Aldi exploring emissions reduction goal aligned to Paris Agreement

The UK's fastest growing supermarket Aldi will align its future sustainability strategy "well below" the 2C target set by the Paris Agreement, the company's international managing director of corporate responsibility, Sven van den Boomen, has claimed.

Aldi South, which operates across Germany, Austria, the UK, Ireland, the US, and Australia is currently targeting emissions reduction goals for 2020 against a 2012 baseline. As part of Aldi’s latest sustainability report, van den Boomen announced that future strategies would be based on the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Our future climate strategy will be based on the goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius (2C) compared to pre-industrial times, as defined within the Paris Agreement,” van den Boomen said in the foreword of Aldi’s report.

“In collaboration with experts, we are currently evaluating the consequences of this goal for our business operations and potential contributions to climate protection to be made throughout our supply chain.”

edie has requested clarification on whether these aspirations will be achieved through science-based targets and when the next strategy would be issued, but at the time of publication was still awaiting a response.

Progress to date

Aldi’s sustainability report updates progress towards a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated per m2 of sales floor by 30%. The latest report reveals that Aldi has reached or exceeded this target in Germany, the UK and Ireland and across its Austrian chain Hofer.

The largest share of emissions from Aldi’s operations comes from energy consumption, followed by fuel consumption, refrigerant leakages, and heating energy consumption. The company has utilised state-of-the-art refrigeration systems, LED lighting and onsite renewables to lower energy consumption.

Last year, Aldi invested £20m in natural refrigerants which will be installed across all of its UK stores to reduce its environmental impact. Across Aldi South countries more than 2,200 refrigerants are set to be replaced by alternatives with a lower global warming potential (GWP) by 2025. The group has currently replaced 75% of these models.

More recently Aldi has pledged to reduce its operational food waste by 50% by 2030 and ensure all packaging on its own-label is reusable, recyclable or compostable before 2022.

edie’s Responsible Retail 2018

Solving key challenges – including modern slavery, supply chain involvement and the circular economy – will be one of the key themes of edie’s third annual Responsible Retail conference, taking place on 20 September 2018 at 99 City Road, London.

The full-day event has been designed for the retailers, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders that are looking for the information, insight and inspiration required to seize the sustainability opportunity.

Find out more about Responsible Retail 2018 and register to attend here.

Matt Mace

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