How we are tackling food waste

Food waste is an urgent environmental and social issue. We have committed to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025, and halving it by 2030 (relative to 2017 baseline).

To achieve these commitments we are working hard to prevent waste in our operations where possible, and when waste does happen, to ensure we have partnerships to distribute surplus food to charities. We also work with our suppliers to minimise waste and we support a range of industry initiatives.

We support WRAP’s UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, an industry wide programme that guides businesses to target, measure and act upon food waste. It aims to achieve a 50% reduction in food waste in the UK by 2030.

Together with our partners, we are also committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve per capita global food waste by 2030. This goal has vital importance to reduce the environmental impact of wasted food, and to help alleviate food poverty.

Some of our progress so far…

• We have reduced our wastage intensity by 8% since 2017, when we first published our data. This puts us on track to achieve our 2025 target. 

• We have been working in partnership with Neighbourly since 2019, and have linked all of our stores with local groups to donate surplus fruit and vegetables, bakery, long-life products and flowers. In 2019, we donated over three million meals via this partnership, which was almost double what we donated to charities in 2018. Find out how much Aldi has donated to charities, and the community groups your local store donates to here. 

• We donated over 480,000 unsold Easter Eggs in April 2020 to our Neighbourly charities, spreading cheer at a time when it was needed most.

• We support our growers to reduce waste by flexing agreements to accommodate crop failures and gluts, such as introducing larger pack sizes for a limited time to get more of this product out to our customers. Another example is that we also helped prevent 30 tonnes of potential food waste with one supplier in 2019 by adjusting contract timings to accommodate an unexpected earlier harvest. 

• We introduced 50% price reductions in 2018 on food products on the last day of life, creating less store waste and providing even better value for our customers.

• We have supported our suppliers via our partnership with The Company Shop Group, to save 6,458 tonnes of surplus stock to date (since 2015) that would have been wasted. 

• We help our customers to reduce food waste by promoting WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign in stores, on our social media, and in our in-store leaflets.

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What we are doing next…

We want to achieve more and in 2020 we are:

• Trialling 75% price reductions of food in stores that is near the end of its life to reduce wastage.

• Trialling the donation of chilled food products with Neighbourly, so we can support our communities even more by increasing access to a wider range of nutritious food.

• Expanding our redistribution programme with Neighbourly to include weekends to donate even more food to local groups.

• Rolling out a simple and easy process for our regional warehouses to donate food via Neighbourly, breaking down barriers to donating food and reducing waste in this area of our operations.

• Trialling an innovative process to turn food that can’t be donated into animal feed.

• Monitoring our food waste more closely and engaging with the right teams to identify waste hotspots, and clear priority actions for the business.

• Removing Best Before dates on certain produce lines, in line with WRAP guidance.

Food donations in 2019

We donated 1,689 tonnes of food to charities in 2019, the equivalent of over four million meals*, up from 847 tonnes in 2018. This is an increase of 99%! 

*Based on an average meal size of 420g

 Almost half a million of these meals were donated to local charities on Christmas Eve in 2019.

Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly CEO: “We are delighted to be partnering with Aldi on this programme and to help them realise their ambition to benefit those communities local to each and every one of their stores across the UK.

“Food surplus is a challenge Aldi is committed to playing its part to address. This approach is critical to ensure surplus food finds its way easily to the good causes supporting those communities that need it most.”

 Peter Maddox, Director WRAP: “Aldi continues to be a very active founding member of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, and a signatory to Courtauld 2025. The company has set itself a goal to halve its operational food waste in line with UN goals, and our best practice guidance. These results demonstrate a company focussed on tackling food waste throughout its operations, and across its field of influence. From doubling the amount of good surplus food it donates to charities, to using Love Food Hate Waste resources on its products to communicate waste prevention messages to customers, to flexing contractual agreements to support growers and adjusting pack sizes to avoid in field food waste. Aldi demonstrates the broad approach required to tackle food waste.”

Food waste data

Our food waste report includes data from all stores and regional distribution centres in the UK.  In 2017 we established our food waste intensity baseline as being 1.25%Δ, meaning 1.25% of sales ended up as waste. Since then, to adhere to WRAP reporting guidelines, we now calculate wastage intensity as being a percentage of all food handled by the business. Therefore we are restating our wastage baseline as being 1.24% of food handled by the business in 2017.

 

In 2019 we opened 50 stores, and because of our continued store growth, our food waste tonnage has slightly increased year-on-year, however, our 2019 food wastage intensity has improved to 1.14%α of food handled in the UK. This is an 8% improvement.

Wastage intensity UK

Food waste by category during 2019

Food surplus by destination in 2019

Data on disposal via other methods e.g. liquid waste disposal via drains for things like spillages in store are not currently captured by the business and not included in the breakdown of the above table. These are estimated to very small in comparison.

Independent Limited Assurance - Grant Thornton UK LLP

We engaged Grant Thornton UK LLP to undertake an annual independent limited assurance engagement over selected data highlighted on this webpage with the symbols Δ, ֍ and α using the assurance standard ISAE 3000.  Grant Thornton UK LLP has issued an unqualified opinion over the selected data. Grant Thornton UK LLP’s full assurance statements for each of the relevant years are available on our website within the below downloadable PDFs.

The level of assurance provided for a limited assurance engagement is substantially lower than a reasonable assurance engagement. In order to reach their opinion Grant Thornton UK LLP performed a range of procedures. A summary of the work Grant Thornton UK LLP performed is included within their assurance statement.

The Reporting Criteria that we used as the basis of preparing selected data on this webpage are our Food Waste Reporting – Public Methodology Statements for the relevant years and can be seen within the downloadable PDFs below. This webpage needs to be read together with the Reporting Criteria.

FOOD WASTE REPORTING - PUBLIC METHODOLOGY STATEMENT 2019

FOOD WASTE REPORTING – PUBLIC METHODOLOGY STATEMENT 2018

FOOD WASTE REPORTING – PUBLIC METHODOLOGY STATEMENT 2017

Grant Thornton UK LLP Assurance Opinion 2019

Grant Thornton UK LLP Assurance Opinion 2018

Grant Thornton UK LLP Assurance Opinion 2017