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Aldi Reaches Sustainability Milestones

Aldi has announced that it’s reached two sustainability milestones.

The retailer met its goal to remove all plastic shopping bags by the end of 2023, becoming the first major U.S. retailer to eliminate plastic shopping bags from its more than 2,300 stores, according to Aldi.

The decision to remove plastic shopping bags will prevent nearly 4,400 tons, or nearly nine million pounds of plastic, from going into circulation each year. Aldi has also unveiled a goal to transition to natural refrigerants across all U.S. stores before the end of 2035.

Aldi said that as it continues to grow, natural refrigerants will keep its products fresh while supporting a healthier planet. This goal builds on the grocer’s use of environmentally friendly refrigerants in more than 600 stores, helping it save nearly 60 percent of potential carbon emissions each year.

“As one of America’s fastest-growing retailers, we take our responsibility to lead the industry in sustainability seriously, so our customers don't have to choose between shopping responsibly and saving money,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi, in a statement. “Eliminating plastic shopping bags from our stores and transitioning to environmentally friendly refrigerant systems not only help us protect the environment, but they also help reduce costs which we then pass on to our customers. These decisions help our customers feel good about shopping at ALDI and our employees feel proud to work here.”

Aldi said it will deploy a purchasing strategy that incorporates the best refrigerant solution for each region’s distinct climate, including both carbon dioxide and propane refrigerants, two ultra-low Global Warming Potential refrigerants.

Beginning this year, ALDI will purchase environmentally friendly refrigerants for all new and remodeled stores and replace the current refrigerants in existing stores with refrigerants that have low global warming potential.

In 2023, Aldi received EPA’s GreenChill Store Certification Excellence recognition for its environmentally friendly refrigeration practices, achieving the most certifications at the platinum level of all participating U.S. grocery retailers, it said.

The EPA also awarded 109 ALDI stores in 17 states with GreenChill Store Re-Certification Excellence, recognizing these locations for five consecutive years of platinum level certifications.

Through this program, GreenChill food retailers maintain emissions rates that are approximately half the industry average, resulting in a significant benefit to the environment.

“ALDI continually shows its commitment to the environment by minimizing refrigerant emissions at stores, including the 109 stores that have been recertified in 2023 for the fifth year in a row at the platinum level,” said Cindy Newberg, Stratospheric Protection Division Director at the EPA. “ALDI is leading the way with over 600 GreenChill certified stores, a GreenChill record!”

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