Companies worldwide are looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Aldi U.S. is doing its part with broader sustainability goals such as using natural refrigerants in its stores and warehouses.
The retailer has focused on using less harmful emissions in its refrigeration, which the company said that commercial refrigeration equipment accounted for nearly a quarter of total HFC emissions in 2015. The Biden Administration recently implemented climate pollution rules designed to help the nation reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and track toward net zero emissions by 2050 as a part of the Paris Agreement.
SB: How do Aldi exclusive-brand products play a role in HFC emissions and sustainability?
DG: It is our vision that all Aldi products be made in a sustainable manner, and we consider both environmental and social criteria when making these decisions. Since more than 90% of our products are Aldi-exclusive brands, we have greater influence over how they are sourced, produced and delivered to our stores. We also pay great attention to how we manage product surplus and avoid excess products from the onset.
As part of our sustainability charter, Aldi is committing to divert 90% of operational waste and striving to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. What many people may not realize is the impact of waste on our environment, as waste to landfill is another culprit of carbon emissions. In 2020, Aldi recycled nearly 300,000 tons of material, avoiding the greenhouse gas emission equivalent of nearly nine million gallons of gasoline per month. This enhanced focus, along with our strong supplier relationships, help us continue our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint as a business.
Not only are we moving away from HFC refrigerants, we are also continually investing in renewable energy. This includes owned and operated solar arrays on our store and warehouse rooftops, and a wind turbine at our Dwight, Ill., warehouse, which will provide up to 40% of the power needed for the 390,000-square-foot facility. Finally, we also are committed to purchasing green electricity. In September 2020, Aldi received an Excellence in Green Power Use award from the EPA’s Green Power Partnership for demonstrating exemplary action and dedication to significantly advancing the U.S. renewable energy market through voluntary green power use.