Aldi’s aggressive new sustainability goals include continued shift to renewable energy

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Aldi is embarking on a number of initiatives designed to lower emissions, reduce waste and increase recycling in an effort to substantially reduce its environmental impact by 2030.

The initiatives, part of the German discount grocer’s new “sustainability charter,” include a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025 through a continued shift to solar and wind energy sourcing and by building out its renewable infrastructure to rely less on grey power grids.

Aldi currently has solar panels at 111 stores and 12 distribution centers nationwide. It will add solar to warehouses in Alabama and Kansas, as well as roughly 60 stores by the end of 2022. The company sources the power through the Green-e certification program and receives renewable energy certificates to validate its clean energy investment.

In addition, all Aldi warehouses (in the U.S.) and nearly 400 stores use natural refrigerants that reduce the environmental impact by up to 4,000 times compared to common refrigerants. Aldi will continue to shift to natural refrigerants in all store locations. 

"Aldi has a responsibility to protect the environment and we know it's an important priority for our customers," said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi U.S. "We are committed to evaluating and implementing sustainable business practices while always offering the highest quality products at prices that can't be beat."

Aldi’s other sustainability initiatives are highlighted below:
Divert 90% of operational waste by 2025 and strive to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.  Plans to achieve these waste reduction goals are in development and are expected to include composting, nonfood donation programs, and expanded recycling and food recovery initiatives. Aldi already diverts waste from store and warehouse operations and has recycling efforts in place for food, plastic film, corrugated cardboard, paper, metals and other materials. 

Reduce packaging materials by 15% and convert all Aldi-exclusive packaging to reusable, recyclable or compostable materials by 2025. More than 90% of the products Aldi sells are exclusive items. By the end of 2021, Styrofoam will be removed from all produce packaging, and Aldi will continue to make progress toward a series of packaging commitments made in 2019 to reduce packaging and to make 100% of Aldi-exclusive packaging — including plastic packaging — reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. To date, the company has redesigned packaging to remove or reduce excess plastic from products such as teas and bread. 

Aldi, which has never offered single-use plastic bags at checkout, is also testing a new initiative to remove all multi-use plastic bags from six stores in Richmond, Va.

Expand sustainable sourcing of coffee, while continuing to source cocoa and seafood sustainably. Together with its business partners, Aldi will promote human rights, increase supply chain transparency and ensure products are designed and produced in an environmentally friendly way. 

Aldi is one of America's fastest-growing retailers, with more than 2,000 stores across 37 states and plans to add 100 U.S. stores by the end of 2021.