On March 10, ALDI announced a new sustainability plan to further demonstrate its commitment to “protecting the planet’s resources and ecosystems,” according to ALDI’s press release. The series of initiatives will be achieved between now and 2030.
“ALDI has a responsibility to protect the environment and we know it’s an important priority for our customers,” said Jason Hart, CEO, ALDI U.S. in the press release. “We are committed to evaluating and implementing sustainable business practices while always offering the highest quality products at prices that can’t be beat.”
ALDI aims to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025. ALDI plans to continue to transition to solar and wind energy and build out its renewable infrastructure to rely less on grey power grids. ALDI currently has solar panels at 111 stores and 12 distribution centers nationwide. It will add solar to warehouses in Kansas and Alabama, as well as roughly 60 stores by the end of 2022.
- Divert 90% of operational waste by 2025 and strive to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. This initiative is expected to include composting, nonfood donation programs and expanded recycling and food recovery. “ALDI already diverts waste from store and warehouse operations and has recycling efforts in place for food, plastic film, corrugated cardboard, paper, metals and other materials.”
- Reduce packaging materials by 15% and convert all ALDI-exclusive packaging to reusable, recyclable or compostable materials by 2025. By the end of 2021, Styrofoam will be removed from all produce packaging. ALDI has also redesigned packaging to remove or reduce excess plastic from products such as teas and bread. “In select stores, ALDI is also introducing alternative packaging for perishables like blueberries and tomatoes, which uses 20% less plastic than traditional containers, and for mixed bell peppers, which uses 44% less plastic.”
- Expand sustainable sourcing of coffee, while continuing to source cocoa and seafood sustainably. ALDI will promote human rights, increase supply chain transparency and ensure products are produced in an environmentally friendly way. All Barissimo and Simply Nature coffees will be certified as sustainably sourced by the end of 2022. Currently, ALDI-exclusive seafood is sourced from responsible fisheries and farms. Now, the origin of its brand of wild-caught seafood is available to the public through the Ocean Disclosure Project.
What ALDI has already accomplished
- ALDI has never offered single-use plastic bags at checkout and only sells reusable plastic and cloth bags. The company estimates that this has kept more than 15 billion bags out of landfills and oceans.
- In 2020, ALDI donated more than 29 million pounds of product to local food banks through its partnership with Feeding America that would’ve otherwise gone to landfills.
- ALDI has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a green power leader and currently purchases enough renewable energy annually to power its more than 2,000 stores, 25 warehouses and offices.
- All ALDI U.S. warehouses and nearly 400 stores use natural refrigerants that reduce the environmental impact by up to 4,000 times compared to common refrigerants. “In 2020, ALDI earned more EPA Green Chill store certifications than any supermarket chain previously, all at the highest platinum level.”
- In 2020, ALDI recycled nearly 300,000 tons of material, omitting the greenhouse gas emission equivalent of nearly 9 million gallons of gasoline per month.
“ALDI is one of America’s fastest-growing retailers, serving millions of customers across the country each month. With more than 2,000 stores across 37 states, ALDI is on track to become the third-largest grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022,” states the press release.