Purpose – On the basis of corporate wholesale and hypermarket stores, this study investigates the relationship between energy consumption, physical building characteristics, operational sales performance and the impact of energy management on the corporate environmental performance. 

Design/methodology/approach – A very unique dataset of METRO GROUP over 19 European countries is analyzed in a sophisticated econometric approach for the timeframe from January 2011 until December 2014. Multiple regression models are applied for the panel, to explain the electricity consumption of the corporate assets on a monthly basis and the total energy consumption on an annual basis. Using Generalized Additive Models (GAM), to model nonlinear covariate effects, the authors decompose the response variables into the implicit contribution of building characteristics, operational sales performance and energy management attributes, under control of the outdoor weather conditions and spatial-temporal effects. 

Findings – METRO GROUP’s wholesale and hypermarket stores prove significant reductions in electricity and total energy consumption over the analyzed timeframe. Due to the implemented energy consumption and carbon emission reduction targets, the influence of the energy management measures, such as the identification of stores associated with lowest energy performance, was found to contribute towards a more efficient corporate environmental performance. 

Originality/value – In the context of corporate responsibility/sustainability of wholesale, hypermarket and retail corporations, the energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions from corporates real estate assets is of emerging interest. Beside insights about the energy efficiency of corporate real estate assets, the role of the energy management, contributing to a more efficient corporate environmental performance, is not yet investigated for a large European wholesale and hypermarket portfolio.