Lidl Ireland has announced its commitment to becoming a carbon neutral business by 2025, as well as industry-leading initiatives including launching a dedicated Supplier Engagement Programme and enabling customers to lower their carbon impact through EV charging points.
The retailer also plans to further progress on its targets by committing to a 46% reduction in its operational emissions by 2030.
A Better Tomorrow
The announcement comes as part of the retailer’s progress report on their sustainability strategy ‘A Better Tomorrow’.
Lidl is committed to driving those targets through a robust schedule of activities that target their internal operations as well as initiatives that support their network of suppliers and customers to lower their carbon impact.
These initiatives will cement Lidl’s position as Ireland’s most sustainable retailer.
To achieve the ambitious targets for carbon neutrality, Lidl has engaged The Carbon Trust over the last two years to collaborate with them on measuring the retailer’s carbon footprint and to model in-depth reduction pathways aligned to the Science-Based Target initiative guidelines.
A localised national reduction strategy has been created which aligns with the Paris Agreement’s global 1.5-degree scenario towards decarbonisation.
Speaking about the progress report, J.P. Scally, CEO Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said; “At Lidl we believe it is our responsibility to not only offer the best service for our customers, suppliers and communities but to protect the environment and build a successful, sustainable future. We take our role in society seriously and continuously strive to go above and beyond to make a positive difference for our customers, communities, and the environment, working to bring about real change through innovation, investment, and active leadership.
Reducing Plastics and Packaging
Already, customers can shop at Lidl knowing that there has been considerable progress made across its own-brand packaging range towards a 20% reduction by the end of 2022.
This has been achieved through a number of steps including eliminating all single-use plastic items such as drinking straws, disposable cups, glasses, and plates which have been replaced with non-plastic alternatives.
Furthermore, all plastic microbeads have been removed from Lidl’s own-brand cosmetics and household cleaning products.
By the end of 2021, the retailer is committed to eliminating all non-recyclable black plastic from own-brand products and has already removed black plastic from fruit & veg, fresh fish, cured meat, and the majority of fresh meat and poultry, converting almost 500 tonnes of plastic into fully recyclable packaging.
By 2025, 100% of Lidl’s own-brand packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable, or renewable and 50% of the materials used in own-brand packaging will come from recycled materials.
Industry First Supplier Engagement Programme
Lidl has also developed a dedicated ‘Supplier Engagement Programme’, the first of its kind in the Irish retail industry, which sees collaboration with their key suppliers to develop CSR and Sustainability projects to improve the supplier’s environmental impact and in turn, help them to grow their future business sustainably.
The 5-year collaborative programme aims to develop long-term plans with suppliers to address carbon emissions reduction but also packaging reduction and circularity amongst other areas.
As part of this programme, Lidl is also collaborating with external stakeholders such as Bord Bia’s Origin Green, Teagasc, The Carbon Trust, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, to add their credibility and expertise in shaping the projects with their suppliers.
To date, the discounter has worked with Liffey Meats, Meade Farm, Keohane’s of Bantry, and Belview Eggs to develop long-term plans to address these areas.
Green and Renewable Energy
Having already made the switch to purchasing 100% green energy in 2018, Lidl is supporting a switch to energy generation by committing to retrofitting solar panelling across at least 15 stores per year.
A €75 million expansion of its Mullingar Distribution Centre will see the installation of the retailer’s largest solar array across any of its Irish properties and one of the largest in the country, and will provide enough energy to meet approximately 25% of the distribution centre’s energy requirements.
Lidl currently has 74 dedicated customer charging points across its store network, the most of any retailer in Ireland, and is committed to increasing this number over the coming years.
Support for Colleagues and Local Community
Lidl continues to strive to have a positive impact on the communities they operate in through their work with charity partner, Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health.
With more than €1m raised for the charity to date, Lidl has helped to make Jigsaw’s vital services available to more young people and their families and support systems across the country.
Lidl has also launched ground-breaking initiatives like becoming the first retailer in the world to combat period poverty by offering free period products to those affected in stores nationwide and the first company in Ireland to offer compassionate leave to employees who have experienced early pregnancy loss and miscarriage.
The retailer also continues to support its partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, launching its Level the Playing Field campaign in 2021 which saw shoppers help local LGFA clubs win prizes ranging from new sets of jerseys to €20,000 in funding.
© 2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.