In January 2020 Ethical Consumer conducted internet searches to find out how Aldi Sud reported on its environmental impacts. The group's corporate responsibility website, cr.aldisouthgroup.com, and main website, www.aldi.co.uk, were both searched. Ethical Consumer also found its most recent CSR report, entitled: '2017 International Corporate Responsibility'.
Aldi's 2017 CSR report outlined the company's approach with regard to resources. It included the following resources: palm oil, wood and paper, cocoa, coffee, fish and seafood and soy. The report provided information and statistics for all of these resources; for example, the report stated that Aldi's overall share of certified coffee was 43.44% and its share of certified palm oil was 74.14%.
The report also contained a group-wide international climate strategy and discussed refrigeration, lighting, heating, carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, energy and electricity, recycling and construction. Aldi's corporate website also covered the issues of waste and plastic packaging.
The company's website also provided more detailed information about Aldi's energy use. It stated that 94% of the electricity it used in 2015 was from green, renewable energy sources.
However, the company only discussed the use of agrichemicals with regards to its cocoa supply chain and no mention of pesticides or water use was made; therefore it was not considered to have demonstrated adequate understanding of its main environmental impacts.
Aldi provided a number of dated, quantified targets to reduce its environmental impacts, stating that:
- "At present, we are using a refrigerant with a GWP of less than 2,200 for medium-temperature refrigeration in 75% of our stores and aim to increase this share to 100% of our stores by 2025"
- "By 2022 Aldi aims for 100% of all own label packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable (where it does not have a detrimental effect on product quality or safety, or increase food waste)."
The report had been independently audited by KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Independentally audited figures were given a tick in the report, this showed that only a select few pieces of environmental performance data had been audited. Ethical Consumer would expect a company of Aldi's size to have its entire enviromantal report independentally audited.
Aldi's 2017 CSR report was now more than 2 years old, but there was some further more up to date information on the company's website, and many of the target deadlines had not been surpassed. Thus Ethical consumer considered Aldi to have an environmental report dated within 2 years.
Due to the fact that Aldi South had an environmental report that included at least two future performance targets dated within the last two years, but was not considered to have demonstrated adequate understanding of its environmental impact or have been adequately audited, it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting.
cr.aldisouthgroup.com (30 January 2019)