Discount Retail Chain ALDI SÜD Gruppe wants to 'Make sustainability affordable to our customers': this ambitious vision is at the heart of its new global Corporate Responsibility Strategy. Following its discount principle and collaborating closely with its supply chain partners, the #ALDI SÜD Gruppe aims at contributing to the democratization of sustainable products, while tackling global challenges in terms of respecting human rights, improving resource efficiency, realising zero carbon emissions and being an employer of choice.
The new ALDI SÜD Gruppe Corporate Responsibility (CR) Strategy applies a targeted approach to the global sustainability core issues which are most pressing and where the discounter can have the most positive impact on people and the planet. It consists of four international focus areas, respecting human rights, improving resource efficiency, realising zero carbon, and being the employer of choice. In detail, it contains eleven long-term objectives including increasing supply chain transparency, expanding measures to respect human rights, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within our own operations as well as those of our business partners in the supply chain. The new strategy will also see ALDI increasing the number of products with sustainability certification, placing an emphasis on sustainable product design, promoting responsible water management and deforestation-free supply chains, reducing packaging and food waste and recycling waste material, and providing a great place to work. Most of the objectives were identified through detailed environmental and human rights assessments in our supply chains.
The global CR strategy is complemented by additional national focus areas, which concentrate on giving all customers access to healthy products and supporting local communities through charity partnerships. All these activities together contribute to the overall vision of making sustainability affordable to every customer and applies to the eleven countries of the ALDI SÜD Gruppe.
“Our ambitious goals require close cooperation with both our business partners and the retail industry. Together we can overcome global challenges and ensure that ALDI can contribute to the democratization of sustainable products, make them affordable, and bring them into any household and onto everybody’s plate.”
#AnkeEhlers, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility International at the ALDI SÜD Gruppe
Building a new strategy on strong foundations A responsible approach to the environment and natural resources as well as the adherence to social standards and human rights have been an integral part of the ALDI SÜD Gruppe business activities for over a decade. For the implementation of its new ten-year strategy, ALDI will further build upon its experience in sustainability partnerships, responsible purchasing and efficient operations, as the following examples show:
Our two Corporate Responsibility offices in Asia (Hong Kong and Bangladesh) enable close cooperation with our suppliers to ensure compliance with our high social standards in Asian sourcing countries.
Our ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project places factory workers and managers at the centre of its activities to find sustainable solution for improving workplaces. To date, approximately 85,000 workers and their managers in 40 participating factories have experienced positive change.
Our ALDI Detox engagement has reduced the negative impacts of chemical-based production processes in the textile and footwear industry on workers, local communities and the environment. Eleven groups of hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing processes were phased out or replaced with safer alternatives.
Our ‘Science Based Targets’ for climate protection published in July 2020 aim to reduce our overall operational emissions by 26% by the end of 2025. Our business partners are encouraged to also work towards setting science-based emissions targets.
Our strong belief is that the best way to protect the people and the planet is through joint initiatives and partnerships. For this reason, we engage in more than 30+ multi-stakeholder-initiatives, 15+ working groups with other industry stakeholders and we have initiated more than 10+ projects in the origin countries of our products. Examples include Fairtrade projects to improve working conditions for cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, coffee farmers in Honduras, or cotton suppliers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and other projects to strengthen labour standards such as in the Vietnamese cashew nut supply chain.
Our ALDI Academy supports the development of colleagues and the Global Employee Engagement Surveys gather views and feedback, so that we can provide a healthy, safe, and diverse working environment.