German grocer Aldi has joined Greenpeace’s Detox campaign and promised to phase out hazardous chemicals from its products and supply chain by 2020.
The discount supermarket chain, which expects to have a total of 2,000 U.S. locations by 2018 and enjoys annual textile sales of roughly $2.7 billion, made the announcement after the activist group criticized the recyclability of its textiles, social standards and use of raw materials like cotton.
Aldi has agreed to immediately ban toxic pollutants such as phthalates, brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, heavy metals, chlorinated solvents, formaldehyde and cyanide, among others. The grocer also committed to phasing out any use of alkylphenols (APEO) across its global supply chain and operations for all apparel and footwear by Dec. 31, 2016.
In addition, the chain ensures that 80 percent of its suppliers producing apparel and footwear will disclose waste water data by Mar. 31, 2016 at the latest. It also vows to establish a global sustainable consumption program by end of June 2016 that will encourage its consumers to purchase sustainable products rather than throwaway fashion.
Since Greenpeace launched its Detox campaign in 2011, 31 companies (including other supermarket chains Marks & Spencer and Lidl) have committed to clean up their acts by 2020.