UN Global Compact Communication on Progress (COP) 2018

HUMAN RIGHTS

Principle No. 1: Supporting human rights

Principle No. 2: Exclusion of human rights abuses

Human rights policy statement

As an international retail company with very complex supply chains, we regard ourselves responsible to respect human rights and prevent any violation of human rights. We therefore published a Human Rights Policy Statement in 2018, committing ourselves to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, we view the following frameworks as relevant standards and guidelines: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the core labour standards of the ILO (International Labour Organization) as well as the guidelines for multinational enterprises of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The values and standards defined therein are also reflected by our own standards and basic rules. This also includes our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy which has been a binding standard for years as well as the „Additional Agreement on Social Standards: Commitment to humane and fair working conditions in our supply chains”, providing an obligatory scope of action for our business partners and the ALDI employees.

Human rights due diligence in our supply chains

We are aware that the production of goods throughout complex supply chains involves risks. Therefore, we analyse human rights risks on a constant basis and take measures to reduce the negative impacts within our supply chains. This is done, among other thing through continuous hotspot analysis, monitoring, research and dialogue with stakeholders.

Within non-food, we inform ourselves regularly on the working conditions in our suppliers’ production facilities located in risk countries. We do so by applying comprehensive social audits and certifications carried out by external service providers as well as by our own audits in the production facilities (ALDI Social Assessments – ASAs). We exchange experiences with local stakeholders and potentially affected parties for a better identification of human rights violations and early prevention.

In 2018, we started a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the social and environmental human rights risks along our food supply chains. In this process, the following resources and commodity groups were regarded as particularly relevant: coffee, cocoa, nuts and tropical fruit, dressings, oils, sauces, condiments, fish, and seafood as well as canned fruit, vegetables, and deep-frozen food. Further information on the results of our risk analysis can be found on our websites. We will particularly focus on the determined risk resources in the relevant countries of origin in the future and implement targeted measures in the scope of international strategies for a responsible sourcing.

Various steps have already been taken to reduce human rights risks in our food and non-food supply chains. These include, among others, the qualification of production facilities for apparel textiles in the high-risk country Bangladesh in the scope of the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project and the integration of established auditing and certification standards into the buying process. Furthermore, we have defined certain targets and measures for various resources and commodity groups in our purchasing policies. At the same time, we are increasing the number of social audits for food items. These are carried out on our own behalf as well as in co-operation with external companies.

We are aware that many systemic challenges can only be handled in co-operation with other partners. We therefore participate in numerous multi-stakeholder initiatives and are working in newly founded projects with various partners. In 2018 we launched a project at the Ivory Coast to provide training for around 3,200 small palm oil farmers. On the site, the project was overlooked by the NGO Solidaridad International, promoting more sustainable supply chains. The small farmers completed an extensive training programme, upon which they were certified according to the criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Continuous improvement and transparency

Implementing the due diligence relating to human rights is a continuous development process. Therefore, we are constantly analysing our CR strategies, processes and tools. Our progress, the measures taken and targets are disclosed transparently in the scope of our sustainability reporting on www.cr-aldinord.com as well as on our websites.

LABOUR RIGHTS

Principle No. 3: Safeguarding freedom of association

Principle No. 4: Abolition of all forms of forced labour

Principle No. 5: Abolition child labour

Principle No. 6: Avoidance of discriminations

Responsibility for our supply chains

Supply chain responsibility is a key field of action of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy. With regards to working conditions, we subject our suppliers and the production facilities they place orders with to clearly defined requirements. In this respect, some aspects are of particular importance for us as a food retailer as these to a greater extent can be influenced by our actions. For instance, these include, the issues of safety and health, freedom of assembly, wages and working hours as well as the fight against discrimination, child and forced labour.

Audit rate for production facilities of non-food commodity groups in risk countries (in per cent)

In the Non-Food Supply Chains, we have committed ourselves and our suppliers to comply with the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is based on numerous international agreements including the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UN). It contains eleven central employee rights, including the right to safety in the workplace and proper pay. It also excludes discrimination, child labour and forced labour. All production facilities that are commissioned by our suppliers must present a valid amfori BSCI audit with a sufficient result, a SA8000 certification or a comparable valid social audit with a sufficient result. In 2018, the audit rate for production facilities of non-food commodity groups in risk countries was 100 per cent.

