Aldi U.K. clamps down on suppliers on sustainability

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Aldi U.K. clamps down on suppliers on sustainability

By Dan Ochwat - 03/09/2020

While Aldi U.S. has previously announced a pledge dating back into last year that it expects all of its own brand packaging to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, it appears the U.K. CEO Giles Hurley has clamped down a bit harder on that pledge in recent weeks, perhaps signaling a sign for more restrictions stateside.

Per an article in The Grocer, Hurley sent a letter to suppliers, saying the retailer would not work with them if they didn’t show how they can work with Aldi to meet their sustainability goals. In that article, the pledge requests all private label packaging to be eco-friendly by 2022 and all packaging by 2025, including the few national brands they partner with.

What’s new is the tone to Hurley’s letter, and that one was issued to make suppliers seriously make an effort to meet Aldi’s initiative or expect to be cut loose. Reports on the letter said Giles wrote:

“Following receipt of this letter, your Aldi buying director will contact you directly to discuss what tangible actions you will take. I request that you speak openly with your buying contact to actively explore all opportunities to develop more innovative packaging solutions and deliver on our packaging commitments.”

The letter from Hurley also said: “We want to work with you to trial alternative materials, innovate new packaging solutions and crucially be open-minded to all options.”’

Store Brands has reached out to Aldi’s communication representatives for comment on if there will be any impact on U.S. suppliers and U.S. Aldi operations. 

The retailer has been active for two years on its sustainability goals. In 2018, ALDI recycled more than 250,000 tons of materials, including paper, cardboard, plastic and metal. Through this recycling effort, ALDI avoided the greenhouse gas equivalent of 8,094,533 gallons of gasoline.


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