Ahold Delhaize is updating its climate goals, focusing on its suppliers, products and customers. Suppliers will have to start reducing their emissions, while the shops will carry more plant-based products.
Like many multinationals, Ahold Delhaize has promised to become climate neutral by 2050: the retailer wants to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero throughout the value chain. It is now mainly up to customers and suppliers to do their bit, the supermarket group believes. By 2030, emissions in that external part of the value chain (scope 3) must fall by at least 37 %.
Ahold Delhaize has changed the base of comparison from 2018 to 2020: carbon emissions must therefore drop 37 % compared to 2020 instead of compared to 2018, as was previously the case. Consequently, thousands of suppliers, producers and farmers will have to make additional efforts.
Ahold Delhaize says it wants to encourage and support suppliers to take on science-based emission reduction targets. Food waste, packaging and transport are mostly meant to be reduced in this way. “Our brands can contribute by supporting their suppliers and farmers with concrete environmental actions. They can do this, for example, by entering into long-term contracts with farmers”, Chief Sustainability Officer Jan Ernst de Groot explains.
More plant-based assortment
At product level, Ahold Delhaize wants to include more plant-based products in its assortment, although the supermarket group also wants to develop “lower-emission assortments” at a general level. Albert Heijn is already setting a good example: by 2030, it wants to reduce animal proteins to 40 %, the other 60 % should be plant-based. The other European chains will also set such a “protein ratio” by the end of 2024.
Besides more vegan and vegetarian options, Ahold Delhaize promises to encourage and reward customers for making more sustainable choices. Delhaize’s Nutri-Boost discount programme is already an example of such loyalty programme, giving discounts only on the more healthy options. Furthermore, the group wants to create more transparency through navigation systems and labelling. Overall, the group further wants to increase healthy lifestyles.
For its own operations (scope 1 and 2), Ahold Delhaize remains committed to becoming net-zero by 2040, with an interim target of 50 % reduction by 2030.