ALDI SÜD is one of the leading discounters in the German and international marketplace. The company operates around 1,960 stores in Germany and employs over 50,600 staff. It has fitted over two thirds of its branches with photovoltaic equipment and, since 2017, has relied on 100 per cent green power to operate all its sites in Germany. All unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions are offset. In addition to balancing out its corporate emissions, ALDI SÜD also provides selected climate-neutral products. ALDI SÜD – since 2017 the first climate-neutral food retailer in Germany – set a new climate goal for itself in 2020 that has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative: by 2025, operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) will be reduced by 26 per cent compared with 2016 levels. At a workshop during the third meeting of Alliance supporters, which took place in November 2020, ALDI SÜD introduced its corporate climate strategy and the offsetting projects the company supports. The food discounter publicised its membership of the Alliance through its media and public relations activities. This also made clear the importance of an initiative like the Alliance: concepts like climate neutrality and voluntary emissions offsetting still require explanation when communicating with the wider public.
The project combines Plastic Bank’s actions for protecting the environment and the development of wind energy. As a non-governmental organisation, Plastic Bank is based on a simple but effective concept to protect the seas from plastic: people in Haiti, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines who collect plastic rubbish can exchange it for money, food or school fees. In order to additionally and measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this initiative was combined with a Gold Standard certified wind farm project on the island of Luzon in the Philippines: for each tonne of CO2 offset by wind power, Plastic Bank funded the collection of another ten kilograms of plastic rubbish. Each year, the wind farm prevents 140,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, supplies power to 22,000 people in the region where the project is based with clean energy, and thereby reduces the Philippines’ dependence on imports of fossil fuels. In addition, around 800 direct and indirect jobs were created.
In 2020, ALDI SÜD used four projects to offset the total emissions it produced, which amounted to over 108,000 tonnes of CO2. When selecting offsetting projects, ALDI SÜD takes care to ensure that the projects adhere to high quality standards and correlate well with its own core business and climate action commitments – for example in the area of renewable energy.
Manager Corporate Responsibility at ALDI SÜD
Photo sources: Aldi Süd, ClimatePartner