Number of ALDI Social Assessments (ASAs)

  2017 2018
Number of countries in which ASAs were carried out 8 6

Number of ASAs effected,
    of which in China

199
135

327
240

Proportion of non-food production facilities in risk countries in which social risks were detected, relating to the total number of ASAs effected

12.6% 24.5%

As part of the ALDI Social Assessments (ASAs), we visit the production facilities that work on our behalf together with our suppliers. An ASA covers talks with the management, an accounting audit and an inspection of the production facility to audit working and social standards, as well as talks with employees. In the event of deficiencies, we work with suppliers and production facilities to draw up action plans, aimed at achieving lasting improvements as quickly as possible and monitor their implementation. In the year under review, we performed 327 ASAs in six countries, most of them in China (73 per cent). There were deficiencies at roughly 24.5 per cent of the production facilities in 2018 within areas such as occupational health and safety. Such deficiencies are often the result of structural challenges in the production countries. We also work to address these kind of findings through overarching initiatives such as the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

We continued to advance the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project in the period under review. The central focus is on dealing with issues such as health protection and safety in the workplace, fire protection, pay, working hours and discrimination. Currently, 38 production facilities take part in the programme, covering around 53 per cent of the purchasing volume for apparel textiles (2015: 35 per cent) from Bangladesh. More than 85,000 workers benefit from this programme. As part of another project – AFA Project PLUS – the ALDI North Group worked with an NGO from Bangladesh to achieve improvements at in-house crèches at nine factories by the middle of 2017. Seven other production facilities completed the AFA Project PLUS in 2018.

We also tackle the multifaceted challenges in the textile industry in co-operation with other business enterprises, governments, NGOs and unions. Through our work in sector and multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles or the international amfori organization, we are making a contribution to developing standards and achieving structural improvements.

Also, for our food products, we assume joint responsibility throughout the value chain in order to achieve a more sustainable cultivation of resources. Therefore, resource-specific purchasing policies and internal buying guidelines have been defined. At the same time, we are closely co-operating with our suppliers and take part in industrial and cross-stakeholder initiatives as well.

All producers of fruit and vegetables sold by the ALDI North Group must provide verification of a valid GLOBALG.A.P. certification and a social evaluation in accordance with the additional GLOBALG.A.P. module GRASP (GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice) or a comparable social evaluation. By the end of 2018, the proportion of evaluated producers of all ALDI companies was nearly 100 per cent.

Our commitment to improved working conditions also covers the countries of origin of the resources. One example is cocoa. In 2018, we inspected the conditions of the local producers in the cocoa cultivation areas of the Ivory Coast. Furthermore, we have been a partner of the Fairtrade cocoa program since 2018. This allows us to purchase certified cocoa from the Fairtrade Cocoa Program for various own-brand products. In contrast to the traditional Fairtrade mark, the cocoa program focuses on fair resource purchasing rather than the composition and certification of individual products. Moreover, ALDI Belgium joined the initiative Beyond Chocolate at the end of 2018. This initiative aims at making chocolate more sustainable, with the specific targets to eliminate child labour, stop deforestation and enable the local cocoa producers to gain a living wage. We are also active in other projects in the countries of origin of our coffee and cotton products. More information can be found in the chapter on climate protection.

Employee appreciation at ALDI North

Whether in sales, buying, administration, logistics or IT, the roughly 74,000 ALDI employees make a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the ALDI North Group. All of them can be proud to work for ALDI. In exchange, they receive secure working conditions, attractive framework conditions and long-term career development prospects. Open and respectful dealings in an approach based on partnership are very important to us. Our focus is on appreciating each and every one of our employees and promoting their sense of connection with ALDI North.

Responsibility for human resource topics is organized by a decentralized management in all companies of the ALDI North Group. The common basis for the work of the human resource departments are the Mission Statement, the Human Resources (HR) concept as well as the leadership principles “Real Traders”.

The freedom of assembly is comprehensively safeguarded at the locations of the group. Since the 1970s, an elected employee representative organization has been in place at ALDI North Germany. Each of the 32 German regional ALDI companies was represented by their own works council in 2018. They also exist in Belgium and the Netherlands. In other countries, the dialogue is effected directly with the relevant trade unions.

