Open Menu

Origin Green

Ireland’s Origin Green is the world’s first national food sustainability programme created by Bord Bia. It unites the industry towards a common purpose of proving and improving the sustainability of our food production system. Its members include farmers and food businesses; food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators.

To become a member of the programme, we have committed to a mandatory mix of sustainability targets specified by the Origin Green Charter in key areas such as waste, emissions, energy, water, responsible sourcing of products, packaging, health and nutrition and social sustainability. These mandatory targets form the basis of our Origin Green sustainability plan. Through an independent verification system, targets are measured on an ongoing basis. The plan is independently verified by Mabbett to ensure the targets are viable and robust. Each plan is reviewed annually and monitored for progress against the set targets. Becoming members of Origin Green supports and enhances our CSR objectives.

Carbon Reduction

In 2017, we conducted our first carbon footprint analysis to understand where we were having the most impact in our operations. In conjunction with the Carbon Trust, we detailed our scope 1 and 2 emissions. In 2018, we progressed by completing a scope 3 analysis, which includes all the indirect emissions that occur in our value chain.

As a food retailer the majority of our impact is in the value chain. This provided us with a full insight into ‘hotspots’ or key areas and product categories earmarked for improvement. By accurately assessing and analysing where we were most impactful, we could more effectively target areas aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.

Overview

As a large grocery retailer, a key way in which we strive for greater sustainability across our business is through the sourcing of our products. That’s why we’re fully committed to ensuring that our buying power is driving positive change for producers, communities and the environment as a whole, both in Ireland and further afield.

After all, sourcing responsibly means we can offer you goods that are produced to the highest quality, environmental and social standards – allowing you to choose sustainably sourced options at affordable prices.

“At Lidl, we provide top quality and market leading value but also we ensure our products are ethically sourced. We are committed to ambitious sustainability targets in a variety of product categories. This won’t be achieved overnight but we want to share our journey with you.”
– J.P. Scally, Managing Director

Energy Efficiency

At Lidl , we aim to decrease our climate impact by continuously improving our resource efficiency, particularly in the area of energy usage, over the last year we have developed our energy management strategies, innovated in our stores and planned for the future.

Some of our initiatives  and achievements are detailed below:

  • Our Energy Management System is certified to ISO 50001 standard across all of our operations; stores, distribution centres and head office. The certification ensures we continually improve the energy performance of our buildings, optimise their use and reduce their operating costs.
  • Since March 2018, we converted to using only renewable electricity, reducing our carbon footprint significantly.
  • In 2018, we retrofitted lighting in 104 stores and two distribution centres to LED lighting which cut our energy consumption by 63.4% in this area.
  • We are adding solar panels to all suitable new stores and major refurbishment projects and will have 11 stores with Solar by the end of 2019.
  • E-car fast-charging docks are being added to stores, 22 stores  already have free customer chargers.

Local Sourcing & Organic Farming

We take pride in building long-term relationships with our Irish suppliers, these home-grown partnerships provide long-term growth for both sides. Since entering the market in 2000, the proportion of our purchases from Irish suppliers has grown year-on-year. Lidl sources millions of euro worth of produce from over 275 suppliers on the island of Ireland. A significant portion of this is destined for the shelves of Lidl supermarkets in Europe and the United States, providing the opportunity for local suppliers to grow their exports into other markets.

Our range of organic products is ever increasing. Our organic farmers and producers adhere to legislative requirements in relation to organic production as well as our own strict internal standards. Organic standards rely on farming practices designed to minimise the impact on the environment, ensuring the agricultural system operates as naturally as possible. Approximately 220 organic products are sold in our stores annually, in our food and non-food ranges. This includes own-brand, branded, seasonal and textile products.

Kick Start

We have invested €650,000 in local suppliers through Kick Start, our supplier development programme. Kick start was developed by Lidl in conjunction with Bord Bia to help small and medium Irish food and drink businesses to grow their brand and build their supply network.

More than 60 suppliers are chosen every year, from across the country to partake in the programme. Their products are sold in a limited edition ‘Best of Ireland’ food promotion across Ireland and Northern Ireland. As part of the programme all suppliers attend a series of free, comprehensive seminars which guides them through the Kick Start programme and teaches them skills to help grow their business ahead of their products going on sale at Lidl. The seminars were carried out by a panel of industry experts in Lidl and included themes around quality control, packaging, marketing, public relations and brand building.

Jigsaw

We are proud to partner with Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Through this partnership, we have pledged to raise €1 million and grow national awareness for youth mental health.

The Covid19 pandemic has impacted and affected all our lives. The uncertainty and isolation is leaving many young people without the core things they need and value for their mental wellbeing. A hug, chats, walks in the park. A friend.

