Where are the climate plans of millions-profit supermarkets?

14th Feb 24 by Frank Mechielsen

As Ahold Delhaize, the parent company of Albert Heijn, published their annual figures today, we again wonder about their climate plans

As Ahold Delhaize, the parent company of Albert Heijn, published their annual figures today, we again observe the contrast between soaring food inflation and supermarkets reporting substantial profits. It raises concerns about the industry’s priorities and its commitment to the public’s well-being: groceries in the Netherlands now cost about 30% more than two years ago. Yet the parent company of biggest retailer in the Netherlands made 451 million euros in profit in 2023. That is 1.24 million euros per day. These figures are a crucial reminder that supermarkets do not have the public’s best interests at heart.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in their climate plans, and their lack of concrete actions. Feedback EU´s report ‘Valse Bingo’ launched mid 2023 and shed light on the greenwashing tactics, questionable data reporting, and profiteering related to the climate crisis within supermarkets. Almost 40% of their total greenhouse gas emissions are related to the sales of animal products. The findings reveal a lack of clarity and commitment from retailers regarding how they plan to achieve their climate ambitions.

This January, we visited the headquarters of Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and handed them the postcards of our supporters. We were well received but remain in the dark on how Albert Heijn aims to exactly achieve their publicly stated ambition to achieve a protein ratio in the sales of their products of 60% plant based and 40% animal based in 2030, nor were any specific commitments made to stop the marketing of meat and dairy.

Expanding Campaigns Across Europe
In the UK, Feedback scrutinized the retailers in their and campaigns are launching in other parts of Europe: reports came out in These initiatives seek to address greenwashing practices and promote transparency within the retail sector. As consumer awareness grows, the call for responsible and sustainable practices in the industry becomes increasingly imperative.

New Law to Protect Consumers and Curb Misleading Marketing Practices
The European Parliament has recently approved a groundbreaking law to curb greenwashing and deceptive product information. This legislation is designed to shield consumers from misleading marketing practices and allow them to make informed choices. The directive, which received overwhelming support from members, addresses various marketing habits related to greenwashing and premature product obsolescence.  The new law prohibits the use of terms such as “environmentally friendly” in advertising or packaging without concrete evidence. It also tackles claims suggesting a product has a “climate-neutral,” “reduced,” or “climate-positive” impact on the environment due to CO2 emissions offsetting schemes, which are often bogus.

Leading the Change
It is imperative for market leaders like Albert Heijn to lead by example. By prioritizing concrete actions over mere rhetoric, they can pave the way for a more sustainable future, starting with ending the promotion of multibuys on meat and dairy products now. It’s time to demonstrate true leadership and commitment to the well-being of both consumers and the planet. As we have seen once more today, they sure have the means to do so.



What can you do next?

Follow us on Instagram to see our work in action.

Follow us