Responsibly Managing Forests

A large number of our products, from books to chocolate to washing up liquid, use products that are derived from trees. Responsibly managing our forests is one of the most effective ways to curb global warming, as well as conserving wildlife and protecting indigenous communities.

Here are a few approaches we think will make a big difference.

Timber, Paper and Pulp

By the end of 2020, all of the wood and paper in our products will be either sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC), or made from 100% recycled sources. We are also converting all of the pulp-based packaging on our everyday products to sustainable sources during this timeframe.

Sustainable Timber Sourcing

We have continuously increased the amount of sustainable timber products we use.

All our toilet paper, kitchen paper, napkins and facial tissues, advertising and point of sale materials (including our weekly Specialbuys leaflet) and 100% of our baby range is already FSC or PEFC-certified.

In 2018, 75% of our products with wood or paper components were either FSC or PEFC-certified or contained 100% recycled material. Also, 40% of our pulp-based packaging is FSC or PEFC-certified or is made from at least 70% recycled material. 

Soy

Soy is an important raw material for our supply chains, being a high-quality source of both protein and energy. Whilst it is used as an ingredient in a range of products, 75% of soy produced globally is used to feed animals. It is therefore a vital ingredient for the production of our meat, poultry, dairy and eggs.

Most soy is grown in South America. The rise in global demand for protein in recent years has increased the demand for soy and so vast areas of land have been converted to soy cultivation. This has led to biodiversity-rich areas such as the Amazon, the Chaco and the Cerrado being cleared, which has posed a threat to wildlife.

In fact, soy is now the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation and soy production in South America has nearly tripled in the last 20 years.

Our policy

We are working with our suppliers to ensure zero-net deforestation for soy.

By the end of 2025, all soy used as animal feed for the production of Aldi’s own-brand fresh meat, eggs and milk will be sourced sustainably.

Aldi is a member of the global Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), which works to promote responsible soy production. Alongside other UK businesses, we are also signatories to the UK Industry Roundtable for Sustainable Soy, where we have committed to publish a time-bound plan to source soy sustainably.

Our approach

We estimate our soy footprint to be just over 170,000 tonnes. However, we have been working with our suppliers to get a more accurate picture of this, and we are also working with the UK Roundtable to develop a more accurate tool to measure our soy footprint.

We are now working with our suppliers, key stakeholders (e.g. NGOs) and with other businesses to reach our ambition to source sustainable soy.

Due to the complexity of the soy supply chain we will achieve our aims through a number of stages.

• Stage 1: We are initially focusing on our UK fresh chicken supply chain. During 2019, we will work with our primary chicken suppliers to take part in zero-deforestation soy credit schemes or source Area Mass Balance certified soy. From 2021, we will require 100% certified soy (Area Mass Balance as a minimum).

• Stage 2: From 2021, we will require our fresh primary protein suppliers (meat, eggs and milk) to take part in zero-deforestation soy credit schemes or source Area Mass Balance certified soy. From 2023, we will require 100% certified soy (Area Mass Balance as a minimum).

• Phase 3: During 2021, we will work with suppliers to define other high-risk products, such as farmed fish and frozen, and we will work with our Ireland Buying teams to consult and develop a suitable policy with timelines.

• Stage 4: From 2022, suppliers of our defined high-risk products will take part in zero-deforestation soy credit schemes or source Area Mass Balance certified soy. From 2024, we will require 100% certified soy (Area Mass Balance as a minimum).

• Stage 5: By the end of 2025, we aim to source 100% of soy for our own label fresh primary protein products from certified zero-deforestation physical supply chains.

The Cerrado Manifesto

We are also a signatory of the Cerrado Manifesto: Statement of Support. The Cerrado is South America’s largest savannah and one of the world’s most important ecosystems.

The Cerrado once covered an area half the size of Europe, but half the native savannah and forests have now been converted to agriculture, primarily for beef and soy production. Between 2013 and 2015, an area the size of Greater London disappeared every two months. If this rate of clearance continues, it is predicted that 480 plant and animal species will become extinct by 2050.

To help protect the Cerrado, Aldi UK has signed the Statement of Support to the Cerrado Manifesto. In signing this manifesto, we have agreed to support the development of soy production in a manner that avoids deforestation and native vegetation loss.