1. Home
  2. Key topics
  3. Food losses & other waste

Food losses & other waste

[GRI 301/103-1, 306/103-1] We take responsibility for the protection of our environment and its natural resources. As a retailer, reducing waste and dedicating ourselves to fighting food losses play a central role. Our commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce waste generation by 2030 (SDG 12, responsible consumption and production), demonstrates that we intend to make a decisive difference on this front. We are doing our part to achieve this goal.

Our approach

[GRI 301/103-2, 306/103-2] We follow the five-level waste hierarchy of prevention, preparing for reuse, recycling, other recovery and disposal. We avoid waste by using multiple-use systems in logistics, for example, such as transport boxes for our fruit and vegetable items. We examine which materials can be reused and promote the recycling of our board- and foil-based packaging materials, for instance. Non-recyclable materials are incinerated for energy recovery. Disposal is the final option. In Germany, we comply systematically and consistently with this hierarchy: our recycling rate stands at 99 per cent (see performance indicators for waste). In Belgium, more than 90 per cent of our waste is recycled or, in the event of organic waste, digested.

In our sector, packaging (almost 82 per cent) – especially outer packaging – and unsaleable food account for the lion’s share of waste and food losses. As sales rise, so does the amount of waste produced by the ALDI North Group. To further optimise our waste management, we created the position of logistics manager for disposal in Germany in the period under review.

Moreover, we are currently drawing up international food waste reduction guidelines. The original plan was to publish these guidelines at the end of 2017. However, the various different conditions in the individual ALDI North Group countries and future, EU-wide requirements have extended the amount of time necessary for the process.

Organisation & responsibilities

[GRI 301/103-2/3, 306/103-2/3] Waste management and the commitment to combating food waste are managed and organised across departments. Throughout the Group, CR, logistics and quality managers work together in a variety of ways to jointly develop strategic concepts, targets and measures. The ALDI Buying logistics department is responsible for coordination between the ALDI companies in the countries. The Corporate Responsibility (CR) department is consulted as needed. The logistics manager for disposal communicates with the responsible managers in the ALDI North Group countries and with external service providers with the aim of further optimising the flow of materials, making it possible to leverage waste management experience in Germany to achieve improvements throughout the Group.

Guidelines and regulation

[GRI 301/103-2/3, 306/103-2/3] The EU Waste Framework Directive defines waste management for all Group countries. In the period under review, the ALDI North Group in Germany worked on implementing the amended Commercial Waste Ordinance (Gewerbeabfallverordnung – GewAbfV) to enforce the required waste hierarchy of the German Waste Management and Product Recycling Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz – KrWG). As part of the implementation of the GewAbfV, the Logistics department provided training materials for our regional companies. The respective logistics managers at each location are responsible for compliance with the guidelines stipulated therein.

Progress and measures in 2017

[GRI 301-103-2/3, 306/103-2/3] The ALDI North Group companies in the countries work with national food banks. We are constantly working to expand these partnerships, some of which have been in place for many years now. During the year under review, 75 per cent of our stores donated unsaleable food that was still edible (2016: 65 per cent).

In Germany, we joined the EU initiative REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain) in 2017. The project focuses on reducing and reusing food waste throughout the supply chain. In the Netherlands, we are involved in two research projects, and we are dedicated to combating food waste in all other countries as well.

Targets and status

[GRI 306/103-2/3] In 2015, we expressed the goal of developing a guideline on dealing with food that is no longer saleable in the stores but can still be consumed in our CR Programme. The guideline is still in development.

Our targets from the CR Programme

Field of action: social commitment & dialogue promotion

Objective

Status

Target date

Target value

Target relevance

Introduction of a guideline for dealing with food that is no longer saleable in the store

Still in development

2017

Preparation and introduction

ALDI Nord Group

Performance indicators

Food donations [GRI 306-2]

Proportion of stores that donate unsaleable yet still edible food to charitable institutions to the total number of stores (in per cent)

Fundamentally speaking, we manage goods in such a manner as to prevent losses to the greatest extent possible. Wherever possible, any surpluses should be donated. However, not all locations have access to partners that accept food donations.

2015

2016

2017

Check Icon – Nachhaltigkeit bei ALDI Nord

Belgium/Luxembourg1

100.0

100.0

100.0

Denmark

3.6

3.6

18.1

Germany

98.1

99.1

99.0

France



23.4

Netherlands


28.7

74.2

Poland

4.8

24.6

38.7

Portugal

8.5

25.0

31.6

Spain

76.5

75.4

76.1

ALDI Nord Group

61.5

65.2

75.4

1 The information regarding the legally independent companies of the ALDI Nord Group in Belgium and Luxembourg has been combined for the purposes of a simplified presentation (refer to "Subject of the report").

