Aldi commits to renewable energy

Aldi commits to renewable energy

Aldi Nord has published an ambitious international climate policy: the retailer wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2021 and reveals some compelling figures in its second sustainability report.

 

Efficiency measures

“As a discounter, we distinguish ourselves by efficiently dealing with the available resources. This also means that we handle the natural resources of our planet carefully, "says managing director corporate responsibility Rayk Mende. “We aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2021 compared to 2015.” To achieve this, the discounter is relying on two pillars: increased use of electricity from renewable energy sources and increased efficiency measures to save on energy, cooling agents and fuel.

 

In Belgium, all distribution centers and new stores are equipped with LED lighting and all coolers and freezers are replaced by energy-efficient ones. The new distribution center in Turnhout will meet the latest requirements for sustainable construction. Aldi Belgium currently has more than 35,000 solar panels on its roofs and will be planting at least 8,000 additional solar panels in the next two years. In the Netherlands, Aldi already purchases only green electricity since 2015. By using heat recovery, the chain reduces the consumption of natural gas. Classic plastic bags will disappear from the assortment in both countries this year. 

Fewer stores, more revenue

Alongside the climate policy, Aldi Nord published a sustainability report for the second time. This contains some interesting figures about the discounter: net sales increased from 21.2 billion euros in 2016 to 23.4 billion in 2017, although the number of stores dropped from 4,789 in 2016 to 4,731 in 2017. This was the result of store closures in Germany, Denmark and France. In Belgium and Luxembourg, the chain had 459 stores at the end of last year (+2), in the Netherlands 494 (+3). 

 

The number of products in the Aldi stores continues to rise: there are now 1,465 in Belgium, 96,1% of which are own brands. Among them are 14 vegetarian or vegan products, 101 organic products (a substantial increase) and 16 fair trade products. On average the assortment contains 95 fruit and vegetable products. The circulation of the leaflet amounts to 4,650,273 copies, that means 10,823 tons of paper. In the Netherlands, Aldi now sells 1,737 products, of which 93.5% own brands. 13 are vegetarian or vegan products, 112 organic products and 29 fair trade products. On average, there are 104 fruit and vegetable products in the assortment.

 

The group has 69,367 employees, of which 46,842 are women. In Belgium and Luxembourg there are 6,727 (4,804 women), in the Netherlands 8,654 (5,099 women). At group level, 27.3% of these women have a management position. In Belgium (29.5%) this is significantly more than in the Netherlands (17.9%).