We operate in a sustainable way promoting biodiversity

The objective of our biodiversity work is to prevent loss of biodiversity in our operations and value chain. We are committed to operate in a sustainable way promoting biodiversity. We build our selections in such a way that products and their packaging burden biodiversity as little as possible throughout their life cycle.

Human existence is dependent on nature. Nature and its rich biodiversity provide us with natural resources, such as food, clean water, energy and raw materials. People’s actions are causing the currently ongoing sixth mass extinction of species. We must do things in such a way that makes our utilisation of the land and seas sustainable.

At K Group, we have identified our ties, impacts and opportunities related to biodiversity. As a trading sector company, we understand our role in securing and promoting biodiversity.

We will strengthen our biodiversity work and prepare division-specific goals to promote biodiversity.

The key principles according to which we progress in our biodiversity work are:

  • We operate in a sustainable way promoting biodiversity.

  • We promote sustainable use of natural resources in our own operations and value chains.

  • We build our selection in such a way that strives to promote the preservation of biodiversity throughout the life cycle of the products we sell.

  • We observe our sustainability policies guiding our sourcing to prevent causing any risks to biodiversity in our supply chains.

  • We enable our customers to lead sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

 

 

Our greatest impacts on biodiversity occur throughout the life cycle of the products on sale.

Raw materials critical to biodiversity in our supply chain include fish and shellfish, timber, palm oil, soy, cocoa and cotton. The sustainable sourcing of these materials is guided by our sustainability policies

 

We are committed to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our operations. From the perspective of biodiversity, we promote the following SDGs in particular: 

We have carried out an ecosystem services assessment to identify what services provided by nature we are using and where we can make an impact on with our actions.

Provisioning services are material benefits provided by ecosystems, such as food, raw materials of products, energy and water.

Regulating services are processes of the ecosystems that life on earth is based on. The key processes were climate and air quality, pollination, pest and disease control, waste management, soil formation, photosynthesis and circulation of nutrients and water.

Cultural services are non-material benefits offered by nature, such as beauty of nature and unpolluted nature and diverse, thriving rural landscape.

Our greatest impacts on biodiversity occur throughout the life cycle of the products on sale.

Raw materials critical to biodiversity in our supply chain include fish and shellfish, timber, palm oil, soy, cocoa and cotton. The sustainable sourcing of these materials is guided by our sustainability policies

In each Kesko division, we have identified the products that are sustainable in terms of the climate. We defined sustainable products as those which have a significantly smaller climate impact than their peers or which are important for adapting to climate change. We are developing means to report and monitor the sales of sustainable products.

Read more about sustainable products

To improve transparency of our supply chains, we launched the Tracing our Products website in autumn 2020, where we provide information on the origin of products and their journey to the shelves of K-stores.

The website initially provides information on the origin of all Pirkka and K-Menu tuna and Pirkka Fairtrade roses and their journey to the shelves of K-stores. For products of Finnish origin, we first provide information on the journey of PROF Timber products from the forest to sawmills and then on to K-Rauta stores. We aim to add information to the website on products that our customers and stakeholders are particularly interested in.

The products on the Tracing our Products website are K Group’s own brand products. We will select products that face challenges regarding the sustainable production of raw materials and whose purchasing is steered by K Group’s sustainability policies.

In 2017, we began the multi-year  K Fishpaths collaboration  extending to 2021 with the environmental organisation WWF Finland to save endangered migratory fish populations. We work to remove obstacles to migratory fish spawning grounds and create new spawning grounds in a spirit of cooperation with local actors, landowners, local K-retailers and volunteers. The purpose of the collaboration is also to increase awareness of the endangered nature of migratory fish.

In 2020, the fourth year of the K Fishpaths collaboration, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that we were primarily only able to organise the restoration of migratory fish habitats together with 14 K-stores, landowners and other local operators. We restored a total of 66 spawning grounds at 8 different locations, removed five barriers that prevent migratory fish from swimming upstream and freed 2.5 km of spawning grounds and habitats which the fish had previously been unable to reach.

In 2017–2019, electrofishing was conducted in the streams restored as part of the K Fishpaths collaboration to study the changes taking place in the fish stock. Promising results have already been received from the locations restored during the first years of collaboration.

To reduce biodiversity loss and to preserve biodiversity, largely the same measures are needed as those used to mitigate climate change: people’s lifestyles must be made more sustainable.

All K Group divisions have the opportunity to offer customers solutions for reducing their climate impacts, since the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in private consumption are housing, food, and transportation.

K Group’s objective is to be carbon neutral by 2025. We will systematically reduce emissions to reach zero emissions from our own operations and transports by 2030. During 2025-2030, we will compensate for the emissions remaining each year. Our objective is to eventually have no need for compensation and make our own operations emission-free by 2030.

The biggest emissions from Kesko’s own operations are related to electricity and heat used in properties and fuel consumption in logistics transports. The primary means to achieve zero emissions are increasing the use of electricity and heat produced with renewable energy and switching to biodiesel or biogas in transports in Finland.

All electricity purchased by Kesko for use in K-stores and other Kesko properties in Finland has been produced with renewable energy since 2017. Our objective is now to increase the share of electricity and heat produced with renewable energy in the other operating countries and in the retailers’ own energy purchases.

In 2020, we made progress towards a carbon neutral K Group by increasing the share of electricity and heat produced with renewable energy. The first 20 K-food stores have been equipped with an energy genius heat circulation system. The first two all-electric trucks were introduced for deliveries in the Helsinki region.

K Group also encourages its suppliers, the whole supply chain and its customers to take measures to reduce emissions.

Our target is to have emission reduction targets by 2025 for two-thirds of the emissions from direct suppliers. We joined the CDP Supply Chain programme and challenge our suppliers to cut their emissions.

In the following we describe the risks and opportunities related to biodiversity that we have identified and have an impact on the operations of K Group and its value chains.

Risks

The risks threatening biodiversity that impact K Group’s operations and value chain include:

  • Loss of species
  • Reduction of pollinators; 70% of crops are dependent on pollinators
  • Loss of forests
  • Shortage of water; soil drying and erosion
  • Pollution and eutrophication
  • Reproduction of pests and diseases, such as zoonoses

Increasing regulation to protect biodiversity and loss of species, such as those listed below, requires making changes in business and causes additional costs:

  • EU Timber Regulation
  • Fishing quotas and prohibitions

Opportunities

We enable our customers to lead sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

We already promote sustainable use of natural resources in our own operations.

  • Mitigating climate change: Carbon Neutral K
  • Promoting circular economy solutions and minimising food waste
  • Restoring nature: K Fishpaths

We build our selection in such a way that strives to promote the preservation of biodiversity throughout the life cycle of the products we sell.

  • Sustainable products
  • Sustainability policies
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