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Aldi donated over £775,000to RSPB's school education programme
21 Jul 2016


Supermarket Aldi is celebrating the first anniversary of its educational partnership with the RSPB which has seen the UK’s leading discount retailer donate £775,000 from the sale of its carrier bags.
 
Funded by Aldi, the RSPBs Connecting Children with Nature project has allowed over 50,000 children to enjoy more than 75,000 hours of fun, exciting and educational nature experiences in 15 cities across Britain.
 
The funding, which is expected to reach over £2m by 2018, will support the RSPB’s Connecting Children with Nature programme across schools, green spaces and RSPB reserves. RSPB-trained educators will visit primary schools and, later, Early Years’ settings.
 
Aldi’s partnership with the RSPB aims to encourage young people to get out into nature to build their understanding and love of wildlife. By 2018, the programme aims to provide connection to nature experiences for more than half a million children across Britain. The scheme is funded solely by donations from carrier-bag sales in Aldi’s UK stores.
 
In addition, Aldi’s partnership is being used to highlight the environmental impact of plastic bags and the positive impact of the charge; single-use carrier-bag usage has fallen by 42% over the period (August 2015 –January 2016).
 
Aldi has been donating the net proceeds from carrier-bag sales to the RSPB since its partnership began in July 2015, ahead of the carrier bag levy, which came into effect in October last year. The supermarket was one of the first to charge for carrier bags in a bid to reduce consumer usage and protect the environment, having done so since first opening its doors in the UK in 1990.
 
The entirety of the charge (5p) minus VAT is being donated to charitable causes such as the RSPB, as part of their three-year partnership with the charity. No deductions for administration charges were made.
 
Mary Dunn, Communications Director at Aldi, said: “It’s an honour to celebrate our one year anniversary in partnership with the RSPB and donate such a significant sum of money, which has already started connecting thousands of children with nature and the great outdoors.
 
“Reducing environmental impact has always been high on our agenda and we remain extremely proud to be one of the first supermarkets to charge for carrier bags as a way of doing this.”
 
Martyn Foster, RSPB Head of Education, Families and Youth, said: “The RSPB believes that opportunities to connect with nature should be a part of every child’s life. The radical decline in children’s access to nature in the last three generations is well evidenced. And yet research shows that when children are connected to nature it has a positive impact on their education, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and their personal and social skills.
 
“Thanks to our partnership with Aldi, we’re able to encourage young people to get out into nature in their school grounds and local green spaces and to build their understanding and love of wildlife. It's crucial we provide the next generation with as many opportunities as possible to experience and enjoy the natural world, and most importantly, have fun.”
 
Since July 2015, the RSPB has offered free 90 minute nature experience sessions to primary schools in 15 cities across Britain. Close to 500 schools have taken up the outreach offer, which include a bio-blitz, a Big Schools Birdwatch session or a Giving Nature a Home sweep of the school grounds to show how pupils can encourage and help wildlife.
 
For more information about Aldi’s partnership with the RSPB, visit https://www.aldi.co.uk/rspb
 
 
Editors notes
 
  1. The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
  2. Aldi is the UK’s sixth largest supermarket with over 620 stores and over 28,000 employees.  The company has more than doubled its market share since 2010. In the 12 weeks ended 19/06/2016, Aldi grew sales by 11.5% and has a 6.1% share of the market (Kantar Worldpanel data). Aldi is attracting hundreds of thousands of new customers every year with its award-winning range of exclusive brands, passing low operating costs on to customers in the form of low prices.
In 2016 Aldi will open around 70 stores which will generate up to £1bn of additional sales when fully operational. By 2022, Aldi will have recruited an additional 35,000 employees and operate over 1,000 stores.
 
Aldi’s current achievements and initiatives include:
·         Aldi offers staff the highest starting pay in the sector – at least £8.40 an hour to all employees and more to those in London. This is significantly higher than the National Living Wage.
·         Aldi is the official supermarket partner of Team GB, which will compete in the summer Olympic games in Rio.
·         Proceeds from the sale of Aldi’s carrier bags are donated to the RSPB as part of a partnership agreement.
·         Aldi has previously been named Which? Supermarket of The Year on four separate occasions (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015). It was also named Multiple Retailer of the Year at the FPC Fresh Awards and Supermarket of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards.
·         Aldi launched its eCommerce platform in January 2016, selling a range of high quality wines and Specialbuys, attracting approximately one million visitors each week.
 
Full details of Aldi’s awards and achievements are detailed at https://www.aldi.co.uk/awards
 
View our 'Notes to Editor'