ALDI Detox Commitment

Our commitment to environmental production standards

ALDI is committed to sustainability in the area of textiles and footwear production. In cooperation with Greenpeace, we have developed comprehensive criteria, which defines rigorous environmental requirements for production. Our action plan includes the gradual elimination of certain chemicals used in the manufacturing processes for both textiles and footwear by 2020.

With this voluntary commitment, ALDI reaffirms its corporate responsibility for people and the environment. In recent years, we have been actively promoting the development of sustainable social and environmental standards in our production countries. In this regard, ALDI is constantly focused on finding sustainable solutions.

We are aware that the path to achieving lasting acceptance and understanding of the Detox requirements among all parties involved will be a long-term process. However, in order to establish progress, ALDI relies on the involvement and support of all parties throughout the supply chain.

Find out below how we intend to achieve this goal. For further information please find the Commitment here.


Chemical management

How we will eliminate the 11 hazardous chemical groups from our supply chain

ALDI is committed to phasing out the use of the 11 hazardous chemical groups in the production of apparel, home textiles, and shoes, and replacing these substances with safer alternatives over the next few years. Our goal is to completely refrain from using certain chemical groups from 1 January 2020 onwards.

  • By publishing the ALDI Detox commitment, we have pledged to eliminate and ban certain chemical groups from production.
  • The testing limits defined by ALDI for both the chemical groups concerned and waste water are listed within the M-RSL (PDF), which is attached to the ALDI Detox commitment. Furthermore, the attachment also contains testing limits for products (PDF).
  • Our suppliers and commissioned production facilities are required to comply with the limits and threshold values which apply to the chemical raw substances, the materials used, and, thus, the final products. For this reason, suppliers and production facilities are provided with specialised training.
  • The PFCs (per- and or polyfluorinated compounds) used for waterproofing, for example, will be replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives. We will aim to have completely substituted PFCs by 31 December 2016.
  • Alkylphenols and APEOs (alkylphenol ethoxylates) which are used, for example, during washing processes, are also being replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives in production.
  • ALDI has appointed testing institutes to regularly check compliance with the agreed threshold values (in accordance with the M-RSL) (PDF) by analysing the waste water and sludge produced by the production facilities. The test results are published on a publicly accessible platform (ipe.org.cn) as agreed with Greenpeace.
  • From the day the ALDI Detox Commitment was published right up until 30 September, we ensured that test results were disclosed for more than 50% of the contracted production facilities which use wet processes. By 31 March, we will have disclosed test results for at least 80% of the production facilities using wet processes.
  • ALDI encourages our suppliers in establishing suitable chemical management processes throughout the supply chain in order to fulfil our Detox requirements. In conjunction with the production facilities, products will also be analysed in accordance with the current RSL (PDF).
  • Together with our suppliers, research and industry partners, ALDI will jointly publish regular information on case studies and practical examples on the www.subsport.org internet platform. Furthermore, ALDI promotes active dialogue between suppliers, production facilities, the chemical industry, and the testing institutes.
  • These processes will not only change the standards applied but also establish certification schemes and initiatives. ALDI is actively considering these approaches and evaluates both their effectiveness and feasibility with regard to achieving our goals set for 2020.
  • ALDI defines procedures for dealing with cases of non-compliance with set requirements within the supply chains.

Supply Chain Management

How we keep our supply chain clean

Changing chemical formulas across the textile and shoe supply chains constitutes only one part of our efforts, as ALDI also supports suppliers in motivating their business partners to comply with the Detox requirements. ALDI is also currently establishing an objective rating system as a guideline for our Corporate Buying departments.

  • The Detox requirements are reflected in our buying processes.
  • ALDI provides instruments which enable our business partners to support their own business partners and pre-producers in implementing the changes necessary to ensure compliance with ecological standards. ALDI aims to raise the awareness of pre-producers and production facilities regarding their responsibility.
  • In order to make our supply chains fit for the future, ALDI is currently compiling a criteria and ratings catalogue. This will include, among other things, the results of the waste water and sludge analyses together with the product tests, all of which will be taken into account to evaluate our supply chains.
  • ALDI establishes follow-up routines for cases of non-compliance and corresponding measures and consequences which are to be taken, as applicable.
  • ALDI will proceed with further involvement in initiatives, working groups, and associations where considered valuable and relevant to progressing our aims. For this purpose, ALDI will enter into cooperation with other market players in order to jointly address the challenges faced within global and complex supply chains. ALDI has already become a member of the Leather Working Group and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

Data Management

How we effectively use the data collected

The successful implementation of the ALDI Detox commitment requires the collection and analysis of a vast volume of data. ALDI will use the knowledge gained for the purpose of changing the processes throughout our supply chains.

