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Jungle from above

Forest Protection

Our Approach

As a global retailer, one of the ALDI SOUTH Group’s key responsibilities is to ensure that our products do not contribute to the destruction of forests.Forests are diverse and complex ecosystems that provide a habitat for plants, animals, and people. For local communities, they provide the resources for their livelihoods, food, and medicine. This is particularly true for tropical forests, which are home to 50% of the total plant and animal biodiversity on the planet’s land and contain significant amounts of the planet’s freshwater resources.

Protecting the world's forests is also essential for climate change mitigation. The challenge is that deforestation continues at alarming rates. Conversion and degradation of natural forests and other natural ecosystems to create agricultural land is a key driver of global habitat loss and contributes to 15% of global CO2 emissions.

Our commitment

“The ALDI SOUTH Group is committed to eliminate deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems from our high-priority supply chains by 31 December 2030.”

An assessment was conducted in 2020, which identified the supply chains with the highest deforestation-risk. We have defined commodity specific milestones leading up to 2030 for our high priorities and we are planning to regularly update the risk assessment and annually report on our progress.

Our approach to eliminate deforestation and conversion from our supply chains is built on three pillars: Standards, Transparency, and Collaboration.

As the latest accepted cut-off date for any commodity, we specify the 1st January 2020. For most commodities, earlier cut-off dates are implemented, including via sustainability certification.

Our “International Position Statement on Supply Chains free from Deforestation and Conversion” and this page explain how we aim to eliminate deforestation and conversion from our supply chains.

Our Actions

Risk assessment

Our 2020 Deforestation-risk Assessment examined more than 25 commodities based on their global deforestation-risk and relevance in our supply chains. The aim of this assessment was to identify adverse impacts the ALDI SOUTH Group may have on forests, gain insights into our actual impacts and understand our greatest levers to minimise risks. The assessment allowed us to identify the ten highest deforestation-risk supply chains within our business.

Standards

Independent third-party certification schemes are key in allowing retailers to determine if sustainability requirements are implemented on the ground. This is especially important when local environmental protection legislation and/or law enforcement in sourcing countries are insufficient to guarantee the protection of forests and natural ecosystems.

Transparency

Mapping the supply chain of raw materials is necessary to ensure we have sufficient transparency to verify compliance with our requirements, analyse risks, and implement projects with a direct impact in and beyond our supply chains.  For some of the commodities that have the highest impact on deforestation, such as palm oil and soy, supply chains are especially complex, and a relatively small number of raw material traders have a much higher leverage than retailers or manufacturers. Regular assessments of raw material supply chains performed individually or collectively, will assist us in achieving transparency at trader level in the upcoming years.

Origin high priority

Collaboration

For complex supply chains, collaboration between stakeholders is essential for market transition and alignment between different actors in the supply chain.

We collaborate with:

High priorities

High priorities

Our CR Performance (2020)

Our Projects, Memberships & Working groups

Palm oil

Man watering plant
© Solidaridad
Project in Côte d'Ivoire
Palm oil smallholder project (2017-2021)

Between 2017-2021, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, supported a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for sustainable cultivation of palm in the area. In close cooperation with our partner Solidaridad, we developed a project that focused on improving smallholder farmers’ knowledge on Best Environmental Practices and on agriculture that respects High Conservation Values (HCV) and natural forests.

Solidaridad offered training through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) for 2,611 palm oil smallholder farmers and helped restore approximately 250 hectares of forest land in the project area. The team cultivated 17,532 tree seedlings in nurseries that were then distributed to individual farmers, planted in schools and borders of sacred forests, and used to help restore natural reserve areas.

Various partners and stakeholders were involved in the project, including the Inter-professional Association of Oil-Palm Industry (AIPH). This institution has fully endorsed the project’s outcomes and is now installing tree nurseries in other palm oil-growing regions. Additionally the cooperatives engaged are were COOPALEN, UCCOPES, COOPTOSA from the Sud Comoe region, UCOOPALM from the Grand Ponts region, USCOPAHLD from Loh Djiboua and U3SC from San Pedro.

Despite the many challenges facing the project, including COVID-19 restrictions, and political tensions, 90% of the community participants, including community leaders and the youth, reported positive outcomes of the project in the area and increased knowledge from the trainings. 

© Solidaridad
More: Solidaridad
Four Palm oil pulps and Palm Oil Transparency Coalition logo
Copyright: POTC
Since 2017
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.

More on 'Palm Oil Transparency Coalition'
Logo of Retailers' Palm Oil Group
Since 2012
Retailers' 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 'Retailers’ Palm Oil Group'
Logo of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Since 2011
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.

