Aldi pledges to halve food waste by 2030

The UK's fastest growing supermarket Aldi has pledged to reduce its operational food waste by 50% by 2030, after joining the Champions 12.3 coalition.

The Champions 12.3 initiative consists of government, business and civil society leaders, all of which have committed to accelerating progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 – halving food waste per capita and reducing food losses by 2030.

Aldi announced on Wednesday (31 January) that it will join the initiative, targeting a 50% reduction in operational food waste by 2030 across the UK and Ireland against a 2015 baseline.

“Food waste is one of our sector’s most pressing issues, and reducing it is everyone’s responsibility. By joining this network, we hope to work with others in the industry to tackle this collectively by sharing data and resources,” Aldi’s managing director of corporate responsibility Oliver King said.

Aldi will measure its progress in halving food waste through its involvement with WRAP’s Courtauld 2025 Commitment, which sets signatories a voluntary goal to collectively report and reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% across the sector.

Under the Champions 12.3 initiative, Aldi will work with WRAP to engage its suppliers and logistic providers. Aldi already works with FareShare and Company Shop to donate surplus food and the company’s suppliers have diverted 2,415 tonnes of surplus food – equivalent to 5.75 million meals – from waste since October 2015. Aldi has donated 1,157 tonnes of food across the UK and Ireland, equivalent to more than 2.8 million meals.

In 2018 Aldi will open 70 new stores and by 2022 will operate more than 1,000 stores. Food sold across these stores will be fitted with Love Food Hate Waste messaging to help households reduce food waste.

WRAP’s development director Richard Swannell said: “With one-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted, costing the global economy $950bn every year, the food waste challenge is monumental and urgent. The UN SDG goal 12.3 is ambitious and achievable – but only if we set targets, measure and galvanise action from governments, business and citizens from all over the world.

“We look forward to working with Aldi through the Champions 12.3 network to tackle what is one of the key issues of our generation.”

Triple win

Aldi joins the likes of Tesco, Nestlé and Ikea in signing up to the Champions 1.23 initiative, which is being chaired by Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis. Lewis previously told edie increased collaborative efforts to tackle food waste need to be matched by greater transparency from businesses.  

A report from the Champions initiative found that for each dollar invested into food waste reduction methods, the average company site would generate $14 in return, creating a “triple win” for the economy, food security and the environment.

The World Resources Institute’s director of food loss and Waste Liz Goodwin added: “The challenge of tackling global food loss and waste is something we all need to work on and it’s good to see Aldi recognising the role they can play.

“We need more companies to set targets consistent with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, to measure and report, and then take action to reduce food loss and waste.”

Matt Mace

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