K Group: All Pirkka cosmetic products are free of microplastics since 1 January 2018

K Group: All Pirkka cosmetic products are free of microplastics since 1 January 2018

 

Helsinki, Finland, 2018-Feb-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Cosmetic products often use small microbeads that are able to pass through wastewater treatment facilities to water bodies. Microplastics are an environmental risk in waterways due to their longevity. In 2017, K Group fulfilled its commitment and eliminated microbeads from the Pirkka cosmetic products. This action was one of the actions taken by the K Group to reduce plastic waste.

“The serious harmful impacts of microplastics on the environment have been recently acknowledged. There is no current EU or domestic legislation on microplastics, but we at K Group wanted to take initiative on the matter on our own. According to the Finnish Environment Institute, approximately ten per cent of the plastics floating in the world’s oceans are microplastics, so all actions taken to reduce the amount of microplastics are important,” says K Group Product Quality Manager Timo Kivi.

In 2017, K Group fulfilled its commitment and eliminated microbeads from all of the cosmetic products in its own brands. Microbeads will also be removed in 2018 from all of the detergents in K Group’s own brands.

Microbeads have been used, for example, as abrasive and cleansing ingredients in cosmetics and detergents. Small, plastic particles less than 5 mm in size, however, are able to easily pass through wastewater treatment facilities into waterways where they are an environmental risk due to their longevity. When the plastic ends up in the water, it also causes serious harm to animals and can easily enter the human food chain.

“Microplastic-free products must also conform to our strict quality requirements. Microbeads may greatly affect the appearance and features of the product, so eliminating them meant re-evaluating the entire composition of the product. For example, eliminating microplastics from detergents affects the colour and transparency of the products,” says Timo Kivi.

K Group is actively developing new types of operational models in order to reduce plastic waste.

Plastics cause problems when they end up in water bodies and elsewhere in the environment. Together with manufacturing and its business partners, K Group is actively developing completely new types of operational models to reduce plastic waste. Tangible goals and actions have been listed in K Group’s plastics policy. K Group’s goal is that by 2025, 100% of plastic waste is recovered across all divisions.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that the customer can shop with confidence in K-stores. As the world’s most sustainable trading sector company, K Group wants to actively promote the circular economy and develop completely new types of operational models that prevent plastics from ending up in water bodies and elsewhere in the environment,” says Matti Kalervo, K Group Vice President of Corporate Responsibility.

K Group’s actions to reduce plastic waste:

  • The Green Deal agreement aims to reduce the number of plastic bags.
    K Group participates in the Green Deal agreement made by the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Ministry of the Environment, which aims to reduce the use of plastic bags through voluntary actions. K Group is committed to the EU’s target of reducing the number of plastic bags used annually per person to 40 by 2025.
  • Microplastic-free cosmetics in K Group’s own brands.
    Since 1 January 2018, the cosmetic products in K Group’s own brands are free of environmentally harmful microplastics. All K Group own-brand detergents will also be made microplastic-free in 2018. K Group’s product ranges also do not include OXO-degradable plastic bags or small bags, because they turn into micro-particles as they degrade.
  • The Pirkka ESSI circular bag encourages plastics recycling.
    The Pirkka ESSI circular bag introduced in 2017 is the first Finnish circular economy shopping bag. The bags are made of over 90 % recycled materials, around half of which is plastic packaging waste collected separately from households.
  • EcoFishBox significantly reduces plastic waste produced by the grocery trade.
    The K-food stores have successfully piloted the wood fibre-based EcoFishBoxes made by Stora Enso. Over 100 million styrofoam packages are used to package fish in the Nordic countries every year. Replacing the styrofoam packaging materials with corrugated cardboard reduces carbon dioxide emissions by a minimum of 30% throughout the value chain.
  • K Group’s gift cards were made PVC-free.
    K Group is continuously seeking new replacement material solutions for PVC plastics, which contain chlorine, stabilisers and phthalates that are considered to have significant environmental and health impacts. Since 2017, K Group’s gift cards have been made of PVC-free materials. The manufacturing materials for Plussa cards will also be made PVC-free in 2018.
  • Onninen reduces the number of plastic bags.
    Loyal customers have been distributed shopping baskets at Finland’s Onninen Express stores. The customers are able to take the baskets with them to jobsites and use them during their next visit to the store. In addition, excess cardboard boxes are available to customers and large reusable bags are offered for sale.

All of the Pirkka cosmetic products are free of microplastics since 1 January 2018. Microbeads were eliminated from the following Pirkka products in 2017:

  • Pirkka lip balm natural 4.5g 2-pack
  • Pirkka lip balm cranberry 4.5g
  • Pirkka Perheshampoo 500ml fruit
  • Pirkka Perheshampoo 500ml berry
  • Pirkka Perheshampoo 500ml citrus

K Group’s stores may still have small quantities of products available for sale for a limited time that were ordered prior to the microplastics being removed. Stores also still have a few cosmetic products available for sale that have particles with product names referring to plastics. As a part of the evaluation, it was ensured that the particles in these products are not microplastics.

