As part of our Better Together Strategy, Ahold Delhaize and each of its brands shares the ambition to be a better neighbor. We deliver on this promise by responsibly managing the earth’s resources and balancing business and environmental impacts on the communities in which we operate.
The environmental commitments in our Sustainable Retailing strategy support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are committed to fully complying with all relevant environmental legislation and regulation across our value chain to meet and exceed good environmental practices. As a Board member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and as a member of the CGF’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, Ahold Delhaize is committed to drive and communicate environmental sustainability improvements throughout the value chain of the consumer goods industry. In alignment with CGF board resolutions, we have made specific commitments to reduce environmental impacts from deforestation in the supply chain, food waste, and refrigerants.
In our stores, warehouses, and logistics
Within our own operations, we focus on the following areas as our largest environmental impacts:
- Greenhouse gas emission reduction
- Waste prevention and reduction
Greenhouse gas emission reduction
The primary contributions of greenhouse gas emissions from our operations come from energy use and refrigerant leakages. A small percentage is from the transportation of goods between our warehouses and stores and home deliveries. We invest each year in improving energy efficiency of our facilities, changing to more climate-friendly refrigerants, further reducing refrigerant leakage, and optimizing our transport and logistics efficiency.
- 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per square meter sales area by 2020 (from 2008 baseline)
In reducing waste, our primary focus is on food waste. Applying the FAO food waste hierarchy, we take a three-pronged approach to reducing food waste in our own operations, focusing on prevention, donation and recycling. We prevent food waste in our stores, warehouses and transportation networks through continuous optimization of processes such as inventory management, store replenishment, associate training and pricing. We aim to maximize donations of unsold food through collaboration with different charities and community organizations. We aim to recycle all food that cannot be donated using the best applicable recycling methods.
In addition to reducing food waste, we aim to reduce and maximize recycling of all waste that is generated in our operations. Stores and warehouses continue to optimize recycling programs to increase recycling of plastic and cardboard packaging, as well as other materials (such as metal, glass, and batteries). The Ahold Delhaize brands invest in associate education to support maximizing recycling and have established partnerships with other companies to identify ways to add programs or make existing ones more efficient.
- 20% reduction in food waste per total food sales from 2016-2020
- 90% recycling of food waste by 2020
- 80% recycling of total waste by 2020
Our Suppliers and Partners
To conserve natural resources along our value chain, we partner with suppliers on the following areas:
- Sustainable sourcing of critical commodities in own-brand products
- Reduction and recycling of own-brand products packaging
- Food waste prevention in the supply chain
For more information, see our website section on Product Safety & Sustainability.
We are committed to sourcing all of the tea, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soy, wood fibers and seafood used in our own-brand products with certification against an acceptable standard. The commodities that we have identified as “critical” are linked to major environmental and social issues such as deforestation, carbon emissions, child labor, forced labor, illegal fishing and overfishing.
We take an active role to improve sustainable commodity standards. For example, Ahold Delhaize participates in the Board of Governors and working group of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Board of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), the Retailers Palm Oil Group (RPOG) and Retailers Soy Group (RSG.
- 100% sustainable sourcing of tea, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soy, wood fibers and seafood in own-brand products by 2020
Own brand product packaging
We continually improve our own-brand product packaging by assessing against the Ahold Delhaize 4R Guidelines (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew). We aim to minimize the overall lifecycle impact of the product through packaging optimization. Ahold Delhaize brands are working to reduce packaging and increase recyclability of packaging materials.
In many of our markets, Ahold Delhaize brands are helping make packaging recycling easier for customers. For example, the Alfa Beta brand in Greece has been a leader for years in incentivizing customers to recycle packaging at kiosks outside our stores.
Food waste prevention in the supply chain
We work together with industry organizations, suppliers and customers to drive food waste reduction and prevention, upstream and downstream, by adopting food industry leading innovations (products and packaging) and educating customers to waste less at home. In addition, we take an active role in various committees and working groups, including the CGF food waste working group to address food waste issues with the business community and other relevant stakeholders.
Governance and Monitoring
Our commitment to conserving natural resources, as part of our overall Sustainable Retailing strategy, is established and supported globally through our Supervisory Board (Sustainability and Innovation Committee) and Executive Committee, and implemented locally through our brands. Relevant functional leaders across the group and the brands (in areas such as Legal, Operation support, Technical development, Sustainable Retailing and Product Integrity) are responsible for implementing the work relevant to their functions. These responsibilities include monitoring compliance with applicable laws and company policies in our own operations and monitoring environmental protection conditions in our supply chains. Together, they are responsible for global reporting against our strategy, for engaging external stakeholders, and for monitoring related trends and managing issues and risks.