Discounter ALDI placed Wecycle collection furniture in its 500 stores in the Netherlands during the course of 2019. In doing so, the company further fleshed out its policy on reducing packaging materials and promoting reuse and recycling. In 2020, ALDI customers returned over 4,300 kilos of small household appliances, lamps and batteries. Nadie Winde, Manager Corporate Responsibility at ALDI in the Netherlands talks about the ambitions.

In the corona year 2020, discounter ALDI caught up on e-waste collection. Nadie Winde, Manager Corporate Responsibility at ALDI in the Netherlands: “Of course, we were already fulfilling our collection obligation, but not yet through collection furniture visible in-store. We took that step in 2019, which led to a boost in collected appliances and lamps last year. We deliberately chose collection furniture in the Wecycle/Stibat design, because that is a recognizable means for consumers. The emptying of the bins goes through Stibat, and generally that goes well. Although at times it was noticeable that the system was running up against its limits and our customers could easily find the furniture: the furniture was regularly overflowing.”

Extensive sustainability policy

According to Winde, ALDI has an extensive sustainability policy, which focuses, among other things, on reducing packaging materials and encouraging reuse and recycling. In addition, reducing CO₂ emissions – by taking energy-efficient measures – is a key strategic goal. Winde: “Since 2016, we have been using only energy-efficient LED lighting in our new and modernized branches. This lighting consumes up to 50 percent less power than conventional lighting. In addition, we are equipping all of our new branches with energy-efficient refrigeration and freezer units with natural refrigerants. With these innovative refrigeration units, the heat generated during cooling is recovered. This heat is then used to heat the branch: this saves even more energy and we no longer need a natural gas connection. Our newest branches meet at least energy label A+++ and if there are solar panels on the store roofs, the energy label is even A++++.”