More on 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Smallholder Standing Committee'

Soy

Partnership
Since 2020
Cerrado Statement of Support (SoS) Group

In 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group signed the Statement of Support (SoS) for the Cerrado Manifesto.  We are working in the SoS Group together with other companies to engage local and international stakeholders to protect the native vegetation in the Cerrado, Brazil.

The Brazilian Cerrado is the world’s most biodiverse savannah and after the Amazon rainforest it is the second largest biome in South America. Protection is urgently necessary, as rates of deforestation and land conversion in the Cerrado are even higher than in the Amazon: The Cerrado region has already lost 50% of its original area mainly due to soy production and cattle ranching. 

More on 'Cerrado Statement of Support (SoS) Group'
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'
Donau Soja
Since 2021
Donau Soja

After founding member HOFER Austria, now the entire ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of Donau Soja. This is another step in our international approach to work with other ambitious stakeholders on industry-wide solutions for sustainable and deforestation-free soy production.

Donau Soja is a non-profit association with the aim of supporting the sustainable development of European agriculture and increasing European soy cultivation. This includes the cultivation of soy in line with EU agricultural regulations, additional sustainability criteria and the support of research and innovation activities in the field of European soy production. Donau Soja developed two certification schemes called Donau Soja (especially for the Danube region) and Europe Soya. Both standards ensure sustainably grown, regional and GM-free soy.

More: Donau Soja
Logo of Retail Soy Group
Since 2017
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.

More on 'Retail Soy Group'
Logo of RTRS
Since 2017
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.

More on 'Round Table on Responsible Soy'
Log of STC
Since 2020
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: Soy Transparency Coalition

Timber

ALDI SOUTH Sustainable Namibian Charcoal
ALDI SOUTH Germany & HOFER S/E
Sustainable charcoal in Namibia (2019-2020)

From 2019-2020 ALDI SOUTH Germany and HOFER S/E worked on 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 was to use these bushes to produce sustainable charcoal. Together with our partner FSC, we promoted the sustainable production of charcoal and worked 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: Sustainable Namibian Charcoal (German only)

Cocoa

RCC
Logo of RCC
Since 2019
Retailer Cocoa Collaboration (RCC)

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.

More information
Tony's Open Chain Logo
Since 2020
Mission Ally of Tony’s Open Chain

As the first discount retailer, ALDI has joined Tony’s Open Chain. Tony’s Open Chain is an initiative by Tony’s Chocolonely, where they invite other chocolate brands to join Tony’s Open Chain and work together to change the norm in chocolate. By adopting the 5 Sourcing Principles for our new chocolate bar, ALDI has joined the mission to make chocolate 100% slave-free.

More on 'Tony's Open Chain'
GISCO
Logo of GISCO
Since 2015
German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO)

ALDI has been an active member of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) since 2015 and works with other members to achieve the initiative’s objectives. This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers and their families, to contribute to a secure living, to conserve and protect natural resources and biodiversity in cocoa producing countries, as well as to increase cultivation and commercialisation of sustainably produced cocoa.

Working together

ALDI is actively engaged in the sustainability and PRO-PLANTEURS working groups, which focus on the implementation of GISCO’s goals and monitoring the PRO-PLANTEURS project.

More information
Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa
ALDI SUISSE
Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa

By establishing the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa in 2018, ALDI SUISSE became a member of the association for the promotion of sustainable cocoa (“Verein zur Förderung von nachhaltigem Kakao”). The members of the multi-stakeholder initiative with actors from the Swiss cocoa and chocolate industry, the public sector, civil society and research institutions actively work together to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers, to protect natural resources and to promote biodiversity in the cocoa-producing countries. They are committed to coordinate a dialogue with authorities and organizations in producer countries, and to promote the demand and procurement of cocoa-based products with sustainable origins.

More on 'Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa'

Coffee

Logo of Sustainable Coffee Challenge
Since 2020
Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC)

In 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC). In the SCC, we collaborate with other retailers, traders, governments, NGOs, and research institutions on improving living and working conditions in the global coffee sector.

More on 'Sustainable Coffee Challenge'

Bananas

WBF
Logo of WBF
Since 2017
World Banana Forum (WBF)

The World Banana Forum (WBF), coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, promotes the worldwide adoption of best practices for sustainable banana production and trade. They provide a space where retailers, importers, producers, exporters, consumer associations, governments, research institutions, trade unions, and civil society organizations can discuss the problems facing the banana sector and seek solutions. The ALDI SOUTH Group became a member in 2017.

More information

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