a fair amount in recent years when it comes to sustainability. However, the potential for this is far from exhausted, as a recent UBA study shows. This study evaluates the environmental commitment of the eight food retailers with the highest turnover in Germany (ALDI Nord, ALDI Süd, EDEKA, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto Markendiscount, PENNY and REWE).

For example, animal products are advertised much more heavily than the more environmentally friendly plant-based alternatives. And particularly environmentally harmful products – such as goods imported by air – are still part of the range.

In addition to the trade sector, the UBA also sees a need for political action and recommends a policy mix of financial incentives and regulatory measures. For example, VAT rates for food should be adjusted according to ecological criteria, and minimum standards for the purchase of raw materials, such as soy for animal feed or palm oil, should be introduced.

The final report on the research project marks the starting point of the monitoring of developments and trends in environmental and climate protection concerning food retailing, with plans to continue this process in the coming years.

Climate / Energy

FAQ: Lowering the room temperature in autumn and winter

Ukraine, people fear injury and death every day because of the war with Russia. In Germany, aggressive Russian policies have led to an energy crisis. To save gas, the UBA recommends optimising the heating temperature. After all, the best energy is that which is not consumed at all. However, the heating should not be set too cold, or else there is a risk of mould. read more (in German)

Climate Pilot 3.0: updated climate adaptation guide

Whether heat waves or heavy rain: Cities and smaller communities are increasingly feeling the consequences of climate change. With the newly launched online guide “Klimalotse” (Climate Pilot), municipalities can systematically identify their climate risks, plan adaptation measures and develop strategies. The guide is based on international standards for climate adaptation. read more (in German)

UBA CO₂ calculator: data sources and user study published

Well over a million personal CO₂ balances have been prepared in the last three years using the UBA CO₂ calculator. But how does the calculator calculate these balances? What are the data sources and assumptions behind it? And what has the greatest impact on the CO₂ balance of the users? Two new UBA reports provide information on this. read more (in German)

Guide to public procurement of green and regional electricity

The Guide to the Procurement of Green Electricity, updated on behalf of the German Environment Agency, serves as a working aid for public tenders by the Federal Government, the States and municipalities. It provides a practical basis for the procurement of green electricity according to uniform criteria. According to an accompanying legal opinion, the public sector also has the option of purchasing regional green electricity. read more (in German)

Fairly sharing the costs of energy-related refurbishment of rental housing

According to the Federal Climate Protection Act, buildings are to be greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. Millions of properties need to be refurbished for the purpose of energy efficiency. Does the owner pay for this – or the tenants? What does a fair cost-benefit distribution look like? This is the subject of a research project involving the German Environment Agency. read more (in German)

Cover CC

Promoting transformational change through carbon markets

Strengthening the transformational impact of carbon market cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

The research project explores how carbon market approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement can contribute to the transformational change required by these global agreements. The project names insights and recommendations for how to design and implement Article 6 rules and activities to promote transformational change through carbon markets. In this regard a definition of more

Climate Change
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Winners of the AskREACH Company Awards

In the AskREACH project, two Scandinavian companies have been given awards in the categories of SVHC Management and Supply Chain Communication, respectively. Thanks to the involvement of UBA, the AskREACH project is raising awareness throughout Europe about “substances of very high concern” (SVHCs) in articles. Two German companies are also among the finalists. read more (in German)

Cover chemische Verbindung

Reducing the input of chemicals into waters: trifluoroacetate (TFA) as a persistent and mobile substance with many sources

Trifluoroacetate (TFA) is a mobile and persistent substance that is primarily introduced into the water cycle through the degradation of various fluorochemicals and remains in the environment in the long term. TFA can be detected in many water bodies in relatively high concentrations with some regional hotspots. This background paper presents current data and estimates on sources, input more

background paper
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Steroid hormones in the aquatic environment - Insights from new analytical methods for corticosteroids and progestogens

Endocrine active substances such as steroid hormones gain increasing focus in environmental research as they cause endocrine disruption in aquatic organisms exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations. Data about occurrence and fate of steroid hormones are scare. Based on the recently published method (FKZ 3715 67 413) the occurrence of 60 steroids in wastewater treatment plant more

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Trends of pharmaceutical residues in rivers, suspended particular matter and fish – New insights by new analytical methods for active substances, their metabolites and transformation products

Environmental research is detecting ever more pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment as analytical methods become increasingly sensitive. The physicochemical properties of some active substances suggest an accumulation in sediment, suspended matter and biota. Hence, these matrices could be interesting alternative matrices for monitoring of pharmaceutical residues in surface waters. more

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Cover DOKU

Workshop “Exchange of experience on international information services and compaigns on biocides and their alternatives”

Project: Minimising the use of biocides - evaluation and recommendation of biocide-free alternatives

Nicht-chemische Methoden sind wichtige Werkzeuge zur gebotenen Reduzierung des Biozideinsatzes. Mit dem Projekt werden Maßnahmen zur Förderung von biozidfreien Alternativen beschrieben. Dazu gehören Konzepte für spezifische App-Entwicklungen, die Analyse bestehender Umweltlabel hinsichtlich ihrer Vergabekriterien mit Biozidbezug. Eine Fallstudie zeigt das große Potenzial von Nützlingen zur more

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Implementation and Development of GLI:X Green Logistics Indicators in South Africa