Media desk:

viestinta@kesko.fi
tel.+358 10 53 50200 (Mon-Fri 8-16)

Source: Kesko Group

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Kesko the first Finnish retail company to set science-based targets to reduce emissions operations and supply chain

Helsinki, 2017-Jun-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko is the first Finnish retail company to set science-based targets to reduce emissions from facilities, transportation and the supply chain. To achieve these ambitious emission reduction targets, Kesko will increase its use of renewable energy while also improving its energy efficiency.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF and the UN Global Compact. SBTi enables companies to state their commitment to the target of below 2 °C global warming as set by the Paris Climate Agreement.

Emission targets for 2025

Kesko commits to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions 18% by 2025, using a 2015 base year. As for scope 3 emissions, Kesko commits that 90% of its key suppliers will set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets by 2025.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from transportation and Kesko’s own heat production. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity and the generation of district heat. Scope 3 emissions are other indirect emissions from the manufacture of products sold.

In the initiative, emission targets will be validated against the SBTi criteria, and a list of approved companies will be published on the SBTi website. Kesko is the first retail company in Finland whose emission targets have been formally approved by the initiative.

Science-based targets provide investors and other stakeholders with an excellent tool for comparing companies and their emission targets.

“Setting science-based targets supports the K Group in its commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In our responsibility programme, we have committed ourselves to the mitigation of climate change and the promotion of renewable energy production,” says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility.

Cutting emissions through renewable energy and energy-saving solutions in-store

All electricity purchased by Kesko in Finland has been renewable since the beginning of 2017. Kesko purchases Nordic renewable electricity that participates in the Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) scheme.

There are 16 solar power plants on the rooftops of K Group stores, making the K Group the biggest producer and user of solar power in Finland.

The K Group participated in the commerce sector Energy Efficiency Agreement for 2008-2016, under which it committed itself to improving its annual energy efficiency by 65 GWh by the end of 2016. As a result of determined actions, the K Group has exceeded expectations and has improved its energy efficiency by 67 GWh.

The K Group is committed to the 2017-2025 action plan included in the commerce sector’s Energy Efficiency Agreement. In accordance with the agreement, the K Group has made a commitment to reduce its energy consumption through various savings measures by 7.5%, which amounts to approximately 79 GWh. The agreement covers all of the K Group’s store chains.

Kesko’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in its stores are focused on remote monitoring, LED lighting, lids and doors on refrigeration equipment, condensation heat recovery, and the use of carbon dioxide as the refrigerant.

Kesko Logistics aims to reduce emissions relative to the net sales index by 10% by 2020 from the 2011 level. Emissions will be reduced through optimised transport routes, efficient reverse logistics, two-tier trailers, and training in economical driving styles.

The range of electric and hybrid cars available through Kesko’s car dealers is increasing. The K Group offers its customers an extensive network of free electric vehicle charging points at various store sites.

http://sciencebasedtargets.org/
www.kesko.fi

Kesko and K-retailers form the K Group, whose sales total over €13 billion. The K Group is the third largest retail operator in Northern Europe and it employs approximately 45,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko’s net sales are €10 billion and it employs approximately 30,000 people. Kesko has some 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s domicile and main business premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world’s most responsible trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World).

Further information:

Matti Kalervo
Vice President
Corporate Responsibility
Kesko Corporation
matti.kalervo@kesko.fi
tel. +358 50 306 4081

Source: Kesko Corporation

Kesko publishes statement of commitment on human rights

HELSINKI, 2016-Sep-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko has completed a human rights impact assessment in compliance with UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The extensive survey involved listening to the views of customers, personnel and high-risk country factory workers on human rights and on the implementation of human rights in the K-Group’s operations.

In 2014, Kesko initiated a human rights impact assessment in compliance with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The principles obligate business enterprises to respect human rights in all their operations. Business enterprises shall survey the human rights impacts and risks of their operations, create systems to avoid the risks and lay out processes for any corrective actions.

During the work, identified salient human rights impacts were investigated, risks related to them were assessed, and monitoring, indicators and corrective actions were agreed on.Human rights assessment is a continuous process for Kesko that will be reviewed every three years and updated on the website.

Non-discrimination, accessibility and availability important for customers

During the autumn of 2015 and spring of 2016, the views of stakeholders on human rights and their implementation in the operations of the K-Group were surveyed.

