Responsibility programme - S Group
Responsibility programme

Responsibility programme

The best place to live

The core of our responsibility programme, Best Place to Live, is a list of one hundred acts that have an impact on our environment and society. They include both small everyday improvements and acts that are ground-breaking even on an international scale.

Our mission is to produce benefits and services that generate well-being for our owners – in other words, our customers. However, well-being means much more than just economic well-being. Together with our co-op members, we work for the good of society, for the circular economy and against climate change, as well as improving our operating culture, safeguarding human rights and promoting well-being and health.

S Group is doing its part to help Finland become an even better place to live. As a major operator, we have a considerable impact on the present and on the legacy we leave for future generations. That is why foresight is important.

Our programme is built around the following four themes.

For the good of society

Yhteiskunnan hyväksi

We take responsibility for the vitality of the Finnish food chain by offering affordable Finnish food products to our customers. We also showcase local products and Finnish work by highlighting Finnish designers’ products and the best delicacies of smaller producers, for example.

We have Finland’s most comprehensive network of stores, which enables us to provide services close to customers. We create local well-being through investments and by purchasing Finnish products and services. We pay our taxes to Finland and disclose our tax footprint annually.

We hire employees of all ages into a wide range of positions. We offer summer jobs to 14,000 young people, helping them enter working life.

Climate change and the circular economy

Ilmastonmuutos ja kiertotalous

We offer our customers solutions for more sustainable consumption. We help households reduce waste by highlighting opportunities to recycle and favour seasonal foods and products.

We seek the best solutions for reducing the impact of S Group’s operations on the climate and environment. We will increase the efficiency of our energy consumption by 30% by 2030, compared with 2015.

We will continue to invest in both solar and wind energy over the coming years. We will generate 80% of our electricity from our own renewable energy by the end of 2025.

We look for means to develop sustainable production and raw materials.

Ethical operating culture and human rights

Eettinen toimintakulttuuri

Openness, transparency and responsibility are integral to our operating culture. For example, we always disclose the country of origin of raw materials on our private label food products. We also disclose the fabric information for our private label and purchased textiles, and we provide our employees with training on ethical ways of working.

We promote human rights within our supply chains through open reporting and third-party auditing.

We advocate diversity and highlight people with various backgrounds in our communication, for example.

Health and well-being

Hyvinvointi ja terveys

We help our customers make healthy choices by offering products and services that promote well-being and health. We encourage our customers to use more vegetables by offering easy and varied recipes and tips on seasonal foods.

We support the free-time activities of young people and children openly and transparently through the Supporters model, which co-op members can join to make an impact on who we support locally and how we support them. In addition, we have built 100 Ässäkenttä fields in cooperation with municipalities and the Football Association of Finland.

100 sustainable acts

The Best Place to Live programme is running from 2017 to 2020 in its current form. The progress of the 100 sustainability acts specified as part of the programme is monitored and reported annually. By the end of 2018, more than 30% of the acts had been completed and more than 50% were progressing as planned. Only a few acts had fallen behind their intended schedule.

Responsibility management

Our corporate responsibility is guided by our values: focus on the customer, accountability, continuous renewal and profitable operations. In addition to following our values, we operate in line with the themes and guidelines of the Best Place to Live responsibility programme.

The Best Place to Live programme has four themes: for the good of society, climate change and the circular economy, ethical operating culture and human rights, and well-being and health. In addition, the programme includes 100 sustainability acts.

Responsibility covers all business areas and is managed jointly with business management at the S Group level. SOK’s Responsibility unit is in charge of the development, management and reporting of responsibility. The unit is part of SOK’s Business Operation Group, which includes all business areas and the procurement and logistics companies.

SOK’s Responsibility unit is in charge of strategic sustainability development, management and goal-setting for S Group as a whole. Business-specific goals and measures are determined jointly by business area management, subsidiaries and the Responsibility unit.

The Responsibility unit guides and monitors implementation and reports on sustainability development internally and externally. S Group’s strategic sustainability vision, responsibility programme and key figures are approved by SOK’s Executive Board. Guidelines on products and services are created in cooperation with the business areas, such as retail and hotel and restaurant operations.

Advisory Group

S Group does not know everything. Therefore, we have set up a responsibility Advisory Group of external experts to assist us. The Advisory Group is an integral part of our responsibility management and steering model.

The Advisory Group’s experts support and challenge us in corporate responsibility development. Its purpose is to produce information about new opportunities, best practices in corporate responsibility, innovations and risks related to the operating environment. In addition to the Director of Corporate Responsibility, S Group’s CEO, Executive Vice President and business operation management participate in the Advisory Group’s work.

External members of the Advisory Group:

  • Mikael Fogelholm, Professor of Public Health Nutrition, University of Helsinki
  • Minna Halme, Professor of Management at the Aalto University School of Business, specialised in responsible business operations
  • Pirkko Harrela, Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM
  • Aleksi Neuvonen, futures researcher, the Demos Helsinki think tank
  • Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament
  • Liisa Rohweder, Secretary General, WWF
  • Leo Stranius, Director, Sustainable Future, T-Media
  • Markus Terho, Project Director, Sitra

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