Rainforest from above

Deforestation

Our Approach

Forests are complex ecosystems that play an essential role in protecting biodiversity, the global water cycle, and for climate change mitigation. The four main drivers of global deforestation are:

  • logging for construction material, fuelwood, and the production of paper and wood-based products
  • the cultivation of animal feed such as soy
  • palm oil, which is used for a wide variety of purposes, from bio-fuels to hygiene products and processed foods 
  • clearing land for cattle pastures

The ALDI SOUTH Group aims to ensure that the products we offer do not contribute to the destruction of forests and illegal logging. The commodities most relevant within our supply chains are palm oil, timber, and soy. 
We continuously increase the share of sustainably certified products and seek for concrete measures to support the protection of forests throughout our supply chain in close cooperation with our suppliers, importers and standards organisations. In order to focus on impactful actions, we collaborate closely with other industry actors in multi-stakeholder initiatives and exchange directly with traders. The support of projects and initiatives on the ground complement our work against deforestation. In order to ensure the effectiveness of our current and future measures against deforestation, we are currently conducting a deforestation risk assessment.

Our Actions

Palm oil

In order to prevent deforestation, the palm oil used in our own-brand products is certified according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) chain of custody standard. The share of certified palm oil sourced by the ALDI SOUTH Group has increased significantly: from 69% in 2016 to 100% since 2018.

Beyond Certification, the ALDI SOUTH Group is working on transparency and smallholder inclusion in the palm oil sector: We are a founding member of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC) and are member of the Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG). In 2016, we developed an approach to better integrate smallholders in our value chain: In addition to being a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Smallholder Standing Committee and purchasing Independent Smallholder Credits, we also support smallholder farmers on the ground through our smallholder project in Cote d’Ivoire together with our Partner Solidaridad.  

Forestry

We focus on sourcing all timber used for our own-brand products and packaging in a sustainable manner. We have set the goal to use only certified materials according to the FSC, PEFC, SFI, Blue Angel standard, or made from recycled materials by the end of 2020. In 2019, 79% of our own-brand products and 54% of our own-brand product packaging were certified or recycled. 

In 2019, ALDI SOUTH Germany and HOFER S/E started working with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Namibia. The aim of the project is to increase the amount of sustainable and directly traded charcoal on the market, which benefits local farmers directly. After successfully concluding trainings and audits, the farmers are certified according to the FSC Forest Management Standard.  

Soy

Soy is mainly used for animal feed. Our aim is to ensure that the cultivation of soy for our products neither harms natural ecosystems, such as forests, nor violates human rights. In order to tackle the challenges in the complex soy supply chains and to increase the availability of sustainable soy feed, we collaborate with other retailers as part of the Retail Soy Group (RSG).

We have calculated our soy footprint from 2017 onwards with the aim of providing a quantitative impact assessment of our supply chain. Since 2018, we participate in the Collective Soy Reporting (CSR) with a group of retailers to quantify and map the use of soymeal in a sector-wide manner. According to the CSR, 26% of the 2018 soy footprint of ALDI SOUTH Germany, Hofer S/E and ALDI UK/Ireland was certified deforestation-free according to the standards RTRS, ProTerra, Danube Soy or CRS. Beyond using the insights to efficiently moving towards a deforestation-free soy supply chain, results are summarised in the Soy Report 2019, identifying concrete recommendations for the whole sector to move towards deforestation-free soy meal.

Our Goals & Performance (2019)

Our Projects

Logo of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Project group
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Smallholder Standing Committee

A significant share of the globally traded palm oil is produced by smallholders. In order to account for these smallholders within the scope of our commitment to using only sustainable palm oil, we purchase RSPO Independent Smallholder Credits to support their work and participate in the RSPO Smallholder Standing Committee in order to further support and integrate smallholders.

More on 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Smallholder Standing Committee'
People from Cote d'Ivoire standing in a group smiling at camera
© Solidaridad
Project in Côte d'Ivoire
Palm oil smallholder project (2017-2020)

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 forest protection as well as resource and environmentally friendly cultivation methods, which are compatible with resource conservation requirements.

More about 'Solidaridad'
Four Palm oil pulps and Palm Oil Transparency Coalition logo
Copyright: POTC
Project group
Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC)

As part of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition, we engage and review the major international importers of palm oil to determine how they are tackling deforestation and exploitation in their palm oil supply chains. Our approach aims to promote transparency and encourage progress beyond certification.

More on 'Palm Oil Transparency Coalition'
Logo of Retailers' Palm Oil Group
Project group
Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG)

As a Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG) member, we engage in a non-competitive coalition of companies who have the common aim making the use of sustainable palm oil across all relevant supply chains the norm. 

More on 'Retailers’ Palm Oil Group'
Logo of Retail Soy Group
Project group
Retail Soy Group (RSG)

As member of the Retail Soy Group, we collaborate pre-competitively with other retailers in order to increase the availability of sustainable soy feed and remove deforestation from our soy supply chain.  We collaborate to find industry-wide solutions for soy for their animal feed and human food supply chains. The RSG focuses on four major topics: 

  • identify and support clean suppliers
  • implement regional approaches
  • enhance the credibility of certification standards
  • unlock transparent supply chains
More on 'Retail Soy Group'
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)
Soy field in evening sun light
Project group
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; and
  • 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.

More on '3keel case study'

Sustainable Development Goals

1 No poverty 2 Zero hunger 6 Clean water and sanitation 8 Decent work and economic growth 12 Responsible consumption and production 13 Climate action 15 Life on land 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Human Rights

Principle 1

Support and respect the protection of human rights

Principle 2

Not complicit in human rights abuses

Labour

Principle 3

Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

Principle 5

Abolition of child labour

Principle 6

Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

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 103: Management approach 2016

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