Corporate governance

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[GRI 102-16] ALDI North is an internationally successful discounter. We provide broad groups of consumers in nine countries with high-quality products at consistently low prices. “Simplicity, responsibility and reliability” – these values guide our actions and have been codified in our “Simply ALDI” mission statement. The mission statement provides a clear sense of direction for more than 69,000 ALDI employees.

Our everyday decisions have implications across our entire value chain, which is why assuming corporate responsibility (CR) is part of our understanding of business. We assume such responsibility not least to ensure our competitiveness in the long term, as we strive to set standards in the food retail industry and continue expanding our market position.

Net sales of the ALDI North Group

Total net sales of the business year (in billion euros)

Stores and employees [GRI 102-7]

Total number of stores and number of employees (headcount) by gender and region on the reporting date 31 December

  2015 2016 2017
  Number of stores Number of employees of which female Number of stores Number of employees of which female Number of stores Number of employees of which female
Belgium/Luxembourg1 461 6,256 4,452 457 6,412 4,455 459 6,727 4,804
Denmark 220 2,037 1,051 222 2,184 1,128 188 2,277 1,099
Germany 2,339 31,429 22,521 2,298 35,215 25,405 2,249 35,836 25,511
France 899 7,420 4,533 891 8,243 5,204 888 9,218 5,592
Netherlands 498 6,291 3,893 491 6,300 3,857 494 8,654 5,099
Poland 105 1,160 1,002 118 1,466 1,254 124 1,906 1,706
Portugal 47 613 416 48 803 535 57 1.178 768
Spain 260 2,973 1,889 264 3,456 2,174 272 3,571 2,263
ALDI North Group 4,829 58,179 39,757 4,789 64,079 44,012 4,731 69,367 46,842

1 The information regarding the legally independent companies of the ALDI North Group in Belgium and in Luxembourg has been combined for the purposes of a simplified presentation (refer to “Subject of the report”).

Always in focus: our customers

[GRI 102-2, -6, -7, -9] For more than 100 years, our customers’ needs have been the focus of our business activities. Their expectations of us are rising – which is why we never stop evolving. Through our modernisation measure known as the ALDI Instore Concept (ANICo), we are giving our stores a brighter, friendlier design featuring new colours and a clear presentation of products to provide even better orientation. We are also expanding our range of food and non-food items. However, ALDI North is more than just the sum of its products. Our goal is to be the discounter that understands people best, making us the one they feel closest to in the process. We want to make it possible for them to have a high-quality, straightforward, simple and affordable shopping experience – every day.

The heart of our product range is provided by the ALDI North Group own brands, which make up 86 per cent of the offerings on average. Selected brand-name products complete the product range. We are providing our customers with an ever greater selection of healthier and more sustainable products. In Germany, for example, we are the leading retailer of organic food in the North sales region. In addition, we are offering a growing range of organic products in other countries where ALDI North operates as well.

On average, we carry some 1,600 products from 70 product groups at a store, which marks an increase of 10 per cent compared to 2016. The standard range is complemented by alternating promotional products, which we began offering three times a week starting in 2017. They include products such as textiles and footwear, electronics, household items, DIY and garden products. Online services, such as travel, photo, music or mobile communication services, as well as flower delivery, are also offered under the ALDI brand in various countries. Since 2017, they have included online games and e-books as well.

Products and own brands in the product range

Number of products and proportion of own-brand products in the standard product range (in per cent)1

  2015 2016 2017
  Number of products Proportion of own brands (in %) Number of products Proportion of own brands (in %) Number of products Proportion of own brands (in %)
Belgium/Luxembourg2 1,113 99.7 1,373 97.6 1,465 96.1
Denmark 1,394 87.7 1,651 81.0 1,826 75.5
Germany 1,183 94.8 1,461 94.0 1,432 91.1
France 1,210 94.6 1,450 95.1 1,452 90.9
Netherlands 1,238 97.7 1,437 94.2 1,737 93.5
Poland 1,339 88.6 1,700 86.8 2,101 73.6
Portugal 1,477 92.3 1,505 85.3 1,639 85.8
Spain 1,422 90.2 1,609 89.7 1,842 89.6
ALDI North Group 1,297 92.9 1,523 90.2 1,687 86.2

1 We set clear standards for our own brands with respect to our suppliers.
2 The information regarding the legally independent companies of the ALDI North Group in Belgium and in Luxembourg has been combined for the purposes of a simplified presentation (refer to “Subject of the report”).

