Canal view

Detox

Our Approach

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.

We have empowered our suppliers to work with their business partners in order to deliver our requirements and verify their implementation within the scope of our sourcing activities. Our ALDI Detox Reports summarise the positive progress we have made over the past five years.

We will continue to increase the scope of our work to address further environmental impacts, ranging from strengthening our commitment to more sustainable material sourcing to raising awareness of opportunities to buy more sustainably. This means that we will promote more sustainable production processes and sustainable products to enable our customers to consume sustainably.

The ALDI Detox Commitment in 3 minutes

Our Actions

Elimination of hazardous chemicals from production

Our goal is to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing processes and to replace these substances with safer alternatives. The ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) and Wastewater Guidelines as well as the ALDI Restricted Substances List (RSL) are key tools for this purpose and form part of all relevant contracts with our business partners. These documents define substances, which should not be used at all or only to a limited extent for the production of merchandise intended for ALDI. While the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines define threshold values for chemical residues contained in wastewater and sludge generated by the production facilities, the ALDI RSL defines threshold values for the finished products.

Eliminiation of hazardous chemicals from production

Increasing the transparency of our supply chain

The successful implementation of responsible chemical and environmental management practices requires the collection and analysis of large amounts of data, supported by ALDI’s internal production facility database. An internal monitoring, verification, and rating system for production facilities helps us to ensure compliance with our requirements for every order.

We receive production facility data prior to delivery of the merchandise and then perform a plausibility check. In 2019, results of the wastewater and sludge analyses for 99% of our wet-production facilities were made available to us. Suppliers upload these analysis reports to the publicly accessible Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) platform.

Our Corporate Responsibility Units in Asia regularly verify the provided supply chain information  and compliance with our requirements during onsite assessments.

As an additional important step towards increased supply chain transparency, we require all suppliers to make their supply chains and environmental performance visible to us via the amfori BEPI platform.

Achieving a new sense of awareness among all parties

We have started to integrate chemical management capacities and performance of our business partners into our annual Corporate Responsibility Supplier Evaluation (CRSE) for garment textiles. This transparent process increasingly influences our buying decisions and provides guidance to our business partners for improving their social and environmental supply chain performance. The CRSE thereby supports long-term relationships with those business partners who demonstrate a strong CR record and provides incentives for continuous improvement.

Engaging with stakeholders

We strive to be proactive and transparent by maintaining open dialogue with our stakeholder groups through engagement in various partnerships, working groups and initiatives. Together we increase our understanding, select and develop tools that fit our approach and harmonise our requirements with other retailers to drive efficient improvement of chemical management practices across our supply chains. Examples include amfori’s Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) through which we align on diverse issues, including shared chemical management audit protocols. We also support common standards and training approaches through our engagement with the Leather Working Group (LWG) and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

We regularly inform our stakeholders and the wider public through progress reports and updates on our next steps with respect to environmental and chemical management in our textile and shoe supply chains. This also included our international ALDI Detox Summit in 2016, which was attended by over 400 stakeholders including representatives from NGOs, scientific institutions, governmental organisations and business partners.

Providing training to internal stakeholders, business partners and production facilities

We want to understand all the different stages of the production process to help us increase our knowledge and capability to deliver better chemical management. Internal and external training measures and workshops are held in the Corporate Buying, Quality Assurance, Corporate Responsibility Departments and with business partners and selected production facilities.

One example are the Advanced Chemical Management Trainings that we have been piloting through our regional CR Offices in Dhaka and Hong Kong since 2019. This training is jointly implemented with other brands, the German development agency GIZ and our business partners and help production facilities improve their competencies through peer learning and individual support.

How we promote sustainable consumption

We support systemic change within 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 on responsible consumption behaviour. It ranges from banning hazardous chemicals, improving product lifecycles and increasing recycling efforts.

Our Goals & Performance (2019)

Our Goals:

  1. Since 2015, we are working on phasing out or replacing hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing processes for both textiles and shoes with safer alternatives.
  2. We aim to reducing resource consumption in cotton cultivation and improving chemical management by also using certification schemes that focus on cotton processing like the Global Organic Textile Standard. We will ensure to use 100% sustainable cotton for our ALDI own-brand garments and household textiles by 2025.
25%

of sustainable cotton tonnage

Our Projects

Four women around sheet full of cotton
© Fairtrade / Didier Gentilhomme
International goal & project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
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
© Fairtrade / Didier Gentilhomme

 

More on 'Cotton'
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'

Sustainable Development Goals

6 Clean water and sanitation 8 Decent work and economic growth 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure 12 Responsible consumption and production 14 Life below water 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

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

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

GRI 308: Supplier environmental assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 308-2