Aldi UK and Ireland has unveiled plans to become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2019 following investment in a long-term carbon management programme.

The supermarket, which has more than 775 stores and 11 distribution centres across the UK and Ireland, has reduced its carbon footprint in recent years, including by installing 388 solar panel systems and upgrading its store portfolio with energy-efficient equipment.

Through this focus across its operations, including stores, logistics and its head office in Atherstone, the business claims it has already cut greenhouse gas emissions per m2 of sales floor by 53% since 2012.

During this time, the retailer states it has increased the purchase of green electricity to 100%, implemented an ISO 50001 certified energy management system and invested £20m in environmentally friendly refrigeration systems which will be installed across all new stores.

Aldi has also announced it will buy offsets and work with ClimatePartner to support a range of green projects including protecting forests in Peru, installing clean cookstoves in Ghana, introducing biogas cooking equipment to households in Vietnam and purifying water in India.

Fritz Walleczek, Aldi’s managing director of corporate responsibility, said: “Becoming carbon neutral is a key part of our corporate responsibility commitments.

“We are continually reviewing our operations to reduce emissions and be kinder to the environment, while also future-proofing our growing store portfolio for many years to come.”

Aldi’s announcement follows the release of a report by carbon footprint specialist Engaged Tracking which claimed Aldi is one of the highest polluting UK supermarkets.

The retailer responded by stating it does not believe the report is credible.

An Aldi spokesman said: “We do not believe the report is a credible reflection of our position on energy consumption and usage.”