In 2021, Lidl Hungary received the best sustainability reporting award in Hungary. The award is given by Deloitte in the Green Frog competition. We talked with Judit Tőzsér, Head of Corporate Communications of Lidl Hungary, about why sustainability reporting is important to Lidl and what experiences they can share with other companies who plan to start with reporting.

Why did Lidl Hungary decide to prepare a sustainability report in 2020?

Great responsibility comes with a higher profile, and over the last 17 years, Lidl Hungary has become one of the main actors in the food industry.  An integral part of the company’s business operations is this responsibility. Transparency in the effects of our operation and our vision of the future is one of our main goals. We decided that it was time to strengthen this transparency by taking an important step in 2020, and to publish our first national Sustainability Report.  We were the first to do so amongst Hungarian discount chains.

What is the role of sustainability in your strategy? How does the sustainability report fit in the company’s communication?

At Lidl Hungary, we work every day to meet the values and goals that we have set for ourselves at the highest possible level. With our CSR strategy, we support sustainable development, which simultaneously serves the long-term value production at our company and the security of future generations. We have developed our sustainability measures along the five following fields of action at both the regional and global levels: assortment, employees, environment, business partners, and society. Communication about our sustainability activities and results is extremely important to us, and is represented by our report, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards guidelines, in which we show which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we contribute to with our measures.

How big of an effort was it to write the sustainability report? How many people participated and what were the biggest challenges?

Preparations for reporting have already begun in December 2018. The effective collaboration of the departments involved, the ongoing support of the parent company and the expertise of the external consulting partner together contributed to the outcome. Possibly the biggest challenge was coordinating this massive undertaking in team work. However, we worked based on a detailed project plan, which made the process smoother.

Why did you apply for the Green Frog award? In what ways does the award help validate your sustainability efforts?

Professional feedback is important to us, and it is there that we see the possibility of further development. It was an unexpected but gratifying surprise that we won the recognition of the experts with our first Sustainability Report, of which we are very proud. The Green Frog Award means for us that we are on the right track of sustainability in terms of transparent and professional communication.

What is the biggest takeaway from the sustainability reporting for Lidl Hungary? What would you recommend to other companies who decide to start with sustainability reporting?

For many years, Lidl Hungary has been continuously and systematically monitoring its sustainability performance, examining its impact on the social and natural environment, and taking into account people’s expectations regarding sustainable development. However, preparing for the reporting process required us to further expand our KPIs, and thus the scope within which we measure our impact and achievements. This has been an immense benefit of the reporting process for us, and it also gives us motivation for further development. For companies that decide to report, it is important to thoroughly map the impact of their operations, the expectations of their stakeholders, and to have proper monitoring to present the results.

More information and original press release about Green Frog Award in Hungarian language on this link.