The chart shows the beforehand described approach of the stakeholder survey.
The results of the stakeholder analysis and the impact assessment formed the basis for the materiality matrix displayed below. The vertical position on the y-axis (relevance) corresponds to the average assessment of the topic across all stakeholder groups and countries. All stakeholder groups were weighted equally, while the countries were weighted depending on the number of stores in each country. The allocation to one of the three groups on the horizontal x-axis is based on the impact assessment provided by our internal sustainability experts.
The topics’ boundaries can be illustrated by displaying or hiding those topics which are allocated to the 'Supply chain', 'Own activities', 'Customers', and 'Community' areas of impact along the value chain.
The colours show the field of action of a topic. Those 15 topics which are characterised by particularly high relevance and/or impact are highlighted in full colour.
|Fields of action||Topics||Example||Relevance||Impact||Impact in the area of|
|Supply chain||Working conditions throughout the supply chain||e.g. improving working conditions throughout the supply chain, improving occupational health and safety, correct payment of wages, avoiding human trafficking, forced labour, and child labour||5,5||2||Supply chain|
|Fair business relationships||e.g. long-term business relationships, fair prices, support for smallholders||5,4||3||Supply chain, Internal activities and people|
|Environmental impacts of agriculture, forestry, and fishery||e.g. protecting the environment and nature, use of agricultural chemicals, avoiding deforestation (e.g. due to plantations), avoiding overfishing||5,4||2||Supply chain|
|Sustainable purchasing practices||e.g. consideration of sustainability criteria when selecting suppliers and products||5,4||3||Supply chain, Internal activities and people|
|Use of chemicals in the production of non-food products||e.g. elimination of hazardous chemicals from the production of non-food products, including textiles (Detox Commitment)||5,2||2||Supply chain|
|Commitment to the promotion of animal welfare||e.g. improving the living conditions of animals in intensive animal farming and during animal transports, avoiding animal testing||5,2||2||Supply chain|
|Transparency throughout the supply chain||e.g. disclosure of information concerning the supply chain (e.g. production facilities, number of suppliers), traceability of products||5,2||2||Supply chain, Customers|
|Reduction of GHG emissions throughout the supply chain||Reducing GHG emissions during the manufacture of products and during transport||5,2||2||Supply chain|
|Water usage throughout the supply chain||e.g. reducing water consumption in production, avoiding production in high-risk areas||5||2||Supply chain|
|Stakeholder dialogue with regard to the supply chain||e.g. cooperation with initiatives (e.g. amfori BSCI, Bangladesh Accord), cooperation with non-governmental organisations||4,9||2||Supply chain, Internal activities and people|
|Use of genetic engineering||e.g. avoiding the use of genetically-modified animal feed, no sale of genetically-modified products||4,4||1||Supply chain|
|People||Diversity and equal opportunities||e.g. equal pay, women in management positions, employment of veterans and people with disabilities||5,2||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Work-life balance and compatibility of job and family||e.g. flexible working hours, child care, home office, parental leave||5,2||3||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Occupational safety||e.g. workshops on occupational safety, adequate workwear, safety equipment||5,2||3||Internal activities and people|
|Attractiveness as an employer||e.g. remuneration, job security, training, offers designed to improve work-life balance||5,1||3||Internal activities and people|
|Awareness-raising among employees in the area of sustainability||e.g. incorporation of the topic of sustainability within the apprenticeship and training of new employees, proactively informing employees on topics involving sustainability, corporate volunteering||5||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Employee involvement||e.g. right to collective bargaining, employee surveys, idea management system, complaints mechanism||5||1||Internal activities and people|
|Apprenticeship and training of employees||e.g. training, seminars, and coaching, competence-based assessment, individualised HR development||5||2||Internal activities and people|
|Health of employees||e.g. offering sports programmes and medical checks, ergonomic workplaces||4,8||2||Internal activities and people|
|Environment||Avoiding food waste||e.g. sale of irregularly shaped produce ('misfits'), donations to non-profit organisations (e.g. food banks)||5,4||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Operational waste||e.g. prevention of waste, recycling, reuse||5,2||2||Internal activities and people|
