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Lidl's Partnership With WWF Goes Global

Key efforts include conservation, responsible sourcing, climate protection
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Lidl’s new partnership with WWF expands the scope of previous work to identify opportunities to accelerate sustainability at an international level.

Discount grocer Lidl and WWF, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organizations, have launched an international and strategic partnership active in 31 countries to ensure a more sustainable future.

Neckarsulm, Germany-based Lidl operates more than 12,000 grocery stores in 30-plus countries. Its partnership with WWF will focus on the following key areas:

  • Conservation and promotion of biodiversity
  • Responsible management of water resources
  • Climate protection through science-based climate targets
  • Building and expanding traceable, deforestation-free and conversion-free supply chains
  • Responsible sourcing of critical raw materials such as palm oil, soy, cocoa, tea, coffee, wood and paper products
  • Responsible sourcing of farmed and wild-caught seafood, including the safeguarding of critical fishing grounds and stocks
  • Engaging in advocacy for more conscientious, sustainable diets and consumption
  • Reduction of food waste
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“The way we produce and consume food and energy is one of the leading drivers of nature loss and climate change," said Kirsten Schuijt, director general at Washington, D.C.-based WWF International. "In order to halt and reverse what is the biggest crisis facing humanity today, we need bold and urgent actions towards changing our food and energy systems, and the food and retail sector has a big role to play in driving this change. As one of the largest retailers, Lidl has enormous international leverage to drive sustainable change in the food and retail industry. WWF is proud to accompany Lidl on this journey.”

In addition to Lidl’s engagement along its own operations and value chain, the company will support various WWF conservation projects to help protect the environment in the regions it sources from.

“At Lidl, we are giving our customers affordable access to healthy fresh foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and other vegetarian, vegan and organic options,” noted Joel Rampoldt, CEO of Lidl US, who spoke to Progressive Grocer a few months ago about his company's new direction. “We’re excited to be part of this larger partnership with WWF, and we are confident that together, we’ll find innovative ways to deliver on our goal of creating a better tomorrow.”

Lidl’s partnership with WWF builds on previous commitments to achieve a more sustainable future. For example, the grocer released its first report on corporate social responsibility efforts last year. In it, Lidl outlined such efforts as reducing scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse-gas emissions by 63% by the end of 2022 as it works toward a 70% reduction by 2030. Lidl also shared that it had identified 11 critical raw materials and committed to setting responsible sourcing targets for each group of items. 

Additionally, Lidl partnered with Global Seafood Alliance on a campaign last year that promoted how choosing BAP-certified seafood can make a positive contribution to consumer and environmental health. 

Lidl US operates more than 170 stores across nine East Coast states and Washington, D.C. The Arlington, Va.-based grocer is No. 91 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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