While this crisis is impacting young people in so many ways, it also creates many new challenges for parents, family members, friends, teachers, coaches and colleagues. The loss of usual routines, trying to support young people, juggling many roles and spending long periods of time with those you live with. We all need be there to support young people through these difficult times, but we also need to ensure we look after our own mental health, because we cannot support others if we are not support yourselves.

Lidl are supporting Jigsaw, and Jigsaw support us all to find ways to support our mental health, so we can be there to support our young people. Visit www.JigsawOnline.ie to explore the range of services and supports available for young people, their parents, family members, friends, teachers, coaches and colleagues. Their services range from phone support (1800 JIGSAW), video call support, email support, group chats, online supportive content, webinars, plus, much, much more.

Not only are we aiming to raise funds to help Jigsaw, but we are also aiming to raise national awareness of youth mental health by encouraging all of our customers and colleagues to be One Good Adult to a young person in their lives. To learn more on our partnership and for more information the role you can play in supporting youth mental click below. Who can be One Good Adult? What does it mean?

Sedex

We believe our role is to reassure our customers and key stakeholders that our products are ethically and sustainably sourced. We are members of Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), which aims to drive improvements and convergence in responsible sourcing practices. Sedex is an online platform that enables us to manage our suppliers performance around labour rights, health and safety, the environment and business ethics and help ensure that our Code of Conduct is being implemented. More information on Sedex can be found here.

Environmentally Friendly Store

Sustainability was at the heart of our store reopening in Donore Road, Drogheda. The new store design features a number of eco-friendly characteristics which will reduce the environmental impact of the store. The new store includes natural refrigeration systems, efficient LED lighting and sustainably sourced wooden building materials. Amongst other sustainable attributes, the site also features free electric vehicle charging stations for customers. Irish start-up Airsynergy, based in Longford, partnered with Lidl on the project by supplying renewable solar and wind powered car park lighting. This is the first Lidl store in the country with many of these impressive new features and is part of ongoing efforts by the retailer to meet the many targets set out in their Origin Green sustainability plan.

Alan Barry, Director of Property & Central Services said; ”Lidl is committed to reducing its environmental impact across all of its operations, from working with Carbon Trust on its overall climate strategy to increasing its store efficiency. Following on from achieving ISO 50001 certification across the entire store network in 2016, Lidl are constantly looking for innovative technologies such as the solar and wind powered car park lighting in Drogheda. The Drogheda store will boast an impressive array of sustainability features including efficient lighting, heat recovery systems and free electric vehicle charging for its customers. Lidl are always keen to support local companies and build long term relationships with our suppliers and as such we were delighted to trial the solar and wind lighting technology with Airsynergy.

As well as the improved energy and environmental impact of the store, these sustainable features also optimise comfort levels for employees and customers. The building management system automatically controls the building environment based on live conditions and will detect store temperatures to automatically adjust heating accordingly.

Speaking at the Lidl Drogheda reopening, Donal Byrne, store manager said; “We are thrilled to reopen our store in Drogheda and particularly delighted that we are the first store in the country with some impressive new green features. The new architectural design and spacious store layout means that we can offer our customers a greater shopping experience while also reducing our overall impact on the environment. We look forward to welcoming our customers back into the store and hope to see many customers availing of the free car charging. I am also delighted that we have been able to add 15 new employees into the Lidl team in Drogheda”.

 

Renewable Energy Programme

In 2018, we won the award for “Energy Project of the Year” at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Awards, for our Renewable Energy Programme. The SEAI is Ireland’s national sustainable energy authority and the awards recognise excellence in all aspects of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Solar Energy

We use solar energy in a number of our properties and in 2018 committed to adding solar PV systems to all suitable new stores and refurbishments. By the end of 2019 we will have 11 stores with solar panels equipped. Our solar panels on our Newbridge distribution facility will be the largest in the county and reduce the premises carbon output by 473 tonnes annually, the electricity usage equivalent to that of 240 homes.

Sourcing Green Electricity

Since March 2018, Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland converted to using only renewable electricity, reducing our carbon footprint significantly.  We have committed to only sourcing renewable electricity in the future.

Carbon Trust

We are working with experts in the Carbon Trust to carry out an in-depth analysis of our environmental footprint so we can address the most pertinent areas in the next phase of our environmental strategy. By analysing where we have the most impact as a business, we will be able to create a more effective strategy to reduce our impact on the environment and make our processes as efficient as possible. In our analyses we focussed on our Scope 1 and 2 emissions and key areas in our Scope 3 emissions such as the purchased goods and services from our supply chain and transportation and distribution activities. The Carbon Trust also supported the development of the carbon footprinting models used on Bord Bia’s quality assured beef, lamb and dairy farms in Ireland.