“We heard our stakeholders in order to investigate how different customer groups saw human rights implemented in various situations in stores. District coordinators of SASK interviewed factory workers in factories manufacturing Kesko’s branded goods in four high-risk countries: China, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. For our own personnel, we utilized Kesko’s personnel survey and surveyed chief shop stewards”, says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility.

Customer hearings reinforced Kesko’s view that the right to health, children’s right to special protection and the prohibition of discrimination are seen by customers as the most central human rights that Kesko has to take care of. Special attention has to be paid to the zero tolerance of discrimination, the development and maintenance of grievance mechanisms for discrimination as well as the development and maintenance of accessibility and availability.

The results from the assessments of high-risk country factories in China, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines were largely consistent with BSCI and SA8000 reports. Employment relationships were found to be fragile, and there were omissions in working hours and overtime pay, among other things. Employee organisations were found to be practically prohibited. Kesko has forwarded the information to the BSCI organisation for future development of auditing procedures.

Kesko published its statement of commitment on human rights

In compliance with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the management of a responsible company shall make a public statement of commitment on human rights.

Kesko has published the following statement of commitment on its website:

· Kesko respects all internationally recognized human rights.
· In compliance with the due diligence obligation, Kesko has, and will, establish its procedures and practices in ways which respect human rights in all of Kesko’s operations.
· Kesko’s operations have a salient impact on the human rights of four groups: customers, personnel, purchasing chains and communities in which we operate.
· Kesko listens to its stakeholders’ views on human rights and takes them into account in the development of its operations.
· Kesko expects its business partners to respect all internationally recognised human rights.

See Kesko’s entire human rights assessment at www.kesko.fi/humanrightscommitment.

Kesko is a Finnish listed trading sector company. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. In 2015, Kesko’s net sales totalled €8.7 billion and it employed more than 20,000 people. Kesko operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s domicile and main premises are in Helsinki. www.kesko.fi

Further information:
Matti Kalervo
Kesko Corporation
Vice President for Corporate Responsibility
tel. +358 50 306 4081
matti.kalervo@kesko.fi

Source: Kesko Corporation

Kesko and Plan International Finland partner to improve working conditions of migrant workers in Thailand’s fish industry

Kesko and Plan International Finland, an organisation promoting children’s rights, continue their cooperation to improve the sustainability of Thailand’s fish industry and the position of migrant workers. We have agreed on cooperation for the years 2015-2018.

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Cooperation of Kesko and Plan International started last spring with a research project that examined the conditions of Cambodian migrant workers and their families in Thailand’s fish industry. The aim of the common project is to improve the working conditions of Cambodian migrant workers and the education and protection of their children in Thailand.

The cooperation also aims to improve the transparency of the production chain. We try to include a wide variety of fishing industry companies and civil society organisations. The Thai state also has a significant role to play in the implementation of children’s and migrant workers’ rights.

Poverty drives whole families from the neighbouring countries to Thailand as paperless migrant workers. It is estimated that up to 20,000 Cambodian children aged 10-15 work in the fish industry of Thailand where as many as 90 percent of employees are migrant workers with low wages.

During the project, we aim to examine the activities of the unofficial sector of the fish industry, identify the means to prevent the abuse and discrimination of migrant workers and their children, and train the operators in the supply chain in issues of transparency and fair treatment of workers.

“Companies play an increasingly important role in the implementation of children’s rights. Our cooperation is a good example of new kind of partnerships, which are in line with the objectives of sustainable development. In cooperation with Kesko and other companies, Plan International can achieve much wider impacts than alone,” says Niina Mikolanniemi, Plan International Finland’s Senior Corporate Partnership Manager.

“It’s great that companies such as Kesko consider it important to support children’s rights on a long-term basis,” says Mikolanniemi.

Cooperation with Plan provides Kesko with better opportunities in Thailand to extend its impacts in the supply chain further than the first step, that is, the manufacturer.

“We consider that we have an obligation to take responsibility for the human rights in the purchasing chain of our products. Our cooperation with Plan supports our efforts to develop the supply chain and to increase transparency,” says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility.

We are implementing the project in cooperation with Plan International Sweden, and it is part of a larger project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Thailand and Cambodia.

Kesko is a Finnish listed trading sector company, which operates in the grocery trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car trade. Kesko is the fifth most sustainable company in the world (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). www.kesko.fi

Plan International is one of the world’s largest and oldest organisations for promoting children’s rights. Plan, which has no religious or political affiliations, improves the lives and protection of children in 70 developing countries. www.plan.fi

Further information:

Matti Kalervo, Kesko Corporation, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility, tel. +358 50 306 4081, matti.kalervo@kesko.fi

Niina Mikolanniemi, Plan International Finland, Senior Corporate Partnership Manager, tel. +358 40 761 1677, niina.mikolanniemi@plan.fi

SOURCE: KESKO

K-store to open electric vehicle charging points by the end of 2015

Soon the owners of electric or hybrid cars can charge their vehicles while shopping at a K-store. The first electric vehicle charging points will be opened by the end of this year in Turku, the Greater Helsinki area and Lahti. Charging will be activated using a contactless K-Plussa card and it is offered free to customers.

