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View on mountains and valleys

Protecting the Environment

Our Approach

Our business activities have a significant impact on climate and the environment. This is a result not only of the products we sell, but also of our entire operations, from the construction and operational running of buildings to the transport of goods.

Our goal is to minimise the ecological footprint of our corporate activities. We will achieve this by lowering our greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring that the products we offer do not have a detrimental impact on the environment.

Our Actions

Climate Protection

We are committed to the continuous reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions and strive to become a climate-neutral company. Our international climate strategy focuses on the systematic reduction of our energy consumption, employing more environmentally friendly refrigerants, the use of renewable energy, and modern logistics concepts.

Deforestation

The ALDI SOUTH Group aims to ensure that the products we offer do not contribute to the destruction of forests and illegal logging. To increase our impact on the ground we focus on four key areas: soy cultivation, palm oil production, forestry, and cattle farming.

In close cooperation with our suppliers and other stakeholders, we will continue to seek ways to increase the number of products from sustainable sources and increase our contribution to the protection of our forests.

Detox

In 2015, the ALDI SOUTH Group joined 80 other international fashion retailers in committing to the goals of Greenpeace’s Detox campaign. Since then we have reduced the negative impacts of chemical-based production processes used in the textile and footwear industry on workers, local communities and the environment. 

Packaging

We have set ourselves ambitious goals aiming at increasing material efficiency and circularity of our ALDI own-brand product packaging. We are working with our business partners to push for more environmental-friendly packaging options across our product range. 

Waste management

In 2015, we adopted an international waste strategy based on the principle “reduce, reuse, recycle” to further lead our business activities towards a circular economy. Suitable waste management measures have been determined and implemented at a national level. The ALDI SOUTH Group’s national organisations worked on systems that can comprehensively monitor the various types of waste. Based on this, we will implement further international and national goals and activities that ensure a sustainable approach to waste management.  

Our Goals & Performance (2019)

By measuring our progress against our Corporate Responsibility goals on a regular basis, we can continuously validate the effectiveness of our actions and highlight the areas where we are already making strong progress as well as other areas where further action is still required. 

Our Projects

Environment

People standing in front of Plastic Bank
Copyright: Climate Partner
Project in Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti
Keeping plastic waste from entering the oceans

Plastic Bank is a social enterprise that makes plastic a currency. It helps to reduce packaging waste in the environment and at the same time fights poverty. Carelessly disposed plastic is collected and reprocessed into secondary raw material. Manufacturers which produce packaging or textiles can purchase these materials and reinsert it into more sustainable and socially ethical products. 

ALDI supports Plastic Bank both with funding and through our international carbon offsetting in collaboration with ClimatePartner.

More about 'Plastic Bank'
Women holding empty pesticide containers
Project in Mozambique
Cotton made in Africa recycling project

In 2019, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the local cotton company SAN-JFS developed a recycling project in Mozambique. This project supports women from local farming communities who operate eco-collection points. Over 72,000 empty pesticide containers were collected and sent for recycling in the first year and benefitted up to 20,000 farmers. With the exclusive support of ALDI, the project is able to continue into a second phase and benefit even more farmers.

© Cotton made in Africa

 

More about 'Cotton made in Africa'
Wald mit Straße von oben
International projects
Supporting carbon neutrality

According to our CR Principles, the ALDI SOUTH Group is striving to be a carbon-neutral company. Following a significant reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the use of renewable energy across the Group, several ALDI SOUTH countries are climate neutral. Carbon offsets make up for the rest by funding environmental projects.

To continue to deliver against our broader climate target, we are supporting the following environmentally-focused projects:

Fight against plastic

‘Plastic Bank’ fights against the increasing amount of plastic in the world‘s oceans by offering money for plastic. This project prevents plastic from getting into the sea in the first place. The plastic is then recycled and turned into so-called ‘social plastic’, which is then recycled into new products. At the same time, a wind farm project in the Philippines is supported to realize the actual reduction of carbon emissions.

Countries: Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti

Forest protection

This project is offering land to small farmers instead of soy plantations. The aim of the project is to continue to preserve the rainforest and to provide the inhabitants of the rainforest - the “Ribeirinhos” - with land rights. This secures the livelihood of the local residents and saves around 3,000 hectares from deforestation.