Our Responsibility: our corporate responsibility strategy

[GRI 102-11, -16] Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy is an integral part of the entire ALDI North Group. It picks up on our corporate mission statement and presents our understanding of CR. It also specifies the fields of action where we put our corporate responsibility into practice. Within our CR Programme, we set clear goals for all fields of action and communicate our progress where they are concerned as part of the Sustainability Report, among other channels.

Our fields of action at a glance

Employee appreciation:
We want our employees to be proud of ALDI.

Supply chain responsibility:
We accept responsibility in our supply chain.

Resource conservation:
We act in an environmentally and climate friendly manner.

Social commitment:
We want to leverage our expertise and experience, and contribute to finding a solution for societal challenges above and beyond our core business.

Dialogue promotion:
We foster dialogue with our stakeholders transparently and openly.

Concrete and measurable: our CR Programme

Field of action: Employee appreciation
Objective Status Target date Target value Target relevance
Development of a training programme for enhancing managers’ skills new 2019 Concept Poland
Increase in employee communication new 2019 More channels of communication for ALDI employees, among other things
Germany

 Target achieved   Ongoing Process

Field of action: Supply chain responsibility
Objective Status Target date Target value Target relevance
All production facilities located in amfori BSCI risk countries, which manufacture non-food own-brand products for the ALDI North Group, have a valid and adequate social audit (Business Social Compliance Initiative –  amfori BSCI)   2019 100 % ALDI North Group
Integration of selected production facilities for non-food own-brand products into the qualification programme ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project for improving the working conditions by means of dialogue promotion between workers and managers in Bangladesh   Ongoing Continuation and expansion ALDI North Group
Establishment and management of a dedicated inspection process in Asia   2017 Establishment and management of a dedicated inspection process in Asia ALDI North Group
Provision of verification for a social evaluation (GRASP or comparable) of all producers (growers) of fruit and vegetables   2018 100 % ALDI North Group
Changeover of all flowers and plants for defined own-brand products to sustainably certified goods (e.g. GLOBALG.A.P. in combination with GRASP) new 2019 100 % ALDI North Group
Ban on specific groups of substances in the manufacture of own-brand products in the product groups clothing, home textiles and footwear (ALDI Detox Commitment)  
2020 100 % ALDI North Group
Preparation and publication of an International Cotton Purchasing Policy Target for Germany achieved 2017 Purchasing policy ALDI North Group
Use of sustainable cotton (e.g. GOTS, OCS 100/blended, Fairtrade, recycled cotton) for clothing and home textiles new Ongoing Expansion depending on availability in the respective quality category ALDI North Group
Use of sustainable cotton (e.g. in accordance with the GOTS, OCS, Fairtrade standard) new 2018 30 % Germany
Increase in the certified share of green coffee (UTZ, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and organic) for defined own-brand products new 2020 Expansion ALDI North Group
Changeover of black and green tea to sustainably certified raw goods (UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, organic) for defined own-brand products new 2018 80 % ALDI North Group
Changeover of herbal and fruit tea for defined own-brand products to sustainably certified raw goods (Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ, UEBT/UTZ, organic) new 2018 30 % ALDI North Group
Changeover of herbal and fruit tea for defined own-brand products to sustainably certified raw goods (Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ, UEBT/UTZ, organic) new 2020 40 % ALDI North Group
Changeover to certified resources (UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade) for own-brand products with a substantial proportion of cocoa in the standard and promotional product range within the defined scope of application   2017 100 % ALDI North Group
Changeover to physically RSPO-certified palm oil for all own-brand products containing palm oil (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – RSPO)  
2018 100 % ALDI North Group
Preparation and publication of an International Timber Purchasing Policy  
2017 Purchasing policy ALDI North Group
Changeover of wood and wood-based products to sustainably certified materials (FSC®, PEFC™, EU Ecolabel or comparable standards) new 2020 100 % ALDI North Group
Changeover of all newly purchased sales packaging, repackaging and transport packaging for products to recycled and/or sustainably certified materials (FSC®, PEFC™, EU Ecolabel or comparable standards), depending on availability new 2020 100 % ALDI North Group
Expansion of the range of vegetarian and vegan products, including certification (e.g. V-Label) new Ongoing Expansion ALDI North Group
Expansion of test/certification systems and own standards that go above and beyond the statutory requirements and include animal welfare aspects new Ongoing Expansion ALDI North Group
Increase in the number of meat products and products containing meat with the ALDI Transparency Code (ATC) new Ongoing Expansion ALDI North Group
Increase in the share of certified sustainable fish products and products containing fish (MSC, ASC, GLOBALG.A.P. and EU organic) new 2018 50 % ALDI North Group
Expansion of efforts to reduce the salt and sugar content in additional own-brand products new Ongoing Expansion ALDI North Group
Labelling of all fruit and vegetable products grown in the Netherlands with the PlanetProof environmental quality label new 2019 100 % Netherlands
Introduction of BEE FRIENDLY-certified products new 2019 Preparation and development France

