Principle 10: Work against corruption
Simplicity, Responsibility and Reliability are the values that guide our actions. They are an integral part of our ‘Simply ALDI’ mission statement. The mission statement provides around 79,000 ALDI employees with a clear sense of direction. We are committed to always acting in accordance with our corporate values, and to never take risks due to compliance violations. We also expect all ALDI employees and business partners to act responsibly and reliably, adhering to all rules, policies and agreements. Most ALDI countries have developed ‘Compliance Goals‘ in which these requirements are stipulated.
Our mission statement and the Compliance Management System (CMS) provide ALDI employees with clear guidelines for ensuring ethically correct and compliant behaviour. Currently, a ‘Code of Conduct’ is being developed for ALDI Nord, which will include all compliance topics. The General Terms and Conditions of Purchasing define clear rules that govern the relationship between suppliers and the ALDI companies. Anti-competitive conduct by suppliers and manufacturers is prohibited. Sanctions are in place for potential violations such as late delivery or failure of delivery. To ensure that ALDI Nord maintains the same standards across all of its operations, the General Terms and Conditions of Purchasing also specify compliance requirements for contractual partners. If there are reliable indications of a violation of the rules – whether by a supplier or an ALDI employee – the Compliance officers will undertake a comprehensive investigation.
The CMS is designed to help ALDI employees live up to our ALDI core values at all times. Above all else, the CMS aims to ensure and promote ALDI Nord’s long-term success and avoid or mitigate any damage or risk. The CMS is internationally available to all ALDI companies but has yet to be introduced and implemented in some countries.
As a part of the CMS, whistleblowing systems have been created to receive information on compliance violations within ALDI Nord. Any violations of applicable law and internal rules can be reported through these channels either under a specific name or anonymously. Examples of violations include corruption, unfair competition and unethical behaviour, as well as non-compliance with environmental standards. In Germany, non-compliance with social standards, such as human rights and work safety regulations, may also be reported in this way. The whistleblowing systems are available on the websites for internal and external parties at all times. In the reporting year, ALDI France, ALDI Poland and ALDI Portugal introduced whistleblowing systems and put them into use. ALDI Denmark and ALDI Netherlands have also adapted their reporting channels, which have been available since 2021. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, there are also grievance systems and other channels in place that ALDI employees can use in cases of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, aggression or violence.
We perform various kinds of training to raise all ALDI employees’ awareness of the importance of compliance. New employees receive training on the key policies of ALDI Nord when they start working for us. In Germany, authorised signatories and managing directors in all departments of ALDI Einkauf also regularly complete training, covering a wide range of critical topics such as antitrust law, unfair competition, protection of company secrets and avoidance of corruption, as well as data protection and information security. Since September 2019, these topics have been part of compulsory attendance training at the ALDI Academy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we converted the face-to-face events into online offerings in the reporting year. Similar training also takes place every two to three years at the ALDI companies in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. In Denmark, such training was introduced in 2020. We are also expanding communication regarding compliance on the websites and take part in industry events, such as the ‘Bundeskongress Compliance’ (Federal Compliance Congress) in Germany.
We see reliable data protection as a basic prerequisite for all our activities. The policies of the ALDI companies on the general principles, goals and responsibilities are designed to ensure holistic information security and legally compliant data protection across all business processes. ALDI employees receive regular training on information security and data protection issues. Target-group-orientated data protection courses are also held, for example on how to handle employee or customer data.