November 22, 2022 - Last week, Albert Heijn announced they are adapting their ambition of reducing CO2 emissions in their value chain (scope 3) from 15% to 45% by 2030 compared to 2018. Based on Albert Heijn’s mission, ‘ Together we make eating better the easy choice.’, Albert Heijn aims to make the world a better liveable place through several initiatives. Within their own business operations – stores, distribution centers and offices – they are already climate neutral and continuous steps are being taken in their value chain. For example, the exact carbon emissions in their poultry and pork chains have now been mapped.
Reducing CO2 emissions throughout poultry and pork chains
Albert Heijn has long-term partnerships with more than 1,100 farmers and growers in the fresh produce chain within their Better for Nature & Farmer programs. Within these programs, CO2 reduction is explicitly included, as well as transparent long-term agreements about climate, sustainability, animal welfare and appropriate earning capacity.
In late 2020, Albert Heijn began working with supply chain partners to precisely calculate greenhouse gas emissions in poultry and pork chains. Here, they were able to calculate using the primary data from the value chains, what the CO2 impact is for these products where they can now take targeted action to reduce CO2 emissions. In the pork chain for example, animal feed is responsible for 50% of total emissions and in the case of poultry, 77%. Therefore, Albert Heijn is already encouraging the use of circular feed and deforestation-free soy in its animal feed chains. To gain further insight into other chains, Albert Heijn is also collecting primary exact data for beef, salmon, eggs, meat substitutes and fruits and vegetables, among other categories.
On the road to better food
In addition to Albert Heijn reducing CO2 emissions throughout its value chains, the following initiatives are also part of Albert Heijn’s sustainability approach:
- Albert Heijn is helping customers transition to a plant-based diet by ensuring 60% of proteins consumed come from vegetable sources by 2030. This can be achieved, for example, by offering a wide range of vegetarian and vegetable products, including an affordable range of vegan Price Favorite products, making the customer aware of the positive impact of eating less meat, providing inspiration for vegetarian recipes and offering vegetarian substitutes in the online shop. Albert Heijn’s meat substitutes product range has also already doubled to more than 300 products.
- Albert Heijn has already significantly reduced emissions in its own business operations – shops, distribution centers and offices – by 92.3% compared to 2018. This was mainly due to the switch to 100% Dutch wind energy at the beginning of 2021. The remaining emissions in its own operations are compensated for by contributing to VCS-certified climate projects. This makes Albert Heijn’s business operations climate neutral.
- By mid-2022, all large own-brand suppliers mapped their full carbon footprint for the first time – including a reduction plan and reduction targets. Albert Heijn is also planning CO2 reductions in the supply chains of well-known brand suppliers. This contributes to the ambition of a 45% reduction by 2030.
- Albert Heijn also has climate-neutral products including Perla coffee which has been part of the range for more than four years. And since the beginning of 2022, all own-brand bananas have been climate neutral, from the plantation to the store.
- As less food waste also contributes to reducing CO2 emissions, Albert Heijn aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Some initiatives that are already helping Albert Heijn reach this target include their recently rolled out AH Overblijvers (Albert Heijn Leftovers) and dynamic discount rates across all stores.