People from 120 nations work in the nine European countries in which the ALDI companies are represented. This diversity is a part of the ALDI North Group. It enriches our working relationships and reflects the diversity of our customers. We reject any form of discrimination. In all countries, all employees have the same opportunities irrespective of gender, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, origin or physical disability. These values are also stipulated in our CR Policy. To create an even playing field for all, we provide support for our employees and help them get the work-life balance right between career, leisure time and family. In 2018, the proportion of women in the total workforce amounted to roughly 67 per cent. The proportion of female employees in management position was 28 per cent, and nearly half of our stores are managed by women. We see this as confirmation of our philosophy of placing a clear focus on individual performance when filling management positions. Naturally, the ALDI employees receive fair and performance-linked wages – irrespective of their gender.

Women in management positions

Proportion of female employees in management positions on the reference date 31 December (in per cent)

  2016 2017 2018
Belgium/Luxembourg1 27.3 29.5 31.3
Denmark 20.0 21.3 27.0
Germany 26.7 27.8 28.4
France 21.4 23.1 21.7
Netherlands 16.3 17.9 17.7
Poland 40.3 36.7 33.7
Portugal 45.2 48.0 50.0
Spain 32.8 34.0 36.3
ALDI North Group 25.8 27.3 28,0

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 toAbout the update“).

We have been pursuing clear modernization strategies by renovating our stores and restructuring our product ranges in all countries, which also entails changes for the employees of ALDI North. The human resource work is adapted accordingly. In this respect, we particularly focused on the development of management and junior staff in 2018. The contents were selected in consideration of the results of our staff interviews in all countries conducted in 2017 and particularly cover the topics of management, time and self-management, communication as well as appreciation and fairness. At ALDI Netherlands 80 per cent of the store managers and 100 per cent of the upper management were trained in 2018. In Germany, 100 per cent of the upper management and operative managers took part in a training as well, e.g. in the scope of leadership conferences. Advanced training for executive personnel was also provided in Belgium, France, Denmark, Poland, Portugal and Spain in 2018. Here, the contents comprised further subjects such as employee development, data protection, compliance and recruiting, depending on the national requirements.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Principle No. 7: Preventive environmental protection

Principle No. 8: Initiatives for greater accountability awareness for the environment

Principle No. 9: Development and dissemination of environmentally friendly technologies

Climate protection in buildings

We are committed to reducing the impact our business operations have on the climate. Back in 2015, we specified in our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy that we aim to act in a climate friendly manner. We have set an ambitious climate target for ourselves in our Climate Protection Policy. We plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions throughout the group by 40 per cent by 2021 compared to our 2015 levels. We apply a clear roadmap to achieve this goal. With innovative technologies, we are improving the energy efficiency of our stores and logistics centres. At the same time, we are streamlining our logistics processes as well as the refrigeration systems. Another key element of our climate strategies is to generate more electricity from renewable energies. Furthermore, climate protection is becoming an integrated part of our business processes. For this purpose, an internal price per ton of CO2 was fixed in Germany in the course of 2018. This price shall be applied to all future investment decisions relating to emissions.

We achieved further progress with the implementation of our climate protection measures in the period under review. ALDI Netherlands, for instance, introduced energy management systems according to the ISO 50001 standard in 2018, allowing for a better evaluation and control of the energy consumption. In Germany and Spain, extensive systems of energy data management have been in place since 2017.

Between 2015 and 2018 we reduced emissions resulting from refrigerant losses by six per cent to around 93,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. This was achieved partly by the rollout of digital monitoring systems which have been in use nationwide at our locations in Germany and Spain. ALDI France, too, has been applying a digital monitoring system in all new stores using CO2 as refrigerant since 2018. ALDI Spain is currently testing various building automation systems which can also register refrigerant losses. Whether these will actually be used in the future is to be decided upon completion of the test phase.

Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1 and 2

Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1 and 2 (in tonnes of CO2 equivalents)

The greenhouse gas emissions were calculated on the basis of energy and fuel consumptions as well as refrigerant losses. The calculation complies with the standards of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol using the DEFRA emission factors (DEFRA – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as well as the GEMIS (Global Emission Model of Integrated Systems) for emissions from district heating. In accordance with the GHG Protocol, Scope 2 emissions from electricity consumption have been calculated separately by location-based and market-based emission factors. While the location-based method is based on factors relating to a certain geographic region (such as a country), the market-based factors consider the company’s individual energy mix established on the basis of the actually generated emissions of the electricity provider, when possible. Calculation of the location-based greenhouse gas emissions is based on the factors specified by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

  2016 2017 2018
  Scope 11 Scope 22
“location-based”
Scope 22
“market-based”
Scope 11 Scope 22
“location-based”
Scope 22
“market-based”
Scope 11 Scope 22
“location-based”
Scope 22
“market-based”
Belgium/Luxembourg3 40,328 18,656 13,246
38,639 23,205 15,102 38,325 16,328 22,312
Denmark 10,466 11,372 10,914
14,942 8,147 10,852 9,300 8,824 18,354
Germany 110,178 211,664 38,301
108,069 204,936 223,790 114,111 210,007 195,823
France 75,277 6,863 6,276
67,101 8,423 6,760 69,181 10,267 9,760
Netherlands 29,802 38,393 143 28,147 41,228 124 25,884 41,910 126
Poland 5,501 14,688 15,185
6,931 17,245 18,303 8,727 19,343 18,558
Portugal 2,817 3,793 4,334 5,728 6,177 5,477 3,455 5,709 5,711
Spain 12,267 20,096 26,774
10,980 26,210 30,269 8,379 26,340 169
ALDI North Group 286,636 325,525 115,173
280,537 335,571 310,679 277,362 338,728 270,813

1 Scope 1: Emissions from direct energy consumption of buildings, fuel consumption in logistics and refrigerant losses.
2 Scope 2: Emissions from energy and district heating consumption, including a breakdown by location-based and market-based emissions.
3 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 “About the update“).

ALDI Belgium launched a new logistics centre in Turnhout, meeting the state-of-the-art standards for sustainable buildings. The logistics centre was certified according to the international BREEAM system (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) and is therefore the most sustainable industrial building in Belgium to date. Apart from the latest LED lighting technology controlled by motion sensors, energy-efficient refrigeration technologies as well as a modern underfloor heating have been applied.

The roofs of many stores and distribution centres are equipped with photovoltaic systems. In 2018, the installed capacity of our systems was nearly 46,000 kWp (kilowatt peak) and produced more than 36,400 MWh of electricity. We avoided approximately 10,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions as a result – an increase of about 55 per cent compared to 2017. By 2021, we intend to install an additional nominal capacity of more than 50,000 kWp through more systems. In France alone, 120 systems are planned. ALDI Belgium has added four photovoltaic systems in 2018, so that 44 systems are now installed on the premises in total. Another 30 are already scheduled for installation. At the end of 2018, ALDI Portugal also had 21 solar systems in place and plan to install around 5,000 kWp of additional capacity by 2021.

We currently use approximately 73 per cent of the generated electricity ourselves; the remainder is fed into the power grid. We want to increase the amount of energy for our own use, which is why we test the use of storage technology that would enable us to use the generated electricity at a later time. ALDI North Germany has already equipped five pilot stores with the innovative ice storage system ESyCool green. In the summer, we use the energy to cool our refrigerated shelves and in winter to heat our stores.

In order to meet our climate targets, we are currently planning to acquire more green electricity by 2021. ALDI Netherlands began fully sourcing its electricity from green sources back in 2015. In 2018 – just like in the year before – the electricity came entirely from wind power produced in Europe. As a result, we saved more than 40,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2018. We are currently developing strict criteria for the purchasing of green electricity.

Co-operation for climate education at schools

In Germany, we have joined a new co-operation with the climate protection organisation “atmosfair”, aiming at raising the awareness of children and young people for the issue of climate protection. atmosfair offers lessons at schools to answer various questions with relevance for our daily lives, such as; What is the carbon footprint left by food on their way from production to the shelf? What amount of CO2 do I generate when I travel by air? The teaching units involve a playful approach to these and other questions around the topic of climate and environment. atmosfair developed these modules in co-operation with Deutsche Umwelt-Aktion for fourth-grade students. At secondary schools, the initiative “Germanwatch Klimaexpedition“ offers the students a deeper insight on the global interrelations of our climate and climate change. ALDI North Germany supports this project with a total amount of 250,000 €. Nationwide, an estimated number of 34,000 girls and boys are to take part.

ALDI Netherlands, too, is implementing a school project on climate education. For more information, please refer to the section “Raising awareness“.