Country: Brazil

Solar energy

The project funds two solar power plants in southern India. The plants produce an average of 95,000 MWh per year - which equates to delivering electricity to over 17,000 households throughout the year. In addition, the operators of the plants are involved in various initiatives aimed at positively impacting the welfare of the local community.

Country: India

Clean energy

The cultivation of rice is an important source of income in India. Traditionally, the grain is peeled in mills and the waste husks are composted or burned in the open. Now they will be collected, transported to two power stations and used to generate electricity by biomass.

Country: India

Further projects are additionally supported on national level.   

Food

Many cocoa fruits stacked together
Project in Côte d’Ivoire & Working Group
Cocoa

Retailer Cocoa Collaboration

In September 2019, the ALDI SOUTH Group joined the newly-formed Retailer Cocoa Collaboration (RCC) which commits to support the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. This initiative will drive change by protecting and restoring forests in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Colombia. The RCC will also map collective cocoa supply chains to gain a greater understanding of the social and environmental risks found in production countries. The trader assessment conducted by RCC will also provide us with greater transparency and insight into lower supply chain tiers.

Fairtrade cocoa project in Côte d'Ivoire

Since 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group and Fairtrade  have been collaborating on a project in Côte d’Ivoire to improve working conditions and livelihoods for local cocoa farmers. The project analyses the impact of ALDI’s business operations on the community and environment, increases traceability of our cocoa products and provides a basis for further projects together with Fairtrade. As part of the project, ALDI’s business partner will source cocoa beans which are 100% traceable from the selected cooperative for our cocoa-based products.

 

More on 'Cocoa'
Palm seed in bowl
Project in Côte d'Ivoire & project groups
Palm oil

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

In 2011, the ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not-for-profit organisation that unites stakeholders from the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The RSPO has more than 4,800 members worldwide who represent all links along the palm oil supply chain. They have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO.

Working together

Since 2019, the ALDI SOUTH Group is the only retail representative of the RSPO Smallholder Standing Committee (SHSC). The SHSC’s responsibilities include overseeing the execution of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy and decision making throughout the implementation of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy.

Palm oil smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire (2017-2021)

Since 2017, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, have been supporting a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for sustainable cultivation of palm. In close cooperation with our NGO partner Solidaridad, we have developed a project focussing on the protection of natural forests and environmentally friendly cultivation methods. Solidaridad offers training for 2,100 smallholders on natural forest protection and environmentally friendly cultivation methods, which are compatible with resource conservation requirements. The cooperatives engaged are COOPALEN, UCCOPES and COOPTOSA from the Sud Comoé region, UCOOPALM from the Grand Ponts region, USCOPAHLD from Loh Djiboua and U3SC from San Pedro.

Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC)

We are founding member of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC). POTC is a group of businesses working together in a pre-competitive coalition to remove deforestation and exploitation from the palm oil sector. We engage and review the major international importers of palm oil to determine their progress towards tackling deforestation and exploitation in their palm oil supply chains. Our approach aims to promote transparency and encourage progress beyond certification.

Retailer Palm Oil Group (RPOG)

The ALDI SOUTH Group has been a member of the Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG) since 2012. RPOG is a non-competitive coalition of retailers who have the common aim of making the use of sustainable palm oil the norm across all relevant supply chains.

More on 'Palm oil'
Soy field in sunset light
Project & working group
Soy

Retail Soy Group (RSG)

The ALDI SOUTH Group joined the Retail Soy Group (RSG) in 2017. The RSG is an independent group of international retailers collaborating pre-competitively to find industry-wide solutions for sustainable soy for their animal feed and food supply chains.

Collective Soy Reporting (CSR)

Since 2018, we participate in the Collective Soy Reporting together with a group of other retailers to

  • quantify the amount of soymeal present in animal feed used in 2018
  • Identify where the soy was produced
  • determine whether any of the soymeal carried a recognised deforestation free production certification

Overall, more than 230 livestock producers, packers, and manufacturing suppliers fed into the report.

Based on the results, we engage with relevant stakeholders and develop appropriate measures to increase the share of deforestation-free soy in our supply chain.

Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)

The ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) in 2017. The RTRS is a global platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to promote responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a global level. Its mission is to encourage soybean production to be verified by a certification standard and produced in a responsible manner. Its objective is to reduce the social and environmental impacts of soy while maintaining or improving the economic status for the producer.