  • ALDI is increasing the transparency of our supply chains: Existing IT systems are being modified to enable the processing and evaluation of complex data. While, at the same time, an internal monitoring, verification, and rating system is being developed.
  • Within the scope of the extended data collection process, ALDI is currently updating internal processes and documents, in order to further communicate our Detox expectations to suppliers.
  • Results of chemical tests will be uploaded to the publicly accessible ipe.org.cn internet platform as agreed with Greenpeace, which in turn increases transparency.
  • ALDI regularly discusses the knowledge gained with relevant business partners to jointly develop improvements throughout the supply chains.

Capacity Building

How we raise the awareness of all parties concerned

In order to reach our goal, we need to achieve a shift in awareness across all stages of the production processes and help to increase the necessary knowledge and capacities – from Buying departments to the producers. In this context, ALDI suppliers are of great importance as they assume responsibility for selecting production facilities which are motivated to drive the change.

  • We work to develop the knowledge of the Detox requirements among our employees and suppliers, at those production facilities using wet processes, and at those assembling the final products. This is achieved, for example, through internal training held within the relevant departments together with specialised supplier training sessions.
  • Detox training materials are compiled and provide comprehensive and up to date guidance. These include the complete background information, details regarding chemical management, and guidelines on the implementation of the Detox requirements.
  • ALDI’s efforts in capacity building are focused on suppliers as they assume particular responsibility for promoting the transition processes on-site at production facilities. For this reason, our suppliers cooperate with external advisors, service providers, and experts in order to assist the production facilities in reaching the Detox goals. Our ALDI teams on the ground support suppliers during this transition process.
  • ALDI is constantly engaging in dialogue with its main suppliers to discuss potential solutions and identify best practice for all suppliers.
  • ALDI is committed to encouraging relevant business partners to comply with ecological and social standards across the supply chains and work towards a gradual improvement.
  • ALDI considers this commitment an element of corporate responsibility management.

Stakeholder Dialogue

How we engage in dialogue with stakeholder groups

Proactive, public, and transparent: ALDI will publish regular information about its progress and the steps planned with respect to the Detox commitment.

  • ALDI publishes its complete M-RSL (PDF) and RSL (PDF) and uploads the data on waste water and sludge generated by the production facilities to the publicly accessible ipe.org.cn internet platform as agreed with Greenpeace.
  • ALDI publishes regular information about the current status of our existing measures with regard to ecological production standards across the supply chains. At regular intervals, the ALDI roadmap will be updated to acknowledge the challenges experienced.
  • ALDI engages in dialogue with relevant stakeholder groups on topics such as production-related transformations and developments, and to promote sustainable consumption within the context of its Detox commitment.
  • Together with our suppliers, research and industry partners, ALDI will jointly publish regular information on case studies and practical examples on the www.subsport.org internet platform. Furthermore, ALDI promotes active dialogue between suppliers, production facilities, the chemical industry, and the testing institutes.
  • ALDI examines opportunities for cooperation with other market players in order to jointly address the challenges faced. ALDI has already become a member of the Leather Working Group and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

Systemic Change

How we promote sustainable consumption

Transparency throughout the supply chain

more information

Use of sustainable materials

more information

Quality and product design

more information

Networking

more information

ALDI will support a systemic change across society which will impact our business, our product design, our suppliers, and also our customers. This change focusses on the promotion of more sustainable products and production processes, as well as responsible consumption behaviour. It ranges from banning the 11 hazardous chemical groups and improving product lifecycles to recycling efforts.

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  • We are increasing knowledge at each stage of the textile production processes to monitor compliance with the Detox requirements during production.
  • In order to further improve the products with regard to the product lifecycle, ALDI will evaluate optimised product designs for textiles and shoes together with suppliers. In this context, ALDI will review the concept of re-using original materials by means of effective collection processes, environmentally friendly reprocessing of the products collected, and through recycling. Within the scope of pilot programmes, ALDI intends to trial closed product lifecycles and recycle/reuse concepts. The results obtained will be integrated into the long-term commitment. Another goal of the ALDI commitment is to provide customers with ways to make their use of textile products more sustainable and responsible.
  • In different product areas, ALDI already supports the promotion of more sustainable resources, for example, by using our position as a food retailer to offer products which carry sustainability labels due to their characteristics. We will also use the experiences gained in the different areas for the purpose of implementing the ALDI Detox commitment.
  • ALDI jointly promotes this change by collaborating with the textile and chemical industry, as well as the scientific community in order to trial new approaches and processes in a target-oriented way. To do so, ALDI will examine opportunities for cooperation with other market players in order to jointly address the challenges faced. ALDI has already become a member of the Leather Working Group and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.