Internal and external audits
Social Monitoring Programme
In order to be able to monitor compliance with social and environmental standards and continue to foster these together with our suppliers, we have developed and implemented our Social Monitoring Programme. Commodity groups and sourcing countries are integrated in this programme according to an assessment and prioritisation of their respective risks. Over the medium term, we will integrate all non-food commodity groups into this programme.
On-site audits performed by independent experts are a key component of the programme. These audits must be carried out before production of our goods may commence. ALDI SOUTH recognises audits and certifications according to the standards of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI), SA8000, and the Code of Conduct of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), among others.
In general, we do not have direct business relations with the production facilities at which our products are manufactured; the products are usually manufactured on behalf of our suppliers. In order to be able to monitor adherence to our standards, we agree with our suppliers in advance and in writing at which production facilities our products will be manufactured. Transferring orders to different production facilities without our prior consent is contractually prohibited.
Own monitoring via ALDI Social Assessments
From our experience, we know that often audit reports do not fully reflect the situation at the production facilities. A continuous on-site presence can lead to greater transparency and fosters partnership with suppliers and production facilities. For this reason, since 2011 we have been supplementing third-party audits with our own regular on-site visits for certain high-risk commodity groups.
These ALDI Social Assessments (ASA) are carried out by ALDI SOUTH employees together with external auditors and supplier representatives, mainly in Bangladesh and China. In 2015 we carried out a total of 255 ALDI Social Assessments.
The apparel we purchase from Bangladesh is sourced almost exclusively from production facilities we have visited, assessed, and approved ourselves by way of an ASA.✓ It is our goal to source these products exclusively from production facilities that have passed an ALDI Social Assessment. In addition, the ALDI SOUTH Group has joined the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which, among other things, conducts building and fire safety inspections.
Improvement measures based on audit results
In its work to ensure appropriate working conditions, ALDI SOUTH is committed to achieving continuous improvements. Problems that have been identified in production facilities include irregularities with respect to the payment of wages, the observance of working hour regulations, as well as health and safety issues. Following every audit, corrective action plans are drawn up which lay out an individualised timeline for eliminating the faults. Our suppliers are obliged to implement the measures together with the production facility’s management. Our CR and buying departments closely monitor the process.
If no progress is seen in the implementation of the action plan, or if the supplier or the production facility management do not take appropriate action to resolve significant issues, such as fire and building safety, late payment of wages, or producing in unauthorised production facilities, we may decide to take further action. This may include the temporary or permanent exclusion of the supplier and/or the production facility from future tenders.
For more information on environmental and social standards, see Capacity building as key to success and Achieving long-term improvements through multi-stakeholder initiatives.