Aldi’s Sustainability, Stakeholders, CSR & ESG Programs

Aldi sustainability, corporate social responsibility CSR, environmental, social, governance ESG, stakeholders, retail business analysis case study
An Aldi grocery store in Syndey, Australia. Aldi’s programs for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals focus on sustainability for the retail business and its stakeholders. (Photo: Public Domain)

Aldi’s retail business success depends on support from stakeholders, especially workers and consumers, who determine the company’s sales figures. Aldi’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) programs are designed to optimize stakeholder management and gain stakeholder support favoring retail business growth and profitability. External factors, such as the ecological trends in the PESTEL/PESTLE analysis of Aldi, influence the significance of these programs and, thus, the overall CSR and ESG approach that the retail company uses for business ethics and stakeholder management. The company’s CSR and ESG programs aim for sustainable retail operations that satisfy major stakeholder groups.

The stakeholders accounted for in Aldi’s corporate citizenship programs include shoppers and consumers, employees, suppliers, and other parties relevant to the discount supermarket chain operations. These programs for corporate social responsibility and environmental, social, and corporate governance goals reinforce the business organizational capability to fulfill Aldi’s mission statement and vision statement. For example, sustainability that comes with efficiency can help with cost reduction, which is among the objectives based on the company’s mission, vision, and goals for low-cost store operations and competitive merchandise pricing.

Aldi’s CSR & ESG Programs

Aldi focuses on sustainability in its strategy and programs for corporate social responsibility. Retail business sustainability is a long-term strategic goal that guides decisions for ESG/CSR and stakeholder management based on the company’s long-term vision as a discount grocery store chain. The following programs are the main prongs of Aldi’s sustainability and CSR/ESG strategy:

  1. Packaging reduction and improvement
  2. Emission reduction
  3. Waste reduction
  4. Sustainable sourcing

Packaging reduction and improvement. Aldi’s efforts to reduce and improve packaging address the interests of the stakeholder groups of consumers, communities, and government entities. These stakeholders favor reduced, minimal, or no plastic packaging. For example, consumers and communities aim to reduce plastic packaging to reduce pollution in their localities. Aldi’s sustainability programs reduce plastic packaging to achieve lower environmental impact and support a more sustainable supply chain. Also, this CSR/ESG program enhances the company’s branding and comes with opportunities to reduce packaging material to help maintain low costs, in support of the low-cost objectives linked to Aldi’s generic competitive strategy and intensive growth strategies.

Emission reduction. Aldi favors green energy for its store operations. For example, the company purchases green electricity to match the energy consumption of its stores, corporate offices, and other areas of operations. Also, with this CSR/ESG program, Aldi’s equipment purchasing prioritizes freezers and coolers that use refrigerants that have minimal contribution to global warming. Emission reduction addresses the ecological concerns of all stakeholder groups, such as consumers’ and governments’ interests in environmental protection and conservation, which agrees with retail businesses that have emission reduction programs.

Waste reduction. As a supermarket chain, Aldi regularly removes goods nearing expiration or their sell-by dates. For corporate social responsibility and ESG, the company donates many removed products, in good condition for consumption, to charitable organizations. For example, the company donates millions of pounds of food per year to Feeding America. Aldi’s ESG and CSR efforts for waste reduction also involve recycling and reusing materials for a greener and more sustainable retail business. This waste reduction program helps satisfy stakeholders’ interests in ecologically responsible retail business. The reduced waste targets of this corporate citizenship strategy are also applied in Aldi’s operations management, such as in the areas of product design and supply chain management.

Sustainable sourcing. Sustainability in sourcing Aldi’s merchandise is a part of CSR and ESG efforts for a holistic approach to corporate citizenship and stakeholder management. As stakeholders, shoppers/consumers are interested in goods that are sustainably sourced. For example, these stakeholders favor food products from sustainable producers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Sustainable products can improve the brand image and strengthen the competitive advantages characterized in the SWOT analysis of Aldi to encourage consumer demand for the company’s merchandise. Thus, sustainable sourcing in this corporate social responsibility strategy promotes retail business growth and improvement. This prong of the CSR/ESG strategy can affect the products and promotional tactics included in Aldi’s marketing mix (4P). For instance, the company may exclude goods that cannot be sustainably sourced. Also, the grocery store chain can focus on sustainable merchandise in business promotion through social media and other channels.

An Assessment of Aldi’s CSR & ESG Programs for Business Sustainability & Stakeholder Management

Aldi’s CSR and ESG strategy uses sustainability as the primary metric in satisfying the interests of the stakeholders in the retail business. All the programs for the company’s corporate citizenship aim for sustainability in store operations, corporate affairs, supply chain management, and other areas. This focus on sustainability enables Aldi to achieve high effectiveness in reaching its CSR/ESG goals, such as in sustainable sourcing and other sustainability-related interests of various stakeholders.

Aldi’s competitiveness benefits from the effectiveness of programs for corporate social responsibility and environmental, social, and corporate governance goals. For example, waste reduction can help reduce some costs in retail operations, and responsible and sustainable sourcing can improve brand value and consumer perception. Thus, this CSR/ESG strategy helps address the business risks linked to the fierce competition demonstrated in the Five Forces analysis of Aldi. Effective stakeholder management boosts the company’s potential against competitors, like Whole Foods, Lidl, Costco Wholesale, Walmart, and Amazon’s e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. These competitors’ corporate citizenship and stakeholder management programs affect the design of Aldi’s own CSR/ESG strategy. This ESG/CSR strategy for stakeholders also considers the strategy and programs of other retailers, such as Home Depot, which does not directly compete with Aldi.


  • Aldi – Corporate Sustainability.
  • Aldi – Our Purpose and Core Values.
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