At the ALDO Group, we’re known for our commitment to our people and to the world we live in. In line with our founder’s values of Love, Respect and Integrity, corporate social responsibility cascades throughout all levels of our company.
In 2015, we carried out a responsibility assessment to prioritize issues relevant to our business and stakeholders. Here are some examples of our areas of action and how we have been working to reduce our social and environmental impacts.
Working alongside industry experts, we began measuring our global carbon footprint in 2013. We take a rigorous approach to carbon footprinting. We follow the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol standards and calculate direct and indirect emissions that result from sourcing our products, their transportation, our stores’ energy consumption, business travel and waste generated in our owned operations.
Since 2013, we’ve achieved a 7% absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and 2) through energy-efficient stores and optimized transportation of our car and truck fleet.
We believe in developing long-term, mutually beneficial business partnerships founded on transparency, trust and collaboration. We also feel it is our responsibility to help our partners strengthen their management practices to drive wide-spread sustainable change in our supply chain.
Our efforts go beyond factory monitoring and on-site audits to ensure that our partners adhere to legal requirements, respect our standards and provide a safe and healthy work environment to all of their employees. Our sourcing and compliance teams help factories take ownership of their sustainability performance by providing guidance, training manuals and facilitating workshops that address modern supply chain challenges.
We engage our partners to continuously improve their performance by sharing benchmark results and industry best practices through our bi-annual regional partner summits.
The ALDO Group conducts regular audits of our factories based on the conditions outlined in our Code of Ethics and our manuals. This verification takes the form of announced and unannounced on-site inspections, as well as on-site and off-site discussions with workers conducted by independent monitoring firms and our social compliance team.
Approved factories are re-audited regularly based on past performance. Any non-compliance is detailed in a corrective action plan.
We prioritize a collaborative approach with our partners to help them implement corrective actions. In the event a resolution is not completed within the agreed upon time frame or is not possible, the ALDO Group can terminate the business relationship with the non-compliant partner.
In 2016, the ALDO Group launched an online platform to help our factories track and monitor their corrective action plans and improve compliance performance.
The ALDO Group has teamed up with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a group of like-minded brands, retailers, manufacturers and experts that share a vision of a sustainable apparel and footwear industry. More than 100 companies are now members of the coalition, committed to having a positive impact on the people, environment and communities associated with manufacturing their products.
The coalition created the Higg Index, a set of tools used to score environmental, social and labor impacts. We’ve already started piloting the Higg Environmental Module with our partners to assess their performance and engage them in environmental responsibility.
Leather has been an important natural material used by our signature footwear brand, Aldo, since 1972. It remains one of the core materials in our footwear and the ALDO Group is committed to sourcing leather responsibly and transparently.
As members of the Leather Working Group, we work with other brands, retailers, tanners, manufacturers and experts to improve the environmental performance of the leather industry.
We hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to waste diversion and reducing the overall waste sent to landfills from all our owned stores and facilities. Our long-term goal is to generate zero waste.
From our zero-waste campus cafeteria to paperless pay slips for all associates, we’re continuously rethinking our daily practices so we can reduce waste at the source and expand recycling where facilities exist.
Our teams are also designing smarter and more sustainable packaging to decrease product packaging waste before the product even reaches our customers’ homes.
We provide our store teams with all the tools they need to facilitate on-site recycling. We follow up with them regularly and ask for their feedback on how to further reduce store waste at source. Some of their best ideas have already been implemented globally.
Waste Diversion Rate
In 2013, we set a goal to reach 85% waste diversion for our Montreal head office and distribution center. We’ve since expanded our organics collection across our entire Montreal campus, improved distribution center sorting practices and made all associates responsible for sorting their own waste at centrally located-recycling hubs.
In 2015, we exceeded this goal by diverting over 88% of all waste generated on site. We are happy to have surpassed that goal ahead of schedule, but we’re not stopping there. We’re continuing to work towards our long-term objective of reaching zero waste.
Even our campus cafeteria underwent a zero waste transformation. All of our organics and coffee grinds are now composted, and takeout packaging, including coffee cups, is made from renewable materials that is 100% compostable in industrial facilities.
At the ALDO Group, we’ve set out on a journey to reduce the environmental footprint of our packaging, marketing materials and receipts without compromising aesthetics, functionality or product integrity.
Our approach to sustainable packaging follows four simple principles:
1. Eliminate unnecessary packaging and re-use whenever possible
2. Design optimally to reduce over-packaging
3. Select the right materials with a preference for certified or post-consumer recycled content
4. Foster recyclability by selecting packaging that is recyclable and easy to disassemble
We’re making sustainable improvements to packaging at every chance we get, but we still have more work ahead of us.
With a passion for horticulture, our founder has always made greening the space surrounding his workplace and his community a priority. His vision was to plant the seeds necessary for growth; to create a green campus, a sound and lively environment for associates at his Montreal head office and distribution center.
Since 2011, the Montreal campus has been providing our associates with access to a one-of-a-kind community garden. The ALDO Group’s garden offers first-time gardening workshops with experienced horticulturalists, compost tutorials and a fun outdoor activity in a community setting.
Offering a community garden improves access to fresh and organic vegetables, contributes to urban biodiversity, and fosters a healthier, happier, more balanced workplace. A portion of the garden harvest is used by the ALDO Group cafeteria and helps nourish all Montreal campus associates.
Twice a year, a farmers’ market is held at the Montreal campus where associates have the opportunity to engage with and support independent producers selling local and artisanal goods. Associates can also sign up with a local farm to have organic fruits and vegetables delivered directly to the office year round.