Stakeholders & networks
We embrace our responsibility and continue to evolve – whether it concerns the sustainability of our supply chain or our commitment to society. The dialogue with our stakeholders provides us with valuable insights in this respect. Our aim is to continuously expand this dialogue, which is why the item listed as “Dialogue promotion” has been specified as its own field of action in our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy. In its Agenda 2030, the United Nations (UN) has also emphasised how important close cooperation among various actors is to achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. As part of initiatives and alliances, we are working together with our partners to tackle the main challenges with regard to sustainability.
Our stakeholders and their topics
[GRI 102-40, -42, -43, -44] As part of our materiality process, we regularly review which stakeholder groups are especially relevant to us. The most important stakeholders include customers, employees, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), initiatives and associations, suppliers and business partners, and members of works councils and unions. We are engaged in open and direct dialogue of growing depth with them, from which we learn a great deal. We also maintain contact with other groups, such as residents who live around our locations, in addition to members of the media and politicians.
- Since 2017, we have been appealing to our customers in new ways. We are updating our stores as part of the largest renovation project to date in the Group’s history and using extensive advertising campaigns to make tangible for customers what the ALDI brand has represented for decades. These measures are the direct result of customer feedback and our market research. Through campaigns such as “Buy responsibly” in the Netherlands, communication activities focused on sustainability are featuring more strongly in stores.
- Communication with Group employees continues to evolve as well. In addition to the traditional bulletin, we also provide information through a quarterly employee magazine, a monthly newsletter (Portugal) and social media (Spain). Independent CR newsletters are issued in five ALDI North Group countries. An employee survey conducted in all countries has provided us with important insights into where we, as the respective employer, still have room for improvement. We are using this information to design related measures and then gradually implement them.
- We are engaged in dialogue in all ALDI North countries with NGOs and other organisations either personally or through sector and multi-stakeholder initiatives. In Spain, for example, discussions with NGOs, customers and the media about palm oil led to an adjustment of the Gut Bio products there. In the Netherlands, talks centre primarily on healthy nutrition.
- Buyers, CR officers and quality assurance specialists are in constant contact with our suppliers. In order to make our products even more sustainable, we carry out joint projects relating to issues such as animal welfare. The evaluation of our suppliers is moving more and more into the focus of our sustainability efforts.
- To prepare this report, we specifically engaged in dialogue with our customers (by way of a customer panel survey), ALDI employees (through an online survey), suppliers, experts and the works councils of two German regional companies.
Partnerships, networks & charters
[GRI 102-12, -13] ALDI North engages in dialogue both nationally and internationally with various organisations, initiatives and alliances. Our efforts differ in each case depending on the issue and range from mere membership to playing an active management role. Below is a list of the initiatives that we are involved in and the related obligations.
- United Nations Global Compact (UN GC): Commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
- amfori Business Environmental Performance Initiative (amfori BEPI)
- European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP)
- Juice CSR Platform
- World Banana Forum
- Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability
- Support for the Greenpeace Detox campaign: adoption of the Detox Commitment
- Leather Working Group (LWG)
- Fur Free Retailer Program: Pelzfrei-Erklärung
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
- The Supply Chain Initiative since 2014
- Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, since 2013, and follow-up accord
- Global Coffee Platform (GCP, formerly: 4C), since 2009
- amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI),since 2008; amfori BSCI Code of Conduct
- amfori (formerly: Foreign Trade Association [FTA]), since 2008
- Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (Dansk Initiativ for Etisk Handel – DIEH)
- The Danish Chamber of Commerce (environment and resource network)
- Eiweißforum Deutschland (Forum on Sustainable Protein Feed): position paper on the use and promotion of sustainable protein feed
- Runder Tisch Fisch & Sozialstandards (Roundtable on Fish and Social Standards) of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- EU project: REFRESH
- Stichting Beter Leven keurmerk (Foundation for Better Living Labelling, Netherlands)
- Animal Welfare Initiative: financing of the initiative and thereby animal welfare measures
- Association for Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry (Verein für kontrollierte alternative Tierhaltungsformen – KAT)
- Verband der Fleischwirtschaft (VDF) (German Meat Association): Code of Conduct
- German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa
- Partnership for Sustainable Textiles: commitment to the partnership’s goals
- Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management (B.A.U.M.) (German Environmental Management Association): B.A.U.M. Code of Conduct
- QS advisory board for fruit and vegetables; poultry
- German Working Group of International Featured Standards (IFS)
- Nanomaterials working group of Lebensmittelchemische Gesellschaft (LChG) (Food Chemical Society), specialist group of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) (German Chemical Society)
- Comeos (Association for Trade and Services in Belgium)
- Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD) (French Association for Commerce and Distribution)
- Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel (CBL) (Dutch Food Retail Association): sectoral agreements on the use of green electricity, among other things
- Bundesverband des Deutschen Lebensmittelhandels (BVLH) (Federal Association of the German Grocery Retail Trade)
- Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) (German Retail Federation)
- Associação Portuguesa de Empresas de Distribuição (APED) (Portuguese Retail Association)