Coffee: local environmental protection

We want to promote the responsible cultivation of coffee in the countries of origin. Since 2016, our International Coffee Purchasing Policy has stipulated a continuous increase in the certified share of green coffee in our own-brand products. At the end of 2018 43.8 per cent of all the green coffee used in own-brand products throughout the entire ALDI North Group featured the UTZ, EU organic, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM label (2015: 13 per cent).

Since March 2017, we have been working with the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung to promote more sustainable coffee production in Colombia. A total of 800 small farmers receive active support over a period of two years through training and workshops on sustainable cultivation methods, improved coffee processing methods, professional farm management and business planning. The project was completed in the beginning of 2019, with 800 smallholder farmers being supported in total. In April 2019, coffee from the project was offered as a special item at ALDI North Germany for the first time.

Textiles: production process and projects in the countries of origin

With our greenline products, we are promoting the use of resource-conserving technologies in the production process of textiles. One of those technologies is the so-called Dope-Dyed method. When dyeing the polyester fibres, the pigments are not brought up to the surface of the fibre as before, but are sprayed into the fibres during the spinning process. This saves up to 95 per cent of CO2, up to 85 per cent of water and up to 75 per cent of energy. Furthermore, less chemicals is used. We are converting our textile range to the Dope-Dyed method wherever this is possible and economically reasonable. Furthermore, in co-operation with our suppliers, we are constantly evaluating further environmentally-friendly technologies within the supply chains.

In Germany, we published a National Cotton Purchasing Policy in 2017 which already covers the majority of all items sold in the countries of the ALDI North Group due to joint international buying practices of some articles for several countries. The purchasing policy sets a target of raising the proportion of certified sustainable cotton to 30 per cent by 2018. With a rate of 33 per cent, we even exceeded this target at the end of 2018. We currently rely on the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Organic Content Standard (OCS), Fairtrade and organic as well as recycled cotton. Moreover, we entered a partnership with the Initiative Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) in 2018 and promote their activities in the countries of origin.

Since 2018, we have been supporting a project in Central Asia in order to allow small farmers the access to GMO-free cotton seeds. The project is carried out in co-operation with Fairtrade Germany and the German organization Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The aim is not only to increase the production volume of GMO-free cotton, but also to support small farmers by various trainings and thus improve the quality of GMO-free cotton. This would also allow for higher incomes to be achieved by the farmers. The projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan will go on until April 2020. Furthermore, we have already been sourcing our high quality bed linen made of regional Fairtrade cotton for several years and will offer this product once again in 2019.

We took part in the sector comparison “Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report“ on textile fibres for the third time in 2018. The ranking was carried out by the NGO Textile Exchange. Among the biggest traders of organic cotton, we ranked eighth. Furthermore, we were among the three members having achieved the greatest progress with the use of sustainable fibres since the benchmark was launched in 2016.

We also published a Progress Report on the Detox Commitment in 2018. This voluntary commitment is designed to emphasize our constant support of the Greenpeace Detox campaign.

Our new Water Protection Policy

As an international retailer, we are aware of the fact that many products on our shelves implicate water risks for the countries of production. This particularly applies to agricultural products where the production accounts for roughly 70 per cent of the global water use. Another risk area that we have identified is the refining process for textiles and shoes. To live up to our responsibility, we have defined ambitious targets for ourselves. In our Water Protection Policy published for Germany in March 2019, we stipulated binding measures for responsible handling of water. These cover the fields of food, textiles and operative water management. Further targets particularly relate to the reduction of micro-plastic entering the environment. The Water Protection Policy is to be expanded to include further countries in the future.

Raising awareness

As a leading discounter, we provide our customers with products that meet their daily needs. Every year, consumers make 1.2 billion purchases at our stores. Our goal is to promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle – and make it possible for a broad group of society to engage in affordable, responsible consumption.

We use various tools to inform our customers about social and environmental aspects of our products: be it by the customer magazine ALDI aktuell, through other advertising measures, in our stores and by clear labelling of the product. We raise awareness of special sustainability requirements through special campaigns and projects. ALDI Netherlands, for instance, co-operate with the Plastic Soup Foundation to raise the awareness of pupils for the topic of plastic waste. In 2018, ALDI Netherlands donated an amount of 20,000 € to the foundation, thus allowing the project to reach a total number of 200,000 children. In Germany, we are supporting the social start-up Plastic Bank, campaigning against the further extension of plastic waste in the oceans. For this purpose, Plastic Bank set up collecting stations for plastic waste in countries with high poverty rates and insufficiently developed waste industries. People disposing plastic waste at the collecting stations before the plastic reaches waters or the ocean can earn money or be awarded social services. Upon collection, the deposited waste is being sorted, processed and fed into the recycling value chain. In regions with high environmental pollution, collecting stations are set up at which the residents can exchange their plastic waste for money, goods or services. Thus, additional incentives are created to collect the waste from the nearby areas. The project we are supporting is a collecting station on the Philippines.

More sustainable assortments

The central buying division and the respective national buying organizations are in charge of organizing the buying process at ALDI North. They jointly agree on the measures to be taken for a more sustainable product range. In our Purchasing Policies we document the status quo and set targets for switching to certified resources. Furthermore, we rule out critical products or production methods with the aid of negative lists. Moreover, the ALDI Transparency Code (ATC) enables our customers to track the origin of various meat products throughout the ALDI North Group; in Germany, this also applies to fish products, and fresh eggs, as well as – since 2018 – textiles made of sustainable cotton.

We aim at further expanding our range of Fairtrade products in all countries. In 2018, we had 90 Fairtrade-certified products in our range throughout the ALDI North Group, representing an increase of 23 per cent compared with the previous year. Furthermore, ALDI Belgium was the leading Fairtrade retailer in 2018.

Number of Fairtrade items

Number of sourced own-brand items with Fairtrade-certification in the product ranges1

  2016 2017
2018
Belgium/Luxembourg2 9 16 16
Denmark 11 19 22
Germany 21 30 42
France 1 14 15
Netherlands 41 29 34
Poland 1 6 17
Portugal 12 19 22
Spain 4 4 7
ALDI North Group 70 73 90

1 Because certain products are purchased jointly for several countries, the total number of insourced products may be lower than the total of the breakdowns by country.
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 toAbout the update“).

A joint “packaging mission“

Avoiding waste is a key pillar of sustainable development. Packaging waste accounts for the major part of the total waste volume at ALDI North. In 2018, we therefore launched the “packaging mission“ for our own-brand product packaging in Germany. We want to reduce the total weight of our own-brand product packaging in Germany by 30 per cent – proportional to sales – by 2025 (base year 2015). We strive for 100 per cent of our own-brand product packaging being recyclable by 2022. The next step will be to expand the mission throughout the company group.

In order to achieve our goals, we rely on the principle “Prevention, re-use and recycling“. We try to avoid packaging wherever this is possible. Furthermore, we strive to reduce the packaging volume in the area of fruit and vegetables as far as possible and to offer more unpackaged food. At the same time, we make sure that the product quality is maintained and food loss is prevented. The campaign logo of the ALDI packaging mission is intended to mark ecologically beneficial packaging for our customers in the future as well.

We intend to define international packaging targets for the entire ALDI North Group in the near future. For example, we want to make a common statement campaigning against packaging waste and make a contribution to promote closed loop recycling management. Our International Timber Purchasing Policy stipulates clear targets on the topic of packaging as well. Furthermore, national ALDI organizations are working on their own strategies regarding the issue.

Thanks to multiple-use systems for our transport and outer packaging as well as multiple-use boxes for our fruit and vegetable products, we already save 62 million non-returnable cardboard boxes and roughly 22,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. If non-returnable packaging is inevitable to sufficiently protect our goods during transport, we rely on foils and cardboard boxes made of recycled and sustainable materials that can be completely re-used. Moreover, the non-returnable cardboard boxes used in many national ALDI organizations already consist of recycled and/or certified material to a certain extent.

Furthermore, we have set ourselves the target to further promote the principle of the closed loop recycling management in related projects. In 2019, we developed the “ALDI waste sorting symbols” which will be gradually introduced for our own-brand product packaging in Germany. The symbols inform our customers on the correct recycling separation of the individual packaging components. Thus, we are making a contribution to increased recycling quotas as well as the necessary consumer education. Moreover, we commit ourselves to increase our share of rPET (recycled polyester) to 25 per cent in the scope of the “Recycled Polyester Commitment“ of the Textile Exchange organization (base year 2016). In the range of textiles and shoes, we already use recycled fibres.  

