S Group’s policy for promoting responsible packaging - S Group
Responsible packaging

Responsible packaging

S Group’s policy on sustainable packaging

This policy defines S Group’s main principles and objectives for the development of more sustainable product packaging. All aspects of responsibility are taken into account in the development of packaging: economic, social and environmental responsibility. When designing packaging, the factors taken into account are the packaging requirements of the product and logistics, product safety, cost-effectiveness, material efficiency, the sustainable use of natural resources and the circular economy.

The policy applies to the packaging of private-label products, both consumer packaging and the outer case packages and pallet loads for logistics. The policy also applies to food products packaged in stores and restaurants’ take-away packaging.

The policy applies to all packaging materials. The most commonly used materials in S Group’s products are paperboard, corrugated cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, aluminium, tin sheet metal and wood.

S Group also has a separate policy for suppliers focusing on the pallets and sales batch packages of grocery products from the perspective of storage automation and shop environments.

Additionally, we encourage all our suppliers to develop the sustainability of their products’ packaging through measures such as minimising unnecessary packaging, developing recyclability, increasing the use of renewable and recycled materials, and by seeking reusable solutions.

Main principles for packaging

The most important purpose of packaging is to protect the product. Functional packaging prolongs the shelf life and safety of the product and prevents waste. Food product packaging is especially important in minimising food waste. Packaging must function well throughout the product’s supply chain in logistics, the store and the consumer’s home. Packaging must be easy for consumers to open and use. Packaging of daily grocery products must be suitable for the logistics centre’s storage automation and withstand the stress from transport and the entire supply chain.

Packaging also provides consumers information on the product, its use, its packaging materials and their recycling.

S Group’s objectives for promoting responsible packaging

1. Reduction of packaging materials

Our objective is to minimise all unnecessary packaging and reduce the amount of material used in our private-label and food market packaging while always taking care of the product’s quality, safety and supply chain functionality, and also minimising product or food waste.

2. Recyclability

Our objective is for all our private-label products’ consumer packaging and the packaging of products packaged in stores to be recyclable. The use of black plastic is prohibited for consumer packaging of private-label products, and the use of PVC and oxo-degradable plastics is prohibited for all packaging.

We will add clear sorting instructions to the consumer packaging of our private-label products to make it easy for consumers to correctly sort packaging into recycling. For other cases, such as small packaging, we will include the recycling instructions in another way that is easily available with the product information.

3. Use of recycled materials

Our objective is to increase the use of recycled materials in the packaging of our private-label products and products packaged in stores, as well as the take-away packaging of restaurants. The purpose of using recycled materials such as recycled plastic and recycled paperboard is to reduce the need for virgin materials.

Our objective is for the raw material in S Group’s private-label products’ PET beverage bottles to include at least 25% recycled plastic by the end of 2025.

4. Use of renewable materials

Our objective is to increase the use of renewable materials in the packaging of our private-label products and products packaged in stores, as well as the take-away packaging of restaurants. Renewable materials such as paperboard, paper and bio-based plastic can often replace fossil-based raw materials such as conventional plastic.

The wood-based material used in the consumer packaging of our private-label food and non-food products, products packaged in stores and packaging used in restaurants will be certified or from recycled materials by the end of 2023. The same objective applies to the packaging of our private-label products in consumer goods by the end of 2025. The certifications we accept for wood-based packaging are FSC, PEFC, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. Read more about our deforestation policy. The wood-based raw materials of our online stores’ picking crates is certified in accordance with the policy.

Chlorine-based bleaching methods are prohibited in the bleaching of packaging materials used for the packaging of products in the supermarket trade.

5. Reusable packaging

S Group’s grocery stores and restaurants are investigating the possibilities of replacing single-use packaging with reusable packaging.

Additionally, the use of bisphenols and perfluorinated compounds is prohibited for the packaging of private-label products in contact with food in the supermarket trade.

S Group’s packaging commitments

S Group participates and annually reports its progress on the following packaging-related commitments:

Plastic bags’ Green Deal agreement:

We are committed to reducing the consumption of plastic bags as part of the national plastic bag commitment. The goal is that Finns will use no more than 40 plastic bags per person by the end of 2025.

Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy commitment:

We are committed to promoting the circular economy of plastics through the following objectives by the end of 2025:

  • Reducing problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging
  • Plastic packaging must be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Promoting the transition from single-use models to reusable solutions
  • The plastic packaging of private-label products and plastic bags we sell must have at least 30% recycled plastic.
  • Reducing the amount of virgin plastic in the plastic bags we sell and the packaging of private-label grocery products by a total of 20% compared to 2018.

The Material Efficiency Commitment for the food industry (MATSIT):

We are committed to improving the material efficiency of our food product packaging in our grocery trade and restaurants:

  • We will increase the reuse and recyclability of packaging, as well as the use of environmentally sustainable solutions.
  • We will reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging.

Green Deal agreement on reducing the consumption of single-use plastic food packaging:

We are committed to an agreement whose primary objective is to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic food packaging with ambitious and permanent goals, and secondarily to support stronger development towards reducing the amount of plastic used in single-use plastic food packaging.

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