Ahold's Sustainability Initiatives|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

Ahold's Sustainability Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG055
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : -
Pub. Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : Retail
Countries : Netherlands

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Ahold's Sustainability Policy

Ahold described itself as a sustainable company which, according to it, meant that it strove to improve the quality of life of its customers and other stakeholders. Ahold's operating companies shared knowledge and best practices with respect to issues concerning sustainability and applied it in a manner that suited the requirements of their individual markets...


The top priority at Ahold's was to always provide the safest possible products to its customers. Ahold constituted a committee called the Ahold Food Safety Advisory Committee (AFSAC) to ensure that its customers always got safe food.

The AFSAC brought together experts from each arena and the Group Support Office to take advantage of synergies among Ahold's operating companies and also to share knowledge. Ahold even educated its customers through consumer magazines, company websites, and in-store leaflets, about the significance of the proper handling of food at their end. The HACCP principles formed the basis of Ahold's policy at all levels...

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Almost all Ahold stores provided customers the choice of purchasing organic products. The company also witnessed a steady increase in demand for its organic assortment. By improving product availability and in-store communication about organic products to its customers, Ahold played a role in increasing the demand and consumption of organic products. It was also developing a new private label organic product line in the U.S. to be priced lower than comparable branded products...


As of 2005, Ahold had divested its operations in Asia and South America and was primarily operating in Europe and the US. The animal welfare standards in these two regions were very different and within each region too, there were differences in legal frameworks and societal expectations. ICA met EU regulations on animal welfare for products with the ICA brand name that contained meat, such as meatballs and pizza...


Ahold made constant efforts to minimize its energy consumption.

Energy was primarily consumed in its companies to preserve the quality and freshness of food (refrigeration equipment and ovens) and also for creating an appealing shopping ambience (lighting, air-conditioning)...


Ahold aimed to use sustainability as a tool to reduce its negative impact on the environment and at the same time, improve its efficiency and reduce costs. For example, an efficient supply chain would preserve the freshness and quality of its products, and hence benefit its customers...

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