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Review bt the Senior Vice President responsible for corporate responsibility
Responsibility cannot be compromised
Kesko engages in long-term, high-quality corporate responsibility work that has been internationally recognised. For years, Kesko
has been included in the most significant sustainable development indices. This sets
a high standard for the demands on our responsibility work and its continued development. The objective of our updated responsibility programme is to ensure that responsibility is implemented in the daily work
of every K-Group employee and across all
of our processes.
The trading sector has been in the public spotlight during the past year, also in a negative light. Topics of discussion have included the
structure of the Finnish retail trade, the taxation
and amendment to the Competition Act regarding the dominant market share in the grocery trade. As an employer, Kesko was in the public eye in the autumn of 2012 when cooperation negotiations related to Kesko’s profitability programme were carried out in all divisions. Product supply chains and product safety were discussed by the public in early 2013, first due to the unsatisfactory working conditions in a Thai factory revealed by Finnwatch and then because of the horsemeat cases.
Kesko operates in eight countries and the K-Group employs approximately 45,000 people. We purchase materials from some 22,000 suppliers with about €8 billion every year. It is likely that different cases related to stores’ responsibility will come up in the public in the future. Customers expect us to ensure the implementation of responsibility across the entire supply chain regardless of its length. We must ensure that responsibility is implemented without exceptions in every one of our processes. Our partners’ operations must also be carried out responsibly.
As the population ages and the structure of the workforce changes, the trading sector will face a labour shortage in the future. The importance of responsibility in the construction of the employer image is increasingly emphasised. One of our areas of emphasis in 2013 is to improve youth employment and the attractiveness of the K-Group as an employer. We are participating in the Youth Guarantee initiative, which drives youth employment and prevents social exclusion. There are some 1,300 K-stores in addition to Kesko’s units, and the objective is to employ as many young people under the threat of social exclusion as possible.
Kesko actively monitors and pre-empts societal changes and we will continue to work more closely and speak openly with organisations, authorities and our other stakeholders.
In 2012 we paid special attention to making responsible actions increasingly visible to our customers in stores. In the future our responsibility work will be visible as concrete information in stores through the ‘Let’s do good. Together.’ campaign: we will talk about products, their origins, production and locality. We want to make our responsibility work visible to customers and we want to help our customers make sustainable decisions as easily as possible.
Kesko’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report is already our 13th report. Over the years we have developed our reporting practices, and this year is no exception; our report has a lot of new features, such as the addresses by stakeholders and the online version of the report. We await with interest the changes brought by the G4 version of the GRI reporting guidelines and the development towards integrated reporting.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations, Member of the Corporate Management Board responsible for corporate responsibility