Overview

It is important to us that all our team members are proud of what we achieve together in Lidl.

Our #WeAreLidl people strategy brings to life our philosophy that our colleagues are part of one team. This strategy focuses on developing sustainable relationships by engaging leaders, prioritising employee wellbeing and implementing consistent and transparent two-way communication, while positively contributing to business objectives. This has, and continues to, engage colleagues and embeds a culture driven by our values – Respect, Recognition, Responsibility and Trust.

Lidl Ireland Joins Origin Green

Lidl Ireland became a member of Origin Green the world’s first national food sustainability programme created by Bord Bia, emphasising our commitment to food sustainability in Irish retailing. It is the first programme of its kind to bring an entire industry together with a common purpose of proving and improving the sustainability of our food production system. Its members include farmers and food businesses.

To become a member, Lidl has committed to a development plan that sets out targets in waste emissions, energy, water, responsible sourcing of products, health and nutrition and social sustainability. Twenty four clear targets have been established by Lidl Ireland. Through an independent verification system, targets are measured on an ongoing basis.

 

As part of the development programme, Lidl will increase the products certified by sustainability initiatives, for example Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Organic and Certified Palm Oil. By the end of this year, Lidl will have zero waste diverted to landfill and by 2020 Lidl aims to reduce ten per cent of overall waste, as well as reducing fifteen per cent of overall water consumption.

Building and retrofitting of new stores with energy efficient equipment and technology. Lidl has already achieved ISO 50001 energy efficiency certification in all stores and aims for certification for all of its regional distribution centres and head office this year. By 2020, Lidl will donate surplus food to Irish charities amounting to a million meals.

Half of employees will take part in health and wellbeing initiatives by 2020 and build on community impact through volunteering, sponsorship, charity partnerships and local donation funds.

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive of Bord Bia, added:

“I am delighted on behalf of Bord Bia to welcome Lidl as a verified member of our Origin Green programme. This commitment of Lidl to sustainability and its choice of the Origin Green programme to help it frame targets and deliver independently verified results will, I`m certain encourage others to take the same step and join us on our journey to manage our impact on the environment for the benefit of this and future generations.”

Autism Aware Stores

Between the bright lights, crowded spaces, noise and sensory overload, grocery shopping can sometimes be a very stressful task for people with autism. With this in mind, we have organised “Autism Aware Quiet Evenings” in each of our stores to help people and families who may struggle with the weekly shop run. These Autism Aware Quiet Evenings take place weekly, on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm, offering our customers a more comfortable shopping experience.
1. Reduced lighting
2. No music or announcements
3. Lower till scan sounds
4. Priority queuing & additional assistance
5. Always welcome assistance dogs

Ladies Gaelic Football Association

We launched our sponsorship with the LGFA in 2016 and since then have invested a massive €4m in the LGFA and its local communities including supporting over 450 schools and juvenile teams nationwide, donating more than 11,000 jerseys, balls and equipment and providing over 300 clubs with cash donations.

We also commissioned the first Irish-based research into how sport participation impacts the lives of women and the factors that influence dropout. Worryingly the research revealed that by the age of 13, one in two girls will have dropped out of sport and are three times more like to drop out of sport than boys. Since then one of the primary objectives of our sponsorship of the LGFA has been to encourage more young girls to participate and stay in sport. Our nationwide Lidl #SeriousSupport Schools Programme was launched in 2019 and aimed to tackle dropout rates of girls aged 11-14 by delivering inspirational assembly talks and skill-building workshops.

It all begins with a school or a club, we want to provide solid support for players at the outset to ensure young female talent is nurtured and developed.
For more on this partnership click here.

Food Redistribution

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation approximately one in three calories produced is wasted, In Ireland, one in 11 families live in food poverty, with over one million tonnes of food wasted in Ireland per year (Social Inclusion Monitor (2017), Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection).

In an effort to tackle food poverty while supporting our local communities, we partnered with FoodCloud to develop our food redistribution programme. Through our partnership, we have built a network of more than 300 charity and community groups, from disability support services to afterschool clubs to homeless charities, which we support with regular food donations from our stores and warehouses. Not only do our donations enable our partner charity and community groups to provide their members with nutritious meals, they also benefit from substantial savings on food costs which they can reallocate back into their core services.

In Ireland, we donate on average 50,000 meals every month to over 300 charities. To date we have redistributed the equivalent to over 2 million meals.

Work Safe. Live Well.

When it comes to employee wellbeing we ensure exacting high standards. Work Safe. Live Well. is the ethos of our health and wellbeing strategy. Designed to take an holistic view of employee health and wellness, the strategy focuses on 3 core areas; physical safety at work, physical and mental health, and financial wellbeing.