|Reduction of GHG emissions caused by business operations||e.g. increasing energy efficiency, using renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaics, using climate-friendly refrigerants, supporting a range of climate protection projects for achieving carbon neutrality||5,2||3||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Environmental protection at business locations||e.g. sustainable construction of stores, logistics centres, and administration buildings, sustainable equipment||5,1||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Sustainable logistics||e.g. optimisation of transport routes and means of transport (transport by ship, rail, or plane), pooling the flow of goods, low-emission vehicles||5,1||3||Internal activities and people|
|Sustainable mobility||e.g. electric cars as pool vehicles, electric charging stations at stores and for employees, using low-emission means of transport for business travel||4,5||2||Internal activities and people|
|Sustainable IT||e.g. considering sustainability criteria (durability, energy consumption) when buying IT equipment, sustainable disposal of IT equipment||4,5||2||Internal activities and people|
|Governance & Management||Ethical business practices and compliance||e.g. avoiding conflicts of interests, anti-corruption policy, avoiding anticompetitive behaviour||5,5||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Sustainability in corporate management||e.g. incorporation of the topic of sustainability within the corporate strategy and buying processes, sustainability as a component of performance-related remuneration||5,3||2||Internal activities and people, Community, Supply chain, Customers|
|Data protection||e.g. protection of personal data of employees and customers by means of binding regulations and technical systems||5,2||1||Internal activities and people, Customers, Community|
|Tax contribution||Fulfilment of tax duties in all countries in which the company maintains business operations||5||3||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Transparency and reporting||e.g. publication of CR reports, transparent communication with regard to sustainability issues||5,1||1||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Stakeholder dialogue||e.g. regular exchange of information with stakeholder groups, participation in and maintenance of networks and initiatives||4,8||2||Internal activities and people, Community|
|Customers & Community||Product quality and safety||e.g. safety, freshness and taste, avoidance of harmful substances and allergens, product recalls||5,6||3||Customers|
|More sustainable packaging||e.g. handling of plastic carrier bags, promotion of more environmentally friendly or reduced product packaging||5,1||3||Customers, Community, Supply chain|
|More sustainable products||Offering more sustainable products by transitioning to sustainable alternatives and expanding the range of sustainable products (e.g. organic products, products made from certified resources, energy efficient products)||5,1||3||Supply chain, Customers|
|Range of affordable, healthy food products||e.g. affordable produce, low salt/sugar/fat products||5||3||Customers|
|Circular economy||Circular economies are based on the principle of developing and manufacturing products in such a way which enables them to be used for different purposes or recycled completely after their initial useful life. Consequently, the quantity of waste created and of resources required for production is decreased.||5||2||Community, Supply chain|
|Promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle||e.g. incentives for buying healthy food products (e.g. fruit and vegetables, low fat food products), raising awareness for using products over a long period of time||4,9||1||Customers, Community|
|Customer orientation and quality of services offered||e.g. store employees focussing on services directed at customers, return and exchange of products, customer hotline||4,9||2||Customers|
|Responsible marketing and transparent communication||e.g. guidelines and regulations for marketing activities concerning alcoholic beverages or children's products, customer-oriented product information||4,8||1||Customers, Community|
|Regional responsibility as an investor, employer, client, and supplier||e.g. kindergarten for children of ALDI employees and the municipality, regional sourcing||4,6||2||Community|
|Low prices for basic food products||e.g. low prices for bread, pasta, and milk||4,5||3||Customers|
|Offering products for special dietary needs and lifestyles||e.g. gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian, or vegan products||4,3||1||Customers|
|Community activities||e.g. monetary donations, donations in kind, corporate volunteering||4,2||2||Community|
Results of the materiality analysis
The results of the materiality analysis generally confirmed our previous assessment. The three topics rated 'very important' most often across all stakeholder groups and countries are 'Working conditions throughout the supply chain' for the 'Supply chain' field of action, 'Product quality and safety' for the 'Customers' field of action, as well as ‘Ethical business practices and compliance’ for the ‘Governance & Management’ field of action.