 Target achieved   Ongoing process

Field of action: Resource conservation
Objective Status Target date Target value Target relevance
40 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2021 compared to the reference year 2015 new 2021 -40 % compared to 2015 ALDI North Group
Introduction of LED lighting in all new stores (interior and outdoor lighting), and review of conversion of existing stores in the portfolio and distribution centres to LED lighting   2019 (and ongoing) 100 % ALDI North Group
Increasing the share of stores equipped with photovoltaic systems   Ongoing Continuation and expansion ALDI North Group
Development of a concept for recording, analysing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions   2017 Concept ALDI North Group
Development of a concept for the introduction of an energy monitoring and management system Target for Germany achieved 2017 Concept ALDI North Group
Increasing the own-use rate for the energy generated in-house by photovoltaic systems at stores through combination with concepts for combined 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 reduce emissions through optimised leakage rates and/or more environmentally benign refrigerants   Ongoing 100 % Germany
Introduction of a nationwide, digitised monitoring system for cooling systems in order to reduce emissions through optimised leakage rates and/or more environmentally benign refrigerants new 2017 100 % Netherlands
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 the plastic bag new 2018 100 % Germany, Netherlands, Belgium
Establishment of a BREEAM-certified central warehouse (BREEAM – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment) new 2019 Establishment Belgium
Nationwide ISO 50001 certification new 2018 100 % Netherlands

 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 Germany
Introduction of a guideline for dealing with food that is no longer saleable in the stores Still in development 2017 Preparation and introduction ALDI North Group
Continuation and expansion of efforts to foster health awareness among customers and employees new Ongoing Continuation and expansion Netherlands
Expansion of dialogue with major stakeholder groups   Ongoing Participation in sector initiatives ALDI North Group

 Target achieved   Ongoing process

Further country-specific objectives are available on the pages of the nine European countries in which the ALDI North Group is represented.

Clear commitment: our contribution to global sustainability goals

We support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs) and do our part to achieving them. Our activities are centred on ensuring that our range of own-brand products is sustainable throughout the value chain and on promoting responsible consumption. This allows us to help achieve the following SDGs and the respective sub-goals: responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), climate action (SGD 13), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) and life on land (SDG 15).

By joining the United Nations Global Compact in 2017, we underlined once more that sustainability is at the heart of our system of corporate values.