Amount of waste in Germany [GRI 306-2]

Amount of waste by type of waste (in metric tons)1

The amount of waste in Germany increased slightly compared with 2016. The biggest proportion of the waste generated was attributable to packaging waste. Hazardous waste, amounting to 420 metric tons, only made up 0.2 per cent of the total volume of waste. This includes used oil, oil filters, vehicle batteries and fluorescent tubes which contain mercury. To date, it has only been possible to record the amount of waste for our German locations. International recording efforts are planned for the years ahead.

2015

20162

2017

Hazardous waste

493

414

420

Paper/board/card

432

450

400

Residential waste3

22,129

22,320

24,550

Waste from the manufacture and processing of food4

8,173

11,102

11,343

Packaging waste

156,580

161,290

164,000

of which foil/plastics

3,986

3,578

3,432

of which board/paper

121,331

125,174

128,549

of which PET

31,264

32,538

31,864

of which other5



155

Used equipment

70

56

52

Total amount of waste

187,878

195,632

200,765

1 The data are partly based on estimates and extrapolations.
2 Late reporting information for the year 2016 resulted in partial amendments compared with the previous year’s report.
3 Industrial waste. This includes “residual waste”, packed food, bulky waste, wood and metal scrap.
This includes waste from canteen operation and bake-off goods.
5 This includes other packaging waste, such as flowerpots or plant bowls. This category was reported for the first time in 2017.

Amounts of waste by methods of disposal [GRI 306-2]

Amounts of waste in Germany proportionately by the type of disposal (in per cent)*

At roughly 99 per cent, most non-hazardous waste was recovered or recycled (including composting) in 2017.

Amounts of waste by methods of disposal – Sustainability at ALDI North

1 Allocation to types of disposal is based partly on estimates.
2 Including incineration for energy recovery.

Amounts of waste by methods of disposal [GRI 306-2]

Amounts of waste in Germany proportionately by the type of disposal (in per cent)1

At roughly 99 per cent, most non-hazardous waste was recovered or recycled (including composting) in 2017.

2015

2016

2017

Germany

Germany

Germany

Recovery and recycling2

96.38

96.80

96.76

Landfill

0.03

0.02

0.18

Incineration (mass incineration)

1.54

1.08

0.85

Composting

2.06

2.10

2.20

1 Allocation to types of disposal is based partly on estimates.
2 Including incineration for energy recovery.

SDG

GRI

More content

Diversity and work-life balance – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Diversity and work-life balance

People from 117 nations work in the nine European countries in which we are represented. This diversity is a part of the ALDI North Group. It enriches our working relationships and reflects the diversity of our customers.

MORE
Compliance – Sustainability at ALDI North
Management

Compliance

We align our actions with our core values: simplicity, responsibility and reliability. These values also express the way the ALDI North Group sees and approaches compliance.

MORE
Sustainable standards in the non-food supply chain – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Sustainable standards in the non-food supply chain

We take responsibility for safe and fair working conditions and compliance with environmental standards wherever we can make a difference

MORE
What it means to be an ALDI employee – Sustainability at ALDI North
Highlights

What it means to be an ALDI employee

Being an ALDI employee above all means embracing our shared values: simplicity, responsibility and reliability. That is what we stand for in all we do, wherever we are located.

MORE
Customer contact & service quality – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Customer contact & service quality

The trust of our customers is our most valuable asset. That is why we listen carefully to what they want. For more than 100 years, we have consistently and systematically tailored our products and services towards the demands of our customers.

MORE
Occupational health & safety – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Occupational health & safety

Taking responsibility for the health and safety of employees in the workplace is part of the ethos of the ALDI North Group companies

MORE
Commitment to animal welfare: good ranking in an industry comparison – Sustainability at ALDI North
Highlights

Commitment to animal welfare: good ranking in an industry comparison

We know that there is still a lot to do when it comes to animal welfare, but we are on the right track, as confirmed by two recent publications on commitment to animal welfare in the food industry

MORE
Attractive employer – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Attractive employer

The roughly 69,000 ALDI employees make a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the ALDI North Group. All of them can be proud to work for the ALDI North Group. In exchange, they receive secure working conditions, attractive framework conditions and long-term career development prospects

MORE
Food losses & other waste – Sustainability at ALDI North
Key topics

Food losses & other waste

We take responsibility for the protection of our environment and its natural resources. As a retailer, reducing waste and dedicating ourselves to fighting food losses play a central role.

MORE

*

*

00:00
01:00
02:00
03:00
04:00
05:00
06:00
07:00
08:00
09:00
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:00
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00
19:00
20:00
21:00
22:00
23:00