The focus topics for this CR Report were selected based on the results of the materiality analysis.
'Customers' focus: health and well-being
'Range of affordable, healthy food products' was one of the top-rated topics in the 'Customers' field of action. The topic of 'Promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle' was also rated as important.
'Resources' focus: protecting our forests
The top-rated topics in the 'Supply chain' field of action include 'Environmental impacts of agriculture, forestry, and fishery' and 'Sustainable purchasing practices'. In the ‘Customers’ field of action, the topic of 'More sustainable products' belongs to the most important topics. We chose the topic of 'Protecting our forests' as an area of focus to explain the potential impact of our activities on important ecosystems and to show the measures we take in order to contribute to the protection of forests.
'Supply chain' focus: supplier assessments
The topics rated by many stakeholders as 'very important' include 'Working conditions throughout the supply chain', 'Fair business relationships', and 'Sustainable purchasing practices'. One of the instruments we use to promote further improvement in these areas is the systematic assessment of our suppliers' CR performance.
'People' focus: occupational health and safety
Both the topics of ‘Occupational safety’ and ‘Health of employees’ were priority topics in the 'People' field of action. Since we attach high importance to our employees' health and safety, we selected this focus topic for the 'People' chapter of the CR Report.
'Environment' focus: modern refrigeration technology
Our stakeholders consider the 'Reduction of GHG emissions caused by business operations' to be important. Our efforts for modernising our refrigeration equipment provide us with particularly great influence as refrigeration accounts for a large portion of our energy consumption and the refrigerants used are of considerable relevance to our GHG balance.
'Community' focus: long-term partnerships
The materiality analysis shows that from our external stakeholders’ view, our company's community activities are not considered a priority. However, we, and our employees, attach increasing importance to this commitment. Within this area of focus, we present our approach to achieving a particularly high societal impact by concentrating on long-term partnerships.
In addition to these areas of focus, the survey also showed a number of topics which are of great importance to our customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
Within the 'People' field of action, the topics of 'Diversity and equal opportunities', 'Work-life balance and compatibility of job and family', and 'Attractiveness as an employer' were rated as 'very important'. The concept of diversity and equal opportunities is deeply rooted within our corporate culture and forms part of our CR Principles. Within the scope of implementing our strategy to become an employer of choice within the retail industry, we are currently developing several initiatives to provide our employees with an attractive working environment.
For our customers, 'More sustainable packaging' is an important field of action. Plastic shopping bags are a striking example in this context. As a matter of principle, we do not offer such shopping bags free of charge – not even in countries where free shopping bags are common practice. In various countries, we have already replaced disposable shopping bags with reusable shopping bags. We are making the gradual transition of the packaging of our core range products made from cardboard or paper to raw materials originating from certified sources or recycled materials. In this context, we will need to face various challenges as product packaging must fulfil a broad variety of requirements (including sustainability, hygiene and protection of the merchandise against damage, consumer-oriented presentation, and efficient transport).
'Avoiding food waste' is one of the most highly ranked topics in the 'Environment' field of action. Although we continuously increase our range of fresh products offered, we still succeed in reducing food waste to a minimum. This is possible because of our focused range of products and our appropriate merchandise planning methods. We donate unsold but still sound merchandise to charitable organisations, while organic waste is repurposed as animal feed or for the production of bioenergy. Additionally to raising awareness on the topic among consumers, for example through the “Reste Retten” (“Save food scraps”) campaign in Germany, we intend to reduce food waste caused during agricultural production and transport in cooperation with our suppliers.
Insights gained from the expert interviews
The interviews held with external experts provided us with many important indications concerning the ongoing development of our corporate responsibility strategy. The multitude of challenges faced throughout our supply chains continue to provide potential for optimisation. We deem an ever stronger integration of sustainability requirements into our other business processes – with a particular focus on buying operations – and adequate consideration of the related performance of suppliers and producers within the scope of product selection to be important tasks for the ALDI SOUTH Group. At the same time, we were happy to hear that the interviewed experts – most of them from the 'Supply chain' field of action – perceive our efforts to be serious and credible.