The programme focuses on safety in the workplace, mindfulness, fitness, nutrition and provides an impressive employee benefits package. Additional programme benefits include pension, healthcare scheme, employee assistance programme, anniversary payments, tax savers, sabbatical leave, maternity and paternity top up and the recently introduced paid volunteer day.

Living Wage

In 2015 Lidl was the first nationwide retailer to introduce the Living Wage for all entry level store and warehouse employees and in 2018 was delighted to commit to the new, increased living wage as a minimum to each of our team members. The living wage is an independently assessed and measured rate of income considered necessary to meet basic needs such as housing, food, clothing, transport and healthcare – the cost of which is not always covered by the national minimum wage.

“Our people are the secret to our success. For that success to continue, we each need to be the best that we can be. It is our objective to become Ireland’s top employer, be a great place to work where health and wellbeing is actively encouraged, where our colleagues’ safety is paramount and where opportunities are open to all.”
Maeve McCleane, Director of Human Resources

Learning & Development

At Lidl, all employees are provided with the training and support they need to reach their full potential and to progress within the organisation. In fact, many of our managers successfully advanced their careers from starting positions in our stores. Structured, on-the-job training is the foundation of our training concept, giving our employees the opportunity for further development, both professionally and personally.

Find a Job

If you want to be part of a creative and dynamic team or find out more about working at Lidl, you can visit our careers website jobs.lidl.ie 

Transport

At Lidl, we pride ourselves on offering freshness and availability to our customers at all times. We run a just-in-time operating model that keeps store warehouses small and reduces the stock carried by the entire organisation. Our delivery structure enables us to guarantee the best possible freshness, even of perishable items, as well as allowing us to organise transportation in the most efficient, and as such, environmentally friendly way.

While EV Stations is an investment by Lidl, we know that with more and more customers shopping with us every week, the  expansion of the network of public charge points will make electric vehicles more attractive to customers.  We want to ensure we are encouraging and supporting the wider public to address the major challenges of improving air quality and curbing the use of fossil fuels.

Recycling & Waste Management

At Lidl, we are committed to developing innovative ways to effectively manage our waste streams to ensure that we reduce our packaging requirements, recycle more and redistribute surplus food to charity. We work closely with packaging and waste experts to ensure we are as efficient as possible.

We are proud to boast an award-winning recycling and waste management programme. Our in-store and warehouse waste management concept is integral to our Zero Waste Commitment. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our logistics and procurement teams and all our store and warehouse employees, we achieved Zero Waste to Landfill and we are working hard to maintain this. Much of our waste is cardboard, which is reused for paper and packaging. Segregation is key to the programme’s success by increasing our recycling streams and reducing our environmental impact.

Recycling Stations: We offer recycling bins behind our tills in stores for customers to dispose of unwanted excess packaging. We then recycle the material on their behalf.

Voucher Donation Fund

We are committed to offering support to those in our local communities who espouse the values we hold dear. We are proud to support local charities and community groups who promote social inclusion, health and wellbeing and environmental programmes. Where a local community group is hosting a community event or fundraiser which mirrors our values and pillars, we are happy to provide Lidl vouchers to support. These vouchers have been used by hundreds of community groups and charities across the country for raffles, bake-sales, school healthy eating weeks, science projects and sports programmes.

Palm Oil

Did you know that palm oil is used in a wide variety of products, from margarine and chocolate to ice-cream, soaps and cosmetics? Why is palm oil so popular? Aside from the great cooking and natural preservation properties, it is also the highest yielding vegetable crop in the world.

However, the cultivation of palm oil can lead to deforestation which has many negative effects on local communities, biodiversity and protected species. In an attempt to combat this, we support the work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) who have developed a set of environmental and social standards for the sustainable production of this commodity and the protection of worker’s rights. We are in the process of minimising palm oil in our products where possible and working closely with our suppliers to make sure it is certified to RSPO standards.

Our Commitments and Progress
In terms of using palm oil, 100% of our products are certified to the RSPO Palm Oil standard. While our minimum requirement is mass balance RSPO certified palm oil, we are working with our suppliers to ensure they are moving to segregated palm oil.

Cocoa

Cocoa farmers face many challenges in the production of our favourite sweet treat. Although prices for cocoa are rising as a result of higher demand, many farmers and growers do not reap the benefits of this. As well as dealing with unfair pay and poor living and working conditions they must also attempt to tackle environmental issues affecting their crops. That’s why we’re committed to supporting internationally recognised organisations in the cultivation of sustainable cocoa.

Our Commitment
100% of the cocoa used in our own-brand products is certified to Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance standards and/or certified as organic– that’s everything from our chocolate bars to the cocoa powder used in our chocolate mini-muffins. We will work closely with our suppliers, both in Ireland and abroad, to ensure that we maintain this target.

Skip to content