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-12-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — The first charging points will be available at the car parks of K-citymarket Tammisto in Vantaa, the Merituuli shopping centre in Espoo, K-citymarket Länsikeskus and K-citymarket Kupittaa in Turku, and the Karisma shopping centre in Lahti, each with four charging bays.

” We want to offer good service and help our customer make choices for the benefit of the environment. The K-Group is engaged in long-term responsibility work, in which one of the key themes is the mitigation of climate change and the reduction of emissions”, says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility.

Kesko’s responsibility work has received also international recognition; in November 2015, Kesko was selected to the globally established Climate A list of CDP, which consists of 113 leading companies considered to be operating in an exemplary manner in the mitigation of climate change.

A distance of 100 kilometres from one hour

It will be possible and safe to charge all types of rechargeable vehicles at the charging points to be made available at the K-store car parks. The charger will have a Type 2 socket, suitable for Mode 3 charging, in which your charging lead is plugged.

“The recharging times of vehicles vary slightly, which is due to their different charging capacities. The chargers’ maximum charging rate is 3 x 32A, which means that at best, a travel distance of nearly 100 kilometres is possible from a one-hour charge”, says Engineering Manager Jari Suuronen.

Kesko is having charging points for rechargeable vehicles built at its most significant store sites. The charging points will have clear signs to make them easily identified in the car park. In addition, a reservation for a charging point is made, or a charging point is built, in all new and rebuilding store site projects.

Kesko’s partner in the charging system implementation is Plugit Finland Oy.

Further information:
Charging point project, Jari Suuronen, Manager, Engineering, tel.+358 105 322 271

The 45,000 exceptionally nice people of the K-Group work daily to make shopping fun for customers in our stores in the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Russia. We help our more than 1,500 stores serve their customers in the grocery trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade, and the car trade. We do our work with big heart while paying attention to society and the environment. We are already the most responsible food retailer in the world and are constantly trying out something new. We are doing this to provide good choices both on the shelves of the local stores and online. www.kesko.fi

SOURCE: KESKO

Kesko rose to the fifth place in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list

Helsinki, Finland, 2015-1-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko is the best food and staples retailer and rose to the fifth place in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. Kesko is the only Finnish company included in the list every year since it was established in 2005.

For the Global 100 list, companies were assessed on 12 sustainability indicators in the areas of economic, social and environmental responsibility.

“Recent public discussion about grocery trade in Finland has focused on one issue only, the price of food, overshadowing many other important issues, such as trading sector operators’ sustainable actions. We are proud that Kesko’s long-term and determined sustainability work brings results and is appreciated worldwide,” says Kesko’s President and CEO Mikko Helander.

“The great rise in the Global 100 list can, for example, be attributed to the environmental indicators: the K-Group’s energy consumption has decreased by over 7% from the previous comparative year and emissions have dropped by over 5,000 tonnes of CO2e. Significant energy savings are achieved by energy-efficient solutions in retail stores, such as energy-efficient buildings, lids and doors on refrigeration equipment, recovery of condensation heat, refrigeration equipment that uses carbon dioxide, adjustable and directional lighting, and efficient transportation,” Helander continues.

Kesko has long worked to take care of the products’ high quality and the responsibility of the entire supply chain. Kesko has its own research unit which monitors the safety and quality of the groceries and home and speciality goods sold by K-food stores, K-citymarkets, and Anttila and Kodin1 department stores.

Over the course of 2014, Kesko’s and K-stores’ responsibility work has been made more visible to customers.

“We support Finnish work and local producers by participating in the Blue and White Footprint campaign. Improvements in online stores, click&collect services and other multi-channel services have made our customers’ everyday lives easier. Nearly 1,800 young people have been employed by K-stores and Kesko thanks to the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme,” says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility.

The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list for 2015 was announced at the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on 22 January. The list is prepared by the Canadian Corporate Knights Inc. and based on a global assessment of around 4,600 listed companies.
The Global 100 list for 2015 has been published at www.global100.org

Further information available from Vice President Matti Kalervo, Corporate Responsibility, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 50 306 4081.

Kesko’s rankings in sustainability indices:
http://www.kesko.fi/en/Investors/Share-information/Equity-indices/Sustainability-indices/

Kesko ( http://www.kesko.fi/en/ ) is a retail specialist whose stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers. Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus.