Biodiversity - S Group
Biodiversity
Sustainability

Biodiversity

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and at the same time, the accelerating loss of diversity is making climate change worse. The extinction of species also poses a risk for the availability of raw materials.

Biodiversity and preventing the extinction of species also have central roles in our sustainability work. We have created a frame of reference for how we promote biodiversity in the entire chain by taking into account preservation measures, warming of the climate and the promotion of sustainable consumption patterns. We are also considering ways to jointly reduce consumption, for example, through various services.

Our aim is to ensure biodiversity, both in our own operations and in our value chain. By acting together, we can influence the sustainable use of land areas and forests, look after the well-being of water areas and the flora and fauna in them, and also build a sustainable food regime. Furthermore, our actions for the climate and circular economy promote the smart use of natural resources.

This is how we take biodiversity into account:

  • Our policy decisions regarding raw materials affect deforestation, for example. Read here more about our policy decisions regarding soy, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and cotton. In addition, our ABC restaurants have only served Finnish beef since 2015.
  • Our fish policy supports sustainable fishing. Further information about our fish policy is available here.
  • The production and consumption of food also have direct impacts on forests and water bodies. Read here more about our goal to promote the planetary diet, also known as climate-smart eating.
  • Our stores offer a diverse and comprehensive range of organic products.
  • Biofuel is mixed in the liquid fuels we sell. It reduces the amount of fossil fuels used. We are also investing in a network of electric car charging stations.
  • When building new outlets In the future, we will seek to take biodiversity into account even more than today. For example the Hyvän mielen Sale (Sale store of good spirits) concept of SSO already takes the surrounding nature into account during the construction phase
  • We are also promoting the safe and sustainable use of chemicals. For example, the primary production of fruit and vegetables Global Gap certified. The practices regarding use of chemicals were also inspected in the certification process. Our other policy decisions regarding raw materials also include requirements for the sustainable use of chemicals.
  • We participate in the international Business for Nature’s Call for Action initiative The initiative concerns biodiversity and combines business and organisations, and prompts organisations to take action already during this decade to stop the disappearance of animal and plant species.

Deforestation policy

The world’s forests are being felled uncontrollably and illegally, especially in South America and Southeast Asia. Deforestation decreases carbon sinks around the world, which accelerates climate change. S Group is committed to combating deforestation and supporting the sustainable use of forests.

Our deforestation policy is part of the objectives of our sustainability programme to strengthen biodiversity. The policy is based on the identification of raw materials central to deforestation and related objectives and regional restrictions concerning sustainable production. We also encourage our suppliers to take into consideration the impact that their operations have on biodiversity and deforestation.

In terms of deforestation, crucial raw materials include palm oil, soy, coffee, cocoa and wood, as well as the production of beef.

We review our deforestation policy regularly, monitor how deforestation progresses, and update the guidelines if necessary.

Palm oil

We are committed to using sustainably produced palm oil. S Group’s goal is to only use physically certified palm oil traceable to palm oil plantations in private label products and in deep-frying oil in restaurants by 2021.

We have been a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2011. RSPO’s criteria for palm oil plantations include the conservation of biodiversity and the improvement of operations through ethical and ecological standards. S Group promotes the use of RSPO certified palm oil in its private-label daily consumer goods. Whenever possible, we also replace palm oil with alternative ingredients.

Soy

The S Group commits to the responsible use of soy. The Group’s aim is that the risk origin soy used as an ingredient in the own brand products, and all the risk origin soy feed used in the production chain of ingredients of animal origin in the own brand products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) will be certified by the end of 2021.

The soy used in dishes served in the restaurants and cafés, as well as the risk origin soy used in the production chain of ingredients of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) will also be certified by the end of 2021.

Responsible soy certificates are Round table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and ProTerra. The aim of the certificates is to decrease the environmental impact of cultivation and further the natural diversity of the area, as well as improve the workers’ conditions and further the dialogue between the producers and the local communities.

Cocoa

For our private-label products, our goal is to use only cocoa that has been certified or verified for sustainability. For a product to be verified for sustainability, its supply chain must be verified through audits all the way back to primary production. Acceptable certificates include Fair Trade, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance.

Coffee

For our private-label products and S Group’s restaurants, our goal is to use only coffee that has been certified or verified for sustainability. For a product to be verified for sustainability, its supply chain must be verified through audits all the way back to primary production. Acceptable certificates include Fair Trade, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance, for example.

Tea

For our private-label products and S Group’s restaurants, our goal is to use only tea that has been certified or verified for sustainability. For a product to be verified for sustainability, its supply chain must be verified through audits all the way back to primary production. Acceptable certificates include Fair Trade, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance, for example.

Timber and paper policy

For the consumer packages used in our private-label products, food markets and restaurants, our private-label grocery products and tissue papers used in restaurants and hotels, our goal is to use wood-based raw material that is either recycled fibre or FSC or PEFC certified material or the packaging has been awarded the Swan ecolabel or the EU Ecolabel by then end of 2023.

We promote the use of certified wood-based raw material in our consumer goods and consumer packaging. By the end of 2025, the wood-based raw material used in the fibre-based packaging of our private-label consumer goods and private-label wood and paper products will be either FSC or PEFC certified or the product will have the Swan ecolabel or the EU Ecolabel. Alternatively, we may use consumer packaging made from recycled fibre. These guidelines apply to the whole product range concerning wood and sawn timber used in construction.

In addition, paper products used in customer communications will be certified or have the Swan ecolabel or the EU Ecolabel by the end of 2025.

Beef

We avoid procurement of beef from regions where the primary production of beef is carried out in recognised deforestation areas, such as the Amazon region in South America. We only serve Finnish beef at our ABC restaurants.

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