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ALDI SÜD: trading in a climate-neutral manner

For many years, ALDI SÜD has been implementing concrete climate protection measures in its stores, logistics centres and administrative buildings and since the start of 2017, it has been the first major food retailer in Germany to trade in a climate-neutral manner. The company has achieved this by optimising processes and through investments in the latest technology and in renewable energy, which reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, ALDI SÜD runs its business 100 per cent on green electricity. The company fully offsets other, currently unavoidable emissions by supporting certified reforestation projects in Uganda and Bolivia.

For more than 50 years, ALDI SÜD has been offering its customers a fixed selection of basic items in around 1,870 branches in the food retailing industry. Apart from its many well-known products and services, the company, whose headquarters are in Mülheim an der Ruhr, has also been running a green electricity campaign since the end of 2016, giving its customers the opportunity of contracting green electricity from certified hydroelectric power stations in Switzerland.

Climate protection objective:

  • Further changeover to LED lighting in all branches by 2019
  • Further changeover to LED lighting in all logistics centres where the lighting is inefficient by the end of 2017
  • Installation of a further 150 PV-systems on store roofs by 2018
  • Increase in the purchase of raw materials from sustainable forests and in the use of recycled materials for ALDI SÜD’s own-brand products in the area of wood and paper articles, from the current level of 80% to 100% by 2020.
  • Range of lighting products on sale only includes LED lights and light bulbs from the second quarter of 2017

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Photo: ©ALDI SÜD

Photovoltaic systems have already been installed on the roofs of more than 1,250 of the total 1,870 branches of ALDI SÜD; they supply climate-friendly electricity, which can be used directly on site. The company intends to gradually equip its other stores with solar power systems.



Green electricity for a climate-neutral future

As one of 34 leading companies in Germany, ALDI SÜD is supporting the 2015 Paris climate agreement (COP21) to help limit global warming. But this is not the only way that the company is making its stance on climate protection clear; first and foremost it is through the measures the company has implemented until now. By the middle of 2017, solar power systems were installed in more than 1,250 of its circa 1,870 stores, as well as in 30 logistics centres. The annual production is more than 150 million kWh of solar electricity. That is the equivalent of the annual consumption of nearly 43,000 three-person households. The company intends to steadily expand the use of its roofs to harness solar energy. In 2017 and 2018, it plans to install a further 150 photovoltaic systems on the roofs of its stores.

ALDI SÜD uses around 80 per cent of the solar power it generates for its own purposes. Amongst other things, the electricity is used to power the lighting, the refrigerated displays, the freezers and the baking ovens in its stores.  The remaining circa 20 per cent is fed into the public power grid. The balance of the company’s power requirements are covered by green electricity produced in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Display boards allow customers to track how much electricity the solar systems produce and what percentage of this solar power is being used in the store. On around 50 sites, this climate-friendly electricity is also used to power charging points where customers can charge their electric cars or bicycles at no cost while they are shopping.

Many measures achieve the desired result

ALDI SÜD is working to reduce its remaining emissions and increase its efficiency and environmental friendliness by implementing a range of different efficiency measures. For example, the company uses natural refrigerants in the refrigerated displays in around 1,100 of its stores and in all its freezers, and replaces inefficient lighting systems with LED lighting. In future, the range of lighting products on sale will only include LED lights in order to further promote the idea of climate protection via the products on offer. The company’s newly-installed energy management system is another important factor contributing to the energy-efficient operation of its stores and all its facilities. The software records the levels of energy consumption in the company and thus identifies areas for potential savings, which can then be achieved in the next stage with the help of appropriate measures. In this way, the company intends to continue to gradually reduce the emissions that are still currently produced, which are being offset by means of certified reforestation projects.


Photo: ©ALDI SÜD

“We firmly believe that we will only achieve long-term commercial success if we tackle climate change.  That is why we are the first major food retailer in Germany to operate in a climate-neutral manner and we intend to continue setting standards in the area of sustainability in the future.”

Florian Kempf, Head of Energy Management at ALDI SÜD