- Lidl GB, the first discounter to sign the WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature, has today published its progress on sustainability
- Backing British suppliers continues to be at the forefront of Lidl GB’s plans with total investment in British food and farming businesses to hit £17bn by 2025
- Lidl GB’s Good Food Report also outlines ongoing support for communities, including:
- 25% increase in in-store food donations through Good to Give
- 26 million meal donations to local communities
13th November 2023 - Lidl GB has today published its fourth ‘Good Food’ report, updating on progress towards meeting key environmental targets and supporting communities between March 2021 and February 2023.
The report reveals that, since 2016, Lidl has reduced its food waste by almost half (43%). This means it is well on track to hit its 50% reduction target by 2030. Providing more meals to charities - including over 6 million in 2022 which surpasses the discounter’s target - has helped reach this milestone. Last year, Lidl also prevented nearly 9,000 tonnes of food waste through the sale of 1.7 million ‘Too Good to Waste’ boxes. Just one box from the discounter’s industry leading initiative offers shoppers approximately 5kg of fruit and veg equivalent to a whopping 50 portions of their 5-a-day*.
Reducing other forms of waste has also been a key priority and 95% of Lidl’s own-brand packaging is now recyclable, reusable, renewable or refillable. From loose produce, to compostable fruit and veg bags which can be reused at home as food waste caddy liners, to new recyclable packaging on mushrooms - sharp eyed shoppers can spot a range of these ‘Lidl’ changes in-store.
Overall, Lidl has cut the amount of plastic packaging across its own-brand ranges* by 29% since 2017 - with its sights set on achieving a 40% reduction by 2025. Through its partnership with Prevented Ocean Plastic, the discounter has also stopped the equivalent of 15 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean.
With over 90% of Lidl’s carbon emissions coming from its supply chain and use of its products, the retailer is also working closely with suppliers on carbon reduction projects. The discounter has partnered with The Rivers Trust and is funding three water catchment projects (increasing to nine by 2025) to mitigate risks in the supply chain.
Meanwhile, as of February 2023 45% of Lidl’s British fruit and veg suppliers were LEAF Marque certified - a gold standard in sustainable farming - meaning they have robust water and nature conservation plans in place. This figure will reach 100% by the end of the year.
All of these measures support Lidl’s sustainability goals and its commitment to helping customers in their day-to-day lives; that’s why Lidl also led the way in pledging to halve the environmental impact of its customers’ shopping baskets by 2030, through the WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature.
Mark Newbold, Senior CSR Manager at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, we strive to work in a way that benefits our people, our producers, and the planet. This means finding new, more sustainable ways to deliver on quality and value for shoppers. Little changes make a big difference – and we know they matter to our customers. From making more of our packaging recyclable and incorporating circularity into how we operate, to increasing the amount of food we donate to our charity partners - we’re proud to have made such positive strides and we’re doubling down in order to meet the ambitious goals we have set.”
Looking to the future
Lidl GB has always been on the front foot and continues to look at how technology and innovation can help meet its sustainability goals. For example, the discounter was the first to trial smart refills in 2022. With nearly 100% of customers likely to recommend the refill solution, the discounter is assessing its potential for scalability and cross-retailer standardisation.
Lidl is also trialling the Eco-Score environmental rating for products - the first UK retailer to do so - making labelling clearer and empowering shoppers to make sustainable choices.
Notes to Editors
*1) 80g of fresh, canned, or frozen fruit and vegetables counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day. Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day/5-a-day-what-counts/
*2) Own-label products account for around 90% of Lidl’s ranges.
Lidl case studies
Lowering store and warehouse emissions
Over 90% of the lights in Lidl stores use efficient LED technology. In 2022, the retailer saved 10,200 MWh while continuing to provide comfortable shopping environments. Additionally, with half of its operational energy use also coming from refrigeration, the retailer is investing in energy-saving technologies to keep its fresh food chilled or frozen. This includes glazed doors on fridges that achieve energy savings of up to 40%.
Tackling Scope 3 emissions
Lidl is working to ensure that by 2026, suppliers representing 75% of its product-related emissions have targets aligned to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) - a leading, globally renowned body that defines best practise for science-based climate targets. Some case studies of carbon reduction projects are below.
- Responsible cheese: Lidl is working with its Deluxe Cheddar supplier, Somerset cheesemaker Wyke Farms, to reduce on-farm emissions through enhanced management of soil, land, energy, manure, and even herds. As part of this project, farmers are also using more low-food mile products, less fertiliser and more deforestation-free animal feed. Lidl’s Deluxe Cheddar cheese saw a carbon footprint reduction of 23% in 2022. The discounter is implementing a strategy for continual reduction year-on-year.
- Responsible eggs: In September 2023, Lidl launched a new 6 pack of Free Range eggs with a carbon footprint reduction of almost 60%. Working with its Scottish-based egg supplier Duncan’s, it has achieved significant emissions reduction by removing soy from animal feed and replacing it with feed made of home-grown British beans. The businesses are also working together to increase biodiversity. The RSPCA Assured eggs also promote hyper transparency, with the packs featuring a QR code enabling customers to get more information.
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 31,000 employees, over 960 stores and 14 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. The supermarket, which has around 376,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 12,200 stores and more than 220 logistics centres and warehouses in 31 countries.
The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €154.1 billion in the financial year 2022.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/