The GLI:X Green Logistics Indicators project has been established over several stages since 2016. Together with the province of Gauteng in South Africa, the project has succeeded in developing an indicator system for the measurability of green, socially responsible, and efficient freight logistics in the province in a cooperative dialog-oriented process. The aim of the present project was to more

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Economy / Consumption

photo of the jury in front of a building

Jury announces nominees for winner of German Ecodesign Award 2022

In its two-day session early this week, the jury reviewed and evaluated 137 submissions in the project rooms of feldfünf e.V. in Berlin. After deliberations, the environmental and design experts nominated 28 projects for the German Ecodesign Award 2022. The ultimate winners of the award will be announced by Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke at the award ceremony on 5 December. read more

Repairability of electrical appliances: better labelling needed

The repairing of electrical appliances is associated with numerous ecological, social and economic benefits. Nevertheless, it is still rare for defective products to be repaired. Transparent information, such as in the form of a repair index, could help to better educate consumers about the reparability of products, thereby resulting in more repairs. read more (in German)

UBA Gebäude Dessau

A Front-Runner Approach for EU product policy

Impulse for raising untapped energy saving potentials

This paper presents an initial outline of a policy approach called “EU front-runner approach”. It aims at installing a regulatory framework which enables a semi-automated, progressive adaptation of ecodesign minimum requirements for products. It builds on performance levels of the best products available on the market by aggregating information in a database. The application of the “EU more

Scientific Opinion Paper
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Staying on course in a crisis - accelerating progress forward towards industrial decarbonisation!

Impacts of the Ukraine war on industry

Germany is an industrialised country with a strong production and export sector in the heart of Europe. However, German industry is dependent to varying degrees on imports of energy sources, raw materials and semi-finished products. Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is having many consequences - from the break-up and rebuilding of previous supply chains to possible and already more

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Waste / Resources

Windenergieanlagen auf einem Feld.

Rotor blade recycling from A to Z

Wind turbine rotor blades are made of fibre composites and have been disposed of in very different ways up to now. The German Environment Agency (UBA) now presents a comprehensive overview of the sustainable use and waste processing of rotor blades. read more

Recycling of packaging: minimum standard in 2022

Manufacturers of certain types of packaging are required to participate in a “dual system” of waste collection, to ensure that packaging is collected, sorted and recycled. Since 2019, fees for this are also to be assessed according to how well a package is recyclable. The minimum standard on how to determine suitability for recycling has now been adapted to new developments in the packaging sector. read more (in German)

Optimised metal recycling through sensor sorting technologies

Innovative sorting technologies in scrap processing and aluminium recycling could save up to 290,000 tonnes of primary material and up to 90 per cent CO₂. This is shown by a new study by the German Environment Agency, which examined the potential for optimising recycling in order to provide a substitute for primary raw materials. read more (in German)


First systematic microplastic analysis in the Danube

In a first comprehensive international screening on microplastics in the Danube catchment area, microplastics were detected in all samples. Polyethylene was the predominant and consistently detectable polymer, with maximum levels of up to 22.24 µg/mg suspended solids. Moreover, polystyrene, styrene-butadiene rubber and polypropylene were found as well. read more (in German)


The issue of microplastics in soils - a danger for humans and the environment? You can see a hand with a magnifying glass examining the soil.

International Conference: Microplastics in Soils

Microplastics are usually associated with marine pollution. But scientific studies are increasingly pointing to soils being a major sink for plastic debris. On October 19-20, 2022 the German Environment Agency (UBA) will hold an international (hybrid-)conference in Berlin to shed new light on the impact of plastic pollution on soils. read more


PROSOIL – Protection of soil organisms: Development of toxicity criteria for soil organisms in the framework of classification of substances and PBT assessment

The European ⁠CLP⁠ Regulation as well as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) only provide criteria for aquatic toxicity with regard to environmental hazards. Legal requirements for the use of terrestrial toxicity data are missing, although data from substance regulations (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, biocides or ⁠REACH⁠ chemicals) are available. The goal was to more

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More climate protection in agriculture and food consumption

Agricultural production – particularly the production of animal-based food – causes significant environmental and climate damage, the consequential costs of which are not currently reflected in the prices. In order to make agriculture more climate and environmentally friendly, a mix of different measures will be needed. read more (in German)

Sustainability / Strategies / International matters

teamwork with people of different countries

Inner worlds in times of multiple crises

Humanity is facing a period of multiple crises. These crises pose emotional burdens for individuals that however, often remain neglected in public discourse. However a sustainability transformation must address the inner crises in the same way as it requires finding solutions to the outer situation. In this event on 17 october, we therefore create a space to reflect and deal with our inner worlds. read more

Treppe aufwärts durch einen dichten grünen Laubwald

3rd Sustainability Transformation Conference

The German Environment Agency (UBA) together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) kindly invite you to attend the 3rd Sustainability Transformation Conference on October 25, 2022, 9:15 am – 4:00 pm CET. read more

UBA News


Umweltbundesamt (German Environment Agency)
Präsidialbereich / Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Internet; Pressesprecher
Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
Phone: +49(0) 340 2103-2416
Fax: +49(0) 340 2103-2285

Corinne Meunier

Six times a year our Newsletter „UBA aktuell“ provides information about the latest activities and work of the German Environment Agency (UBA).

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