More sustainability in the land of discounters – ALDI North Germany

It all started in 1913 with a small food store in Essen-Schonnebeck. Today, customers can turn to 2,249 ALDI North stores in the ALDI North sales region – from Sylt to Zwickau. The land of the energy transition, Germany is a country whose people are also interested in a variety of other sustainability issues.


One of our focal points in Germany is improving animal welfare throughout our entire product range – an issue that is increasingly important to our customers. Our efforts go beyond food to include leather and cosmetics. The Corporate Responsibility (CR) department at ALDI Buying in Essen handles the various sustainability issues and coordinates the activities of international supply chains. Its responsibilities also include initiatives such as the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project in Bangladesh, through which we aim to improve working conditions at factories in the region. The CR department also developed the Group-wide climate strategy in close consultation with the other ALDI companies in the countries. Since the end of 2017, we have also been gradually doing away with disposable bags at our German stores and instead offering reusable carrier bags. A separate dedicated foundation, ALDI Nord Stiftungs GmbH, has been set up to manage our social commitment.

Our highlights

Our customers shopped with us 705 million times in 2017. Together with them, we can make a difference.

In 2018 alone, we plan to add over 60 additional organic items from various product groups to our standard and special-buy product ranges. In 2017, that figure was 44. With a market share of around 14 per cent for organic products, we are the leading food retailer in this segment in the North sales region, according to recent data from the market research company GfK.

ALDI North Germany in profile

Regional companies
Stores 2,249
Total ALDI employees
Year of market entry
Our national targets from the CR Programme (2017)

For an updated overview, see: CR Programme 2018.

Field of action: supply chain responsibility

Objective Status Target date
Target value Target relevance
Use of sustainable cotton (e.g. in accordance with the GOTS, OCS, Fairtrade standard) New 2018 30 % Germany
Changeover to certified green coffee (UTZ, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and organic) for defined own-brand products New 2020 50 % Germany
Expansion of availability of fresh poultry products from the animal welfare own brand Fair & Gut New 2020 Expansion Germany
Introduction of the ALDI Transparency Code (ATC) for own-brand products in at least one product group and increase in the number of fish products and products containing fish with the ATC New 2019 At least one additional product group and expansion of the number of items Germany

 Target achieved   Ongoing Process

Field of action: resource conservation

Objective Status Target date Target value Target relevance
Increasing the own-use rate for the energy generated in-house by photovoltaic systems at stores through combination with concepts for integrated cooling and heating systems, and demand-led alignment of the photovoltaic systems   Ongoing Continuation and expansion Germany
Investigation of alternative drive concepts for use in logistics processes   2017 Investigation Germany
Introduction of a nationwide, digitised monitoring system for cooling systems in order to achieve emission reductions through optimised leakage rates and/or more environmentally benign refrigerants   Ongoing 100 % Germany
Gradual changeover of all plug-in chillers and freezers to the refrigerant propane (R290) with very low Global Warming Potential (GWP)   Ongoing 100 % Germany
Discontinuation of plastic bags New 2018 100 % Germany

 Target achieved   Ongoing Process

Field of action: social commitment & dialogue promotion

Objective Status Target date Target value Target relevance
Development of pilot projects for sustainable consumption   2018 Project Deutschland
Development of additional projects based on the funding objectives of ALDI Nord Stiftungs GmbH New Ongoing



 Target achieved   Ongoing process

Our projects and topics

Employee appreciation
einfach wir – the magazine for ALDI employees
Animal welfare
Step by step towards greater animal welfare
Corporate governance
Key topic
Diversity and work-life balance
Genetic engineering – our stance on a controversial issue
Commitment to animal welfare: good ranking in an industry comparison
The future is green: plans for the new ALDI North campus