“Something special every day” is the philosophy behind the ALDI North shopping experience, which includes customers being able to do their shopping in our stores with a clear conscience. To live up to this aim, we are advocating greater sustainability in the discount sector. In 2015, we explained our approach in detail in our first Sustainability Report, which was immediately named the best first report when it received the international Corporate Responsibility Reporting Award. This award motivated us to continue down the path we had taken.
A great deal has happened since then. For our customers, the changes have above all been visible ones. In the largest project carried out by the ALDI North Group to date, we are updating our stores and continuously expanding our product range, primarily through the addition of fresh goods and a growing number of sustainably certified products. In the past three years alone, we have almost doubled our range of organic products across the Group. In Germany, ALDI North is already a market leader of organic products within its sales region. We are therefore doing our part to make more sustainable products affordable on a wide scale at the reliable ALDI price. The association TransFair has also recognised our efforts in the fair-trade sector by honouring us with the Fairtrade Award. We have begun to send another clear message by replacing disposable bags in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands as of late 2017 with durable, reusable carrier bags made largely out of recycled materials.
Our achievements do not end here. In 2017, we adopted new Group-wide purchasing policies that govern how we deal with wood, flowers, plants and tea as resources. We are expanding our commitment to animal welfare in many countries. In the process, we are working closely with industry initiatives, associations and organisations. We are constantly enhancing transparency and are improving labour standards in the non-food supply chain as well. For example, we also performed ALDI social assessments for the production sites of our suppliers in Asia. Another highlight during the reporting period has been the work on our new Climate Protection Policy with the aim of reducing our CO2 emissions across the Group.
Sustainability is at the heart of our system of corporate values. That is why we became the first discounter to join the United Nations (UN) Global Compact in the summer of 2017. With this step, we have enhanced our commitment to the ten principles of more sustainable business. At the same time, we continue to do our part towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specified in the 2030 Agenda.
We still plan to do much more moving forward, although we know that we will only be able to reach our goals in close cooperation with our stakeholders. I therefore invite you to see this Sustainability Report – the second one for the ALDI North Group – as a starting point for further dialogue.
I hope you enjoy reading it!
Managing Director Corporate Responsibility
ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG