1. Strategic Analysis and Action

The company declares whether or not it pursues a sustainability strategy. It explains what concrete measures it is undertaking to operate in compliance with key recognised sector-specific, national and international standards.

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.  

CR-Policy

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.  

Fields of action:

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Explanations of the measures implemented in the reporting period can be found in the respective core topics:
 
Opportunities
With our CR policy, we make our actions fit for the future: We position ourselves as an attractive employer, we use the relationship with our suppliers to jointly realize a more sustainable offer, and we achieve cost savings through energy efficiency measures. One of the biggest opportunities: For many consumers, sustainability is an important purchasing argument. We consistently align our products and services with the wishes and expectations of our customers and continuously expand our range of more sustainable products.  

Climate Protection Policy
ALDI North has set a clear climate target for itself: We undertake to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions throughout the Group by 40 per cent by 2021 compared to our 2015 levels. This target applies to all emissions that we ourselves cause in the course of our business activities (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions). Our targets and measures have been compiled in our International Climate Protection Policy. Our climate strategy has a long-term trajectory and two key focal points:

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Clear statement: our input to globally sustainability targets
We support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and play our part in achieving them. Our activities are centred on ensuring that our range of own-brand products is sustainable along the entire 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).  

We became the first discounter to join the United Nations (UN) Global Compact in the summer of 2017. With this step, we underlined once more that sustainability is at the heart of our system of corporate values.  

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2. Materiality

The company discloses the aspects of its business operations that have a significant impact on sustainability issues and what material impact sustainability issues have on its operations. It analyses the positive and negative effects and provides information as to how these insights are integrated into the company’s processes.

Materiality process
We want to know what sustainability concerns are important to our stakeholders and where we have a particular impact on the environment in which we operate. Only when we know this information will we be able to set the right focal points in our everyday work and sustainability reporting.  

The topics from the supply chain responsibility field of action are consistently “very highly relevant” to our stakeholders, while sustainability experts indicated that these topics have a “very high impact on the economy, the environment and society”. “Waste & food waste” was also rated as being very important. The hot social debate concerning food waste – also being addressed at the Group – is evident here, just as the matrix also reflects public discussion about packaging.  

You will find the topics of material importance listed under “Key topics” in our Sustainability Report 2017 where they have been arranged in descending order of relevance. Due to its significance, we have divided the topic of “Sustainable standards in the supply chain” into “Food” and “Non-food”; “More sustainable product-range selection” has also been broken down into product quality and product range. The topics of “Customer communication” and “Customer relations” as well as “Diversity & co-determination” and “Work-life balance” have been respectively combined.  

The material key topics were prepared in a structured manner: Management approaches, progress and key figures are presented in a clear structure. Opportunities and risks can also be found there.  

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Business impacts across our value chain
Our decisions have implications across the entire value chain, which is why we are taking action through our sustainability efforts wherever we can make improvements.  


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3. Objectives

The company discloses what qualitative and/or quantitative as well as temporally defined sustainability goals have been set and operationalised and how their level of achievement is monitored.

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.  

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

In our Climate Protection Policy, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2021 compared to our 2015 levels. In the name of efficient monitoring, we regularly compile updates on the progress of projects and emission data for the entire Group. The CR department then assesses this information and analyses it within the expert committee established for that purpose. If a given measure does not produce the intended effect, new measures are then discussed. We regularly report to internal and external stakeholders on where we stand as a Group in our efforts to reach our climate target.  

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4. Depth of the Value Chain

The company states what significance aspects of sustainability have for added value and how deep in the value chain the sustainability criteria are verified.

Value chain
Our decisions have implications across the entire value chain, which is why we are taking action through our sustainability efforts wherever we can make improvements.  


Value chain of the company:   Please use the following links for further information:

Our impact  

Non-Food
Our objective is to enable millions of customers in Europe to shop in our stores with a good conscience. To make this possible, we take responsibility for safe and fair working conditions and compliance with environmental standards wherever we can make a difference. Our non-food range includes, among other things, textiles, cosmetic and toiletry products, and weekly special-buy products – from electronics and household goods to furniture. The supply chains behind these products are diverse and complex. During production, non-food products often pass through several production sites in various different countries. Hence, the challenges are complex as well: Issues such as building safety, living wages or reducing the use of chemicals in textile production require cross-sector cooperation among companies, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). That is why we have joined forces with other players to work on these challenges in global initiatives such as amfori BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative).  

We focus on long-term, fair and reliable business relationships with suppliers who share our understanding of quality and responsibility. They have the goods that we have commissioned manufactured at production facilities in countries such as China, Bangladesh or Turkey. Together, we work on enforcing high environmental and social standards. Our measures focus on countries of origin in which the risk of violations of social and environmental standards is increased. We are guided in this process by the list of countries that amfori (formerly the Foreign Trade Association – FTA) has classified as risk countries. With regard to working conditions, we subject our suppliers and the production facilities they place orders with to clearly defined requirements.  

Food
Our food product range is made up primarily of own-brand products that we select and design for our customers. We define purchasing policies for specific resources and internal purchasing guidelines while pursuing a risk-based approach. This means that we take action where environmental or social challenges exist – and where we can therefore achieve the greatest impact through our improvements. We work in close cooperation with our suppliers and are in constant contact regarding our sustainability requirements to enable them to implement our standards. We also participate in cross-sector and multistakeholder initiatives on a variety of topics, such as tropical and subtropical fruits. The traceability of products is gaining more and more importance for us to manage the conversion of resources all the way through to the producer. The ALDI Transparency Code (ATC) allows our customers to quickly find out where various products come from. In addition, we work with recognised sustainability labels, seals and certificates.  

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Key Performance Indicators to criteria 1 to 4