Moreover, all carrier bags were converted to the multiple-use principle and non-returnable plastic bags were removed from the stores nationwide in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands at the end of 2018. Hereby, we save approx. 1,660 tonnes of plastic per year. The proceeds generated by selling off the remaining non-returnable bags will be used to promote sustainable projects in Germany and the Netherlands.

In order to achieve further progress in the field of sustainable packaging and plastic reduction in our industry, we are supporting young start-ups developing innovative ideas for more sustainable packaging solutions. First, in co-operation with the start-up accelerator programme “TechFounders“, we identify potential start-ups for innovative partnership projects. The focus is not only on financial support of the start-ups. ALDI North will also serve as a driving force and mentor for the participants within the scope of the partnership.

Fighting food loss plays a central role for us as a food retailer. Our planning principally seeks to provide an optimal supply on the shelves, while minimizing the losses. Potential surpluses are donated as so-called food donations, whenever this is possible. The national ALDI organizations have been working together with local food banks, in some parts already for many years. This cooperation is constantly extended. Particularly in Denmark and Portugal, the proportion of stores donating surplus food have increased considerably in 2018. 100 per cent of the stores in Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal donate food, while the share in Denmark have been increased from 18.1 to 56.3 per cent. In the period under review, 77.3 per cent of all stores affiliated to the ALDI North Group donated surplus foods that were no longer marketable but still edible (2017: 75 per cent).

ANTI-CORRUPTION

Principle No. 10: Measures against corruption

Value-based management

Simplicity, responsibility and reliability – these values guide our actions and is an integrated part of our “Simply ALDI” mission statement. The mission statement provides a clear sense of direction for more than 74,000 ALDI employees. 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 as part of the Sustainability Report.

Our understanding of compliance

Our values “simplicity, responsibility and reliability” also express the way the companies of the ALDI North Group view and approach Compliance. Our mission statement “Simply ALDI” states: “We keep our word”. ALDI North expects all employees and business partners to act with responsibility and reliability Mandatory rules, policies and agreements must be adhered to. This is also stipulated in our “Compliance Goals“ document that all managers receive.

Our corporate mission statement and the Compliance-Management-System (CMS) provide ALDI North employees with clear guidelines for ensuring ethically and compliant behaviour. The respective managers are responsible for seeing to that the compliance rules are respected and using appropriate controls specified in our CMS.

The General Terms and Conditions of Purchasing define clear rules that govern the relationship between suppliers and ALDI North. Anticompetitive conduct by suppliers and manufacturers are prohibited, and sanctions have been designed to punish any violations. The General Terms and Conditions of Purchasing also specify the compliance requirements for contractual partners. In addition, service providers must adhere to the Code of Conduct governing the observance of social standards for construction, works and services commissioned by the ALDI North Group.

If there are reliable indications of a violation of these rules – whether by a supplier or an ALDI employee – the Compliance department and Compliance committee will ensure a comprehensive investigation.

Well-structured Compliance Management System

The CMS, which serves as a standard for the companies of the ALDI North Group, is designed to help employees live up to our ALDI North core values at all times. Above all else, the CMS aims to ensure and promote ALDI North’s long-term success, and prevent any damage. The CMS is made available internationally to all ALDI companies. Country-specific adjustments are made in consultation with the relevant person or persons responsible for the ALDI companies in the respective countries. As a part of CMS, we created further information channels in the form of whistleblowing systems that serve to receive information on compliance violations within the ALDI North Group; also anonymously. Any violations of applicable law and internal rules (such as corruption, unfair competition and incorrect ethical behaviour, but also non-compliance with work safety regulations, social standards and human rights) can be reported through these channels. The whistleblowing systems are available on the websites for internal and external parties around the clock.

How we make compliance an integral part of ALDI North

We perform various kinds of training to raise our employees’ awareness of the importance of compliance. New employees receive training on the key policies of the ALDI North Group companies. In Germany, ALDI Buying employees in the Purchasing, Quality Assurance, CR and Corporate Communication departments also regularly complete training, which covers topics such as antitrust law, unfair competition, protection of company and trade secrets, avoidance of corruption and the requirements of the Supply Chain Initiative. Training takes place in the companies affiliated to the ALDI North Group in other countries as well. In early 2018, we held training sessions in Germany for approximately 700 managers of the individual regional companies where we addressed the CMS and the IT tool. The managers themselves are now able to train employees at the regional companies.