What will the supermarket of the future look like? In Germany, REWE Group has recently opened its first Green Farming market in Wiesbaden (southern Germany) and has set a new standard for a new generation of green supermarkets in Europe.
The approximately 1,500m² supermarket already catches the eye from the outside with its unusual architectural concept: pillars made of stacked wood form the supporting structure for the glass roof farm and form a unique vaulted structure that extends into the market. Inside, customers look out over a glass atrium, the greenhouse on the roof. The building was designed with the London architecture firm acme.
The natural wood material is the core element of the supermarket: around 1,100 cubic metres of the renewable raw material were used. The indigenous coniferous wood stores more than 700 tonnes of CO2. In 30 years, the wood will have grown again and the CO2 balance will be restored. A lot of daylight can be used through the glazed east and west facades and the atrium. In addition, intelligent cooling and heating technology, 100 percent green electricity and the use of rainwater for the roof farm, sanitary facilities and cleaning of the store ensure that resources are conserved.
The outdoor areas are also designed to be sustainable: With a new parking layout, in which the parking spaces are laid out in a circle, sealed surfaces were reduced and subsoils capable of infiltration were created. The additional green spaces and a flowering meadow create important habitats for insects.
The highlight of the market, however, is the rooftop farm. Every year, 800,000 basil plants grow on the roof, which receive excrement from the fish that REWE breeds on site as fertiliser.
No pesticides are used in the process. Around 14,000 pots of basil are packed plastic-free on-site every week. Sustainable packaging can save 12 tons of plastic per year. The basil is being delivered to 480 REWE stores in Hessen and parts of Rhineland-Palatinate. At the same time, around 20,000 cichlids are bred in pools on around 230m² under sustainable conditions and processed on-site. This produces around a ton of fish meat per month.
The assortment focuses entirely on freshness with a large fruit and vegetable section including a salad bar, many regional and organic products as well as a glass butchery with a show kitchen and meat from using organic and humanely farmed meat. In front of the market, local suppliers can offer their products in specially produced market stalls. Thanks to an innovative technology, the aquaculture cycle for fresh production and the hydroponic cycle for plant production are coupled with one another. The use of this circulation system enables food production with 90% less water consumption compared to conventional agriculture, as the water is used twice.
In the store, customers can use “Scan & Go”, which means they can scan their products themselves using the app or hand scanner and pay at the express checkouts. A REWE pick-up service enables the customers to do their shopping online and to collect it ready-packed at the market. There are also charging stations for e-cars and bikes.
Get an impression of the market here: https://youtu.be/j6diYKr4tcU