Aldi cuts food waste by 57% and sets itself a tougher target for 2030
Aldi, the supermarket group, has said in its first sustainability report that it has cut its food waste in the UK by more than half since 2017.
The 57% reduction in food waste intensity – a measure of the amount of food that is wasted compared to quantity sold – means that the company has already reached a target it set itself for 2030.
Previously, the firm said that it aimed to achieve a one quarter reduction in food waste by 2025, compared to its 2017 figure, and to have reached a 50% reduction by the end of the decade.
It has now upped its target, saying that by 2030 it hopes to have slashed its food waste intensity by 90%.
Where waste does occur, Aldi said that it aims to redistribute food, such as through a tie-up with the food distribution firm Company Shop Group.
Also, Aldi has formed a partnership with Too Good To Go, which is described as the world’s largest surplus food platform.
In a statement, the retailer, the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group, said that since 2019 it had donated 40 million meals to good causes through its charity partner Neighbourly.
Liz Fox, the company’s national sustainability director, said in the statement that the company was “dedicated to taking steps that positively impact the environment”.
“We know one area where we can have a big impact is food waste,” she said. “This has never been more important – not only for the planet, but in helping people get access to food that’s both high-quality and affordable.
“We’re proud of the progress we’re making, which we’re pleased to share in our first sustainability report, and that’s why we’re looking to push ourselves even further.
“As we continue to expand our footprint and broaden our customer base, we want to continue to do so in a sustainable and responsible way.”
The sustainability report discusses the supermarket group’s “eco concept store”, which the firm opened last year with an ambition to, among other things, help shoppers to reduce, reuse and recycle.
This outlet is trialling refill fixtures and is aiming to reduce energy consumption – and the energy bill – by having solar panels installed and doors on chillers.
Ms Fox said that the company knew that sustainability was “important to Aldi shoppers and to our supply partners”.
“While we still have a lot of work to do, we’re always looking for new ways to innovate to lower our environmental impact across our operations, whether through using renewable energy to power our stores and redistribution centres, to reducing food waste and packaging,” she said.
Giles Hurley, Aldi UK’s CEO, said that the company had “a huge role to play in making sustainability affordable for all”.
“We’ve seen millions of shoppers switch to Aldi during a time when many household incomes are squeezed. At the same time, consumers expect businesses to act responsibly,” he said.
” … We believe that doing the right thing for people and the planet, while offering unbeatable prices, can go hand-in-hand and we’ll continue to report on our progress in the months and years to come.”
Aldi is the name of two German-headquartered supermarket groups, Aldi Sud (or South) and Aldi Nord (or North), each of which was owned by one of the Albrecht brothers, who founded a joint chain in 1946 before splitting the business in 1960.
Aldi UK is part of Aldi Sud, which also operates in other international markets including Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the United States. Among the countries where Aldi Nord is active are Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Poland.
Together, the two Aldi companies operate more than 12,500 stores, around 5,500 of which are run by Aldi Sud.
Photo credit for all images: Aldi UK