Soy Transparency Coalition (STC)

We are a founding member of the Soy Transparency Coalition (STC), which was established in 2020. The STC is a pre-competitive coalition whose aim is to help deliver a sustainable soy production system. The STC does this by engaging with major international soy traders on tackling deforestation and transparency challenges in soy supply chains.

More on 'Deforestation'

Non-Food

Hand holding cotton
International goal & projects in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique
Cotton

International goal

Together with our business partners, we are committed to standards that achieve long-term sustainable improvements in the cultivation of cotton. We will ensure to use 100% sustainable cotton for our ALDI-exclusive garments and household textiles by 2025.

We prohibit our business partners from using cotton sourced from countries where cultivation and harvesting are systematically associated with human rights violations, such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Fairtrade project on cottonseed

Since 2018, ALDI SOUTH Germany has been supporting the Fairtrade project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project aims to empower smallholder farmers and to improve the quality and supply of cotton from Central Asia.

To reach the project goal the following measures are implemented:

  • Training for farmers on seed production and multiplication
  • Actions to combat GMO-contamination
  • Enlargement of cultivable acreage for organic cotton and yield
  • Knowledge management and sharing

Cotton made in Africa recycling project

In 2019, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the local cotton company SAN-JFS developed a recycling project in Mozambique. This project supports women from local farming communities who operate eco-collection points. Over 72,000 empty pesticide containers were collected and sent for recycling in the first year and benefitted up to 20,000 farmers. With the exclusive support of ALDI, the project is able to continue into a second phase and benefit even more farmers.

More on 'Cotton'
ALDI SOUTH Sustainable Namibian Charcoal
ALDI SOUTH Sustainable Namibian Charcoal
ALDI SOUTH Germany & HOFER S/E
Sustainable charcoal in Namibia

In 2019 ALDI SOUTH Germany and HOFER S/E started a project together with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Namibia to ensure 100% deforestation-free charcoal. Charcoal is a major driver of illegal deforestation in Africa and South America. In Namibia, large parts of land are affected by the spread of thorn bushes that decrease biodiversity, groundwater supply, and farmland productivity. These bushes usually are removed in an unsustainable manner with the use of fire and chemicals.

The aim of the project is to use these bushes to produce sustainable charcoal. Together with our partner FSC, we promote the sustainable production of charcoal and work with farms towards their certification according to the FSC Forest Management standard. Besides the ecological aspect, the FSC certification also ensures minimum social standards for the workers during the bush harvest. From logging to production and packaging: all the work steps are carried out locally, creating jobs, especially in rural areas. Compliance with these environmental and social standards is regularly checked by independent auditors. 

More on 'Sustainable Namibian Charcoal' (German only)
Asian garment workers working in factory line
Special focus
Textiles

It is important to us that garment and household textiles, which are a regular component of our weekly special buys, are produced in an environmentally and socially sound way. Our goal for the future is to further expand our range of sustainable textiles and create even greater transparency in ALDI’s supply chain.

Most of our textile products are manufactured in production facilities in Asia. Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) team works closely with our textile business partners to support them in the implementation of our CR standards. Additionally, our colleagues based in Hong Kong and Bangladesh are frequently in the production facilities to assess the conditions on the ground. While we strive to improve working conditions in our production facilities, we also look at other stages of our supply chain, from cotton production over spinning to dyeing and finishing of garments.

More on 'Textiles'

Our Memberships

We believe the best way to protect the environment is through joint initiatives and partnerships. For this reason, we engage in multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Sustainable Development Goals

6 Clean water and sanitation 7 Affordable and clean energy 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure 11 Sustainable cities and communities 12 Responsible consumption and production 13 Climate action 15 Life on land 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Environment

Principle 7

Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

Promote environmental responsibility

Principle 9

Development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

GRI references

GRI 102: General disclosures 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 102-12 Global Reporting Initiative 102-13 Global Reporting Initiative 102-47

GRI 103: Management Approach 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 103-1 Global Reporting Initiative 103-2 Global Reporting Initiative 103-3

GRI 302: Energy 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 302-4

GRI 305: Emissions 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 305-5

GRI 308: Supplier environmental assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 308-2