Kesko's Board of Directors accepted the ethical principles for purchasing on 30 April 1999. The principles are based on the fundamental rights at work accepted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The principles are applied to purchases from such developing countries where legislation and/or its supervision do not guarantee that international minimum standards are met by companies.
The supplier can prove that it fulfils Kesko's ethical requirements by obtaining a neutral social certification for its operations.
Read more about the certification systems and Kesko's social quality control in practice in Kesko's Annual Report.
Kesko wants to cooperate with its suppliers and their subcontractors on a systematic, long-term basis to ensure the ethical quality of their products. Deviations from Kesko's ethical principles are handled similarly to deviations from other quality requirements. In the long run, Kesko favours in its purchasing those suppliers that approve of Kesko's values and principles and want to act accordingly. The most reliable way for a supplier of proving that it fulfils Kesko's ethical requirements is to have an amfori BSCI audit or another corresponding audit approved by Kesko.
Mutual cooperation between Kesko and its suppliers shall be open-minded, fair and equal, and adhere to contract terms. Bribes and similar measures are not allowed in any circumstances.
The age for admission to employment shall not be lower than the age for completing compulsory education, and usually not lower than 15 years (14 years in exceptional cases in countries with insufficiently developed economies). The employment of young persons shall not jeopardise their education or their physical, psychological, social or moral development.
Employment of forced labour is prohibited, and employees shall not be kept in locked premises nor shall their freedom be restricted in any other way.
Discrimination against any employee in respect of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or corresponding reason is not accepted.
Treatment and safety of employees
A safe and healthy working environment shall be provided to employees. No employee shall be subject to any physical, psychological or sexual harassment, punishment or abuse.
Freedom of association
Employees shall have the right to join associations and to organise them.
Terms of employment
The regular working hours shall not exceed 48 hours and overtime 12 hours per week, unless lower limits have been specified in national legislation. Higher wage rates shall be applied to overtime.
Employees shall have paid annual leave and 24 hours of consecutive rest per week.
Employees shall be paid at least the minimum legal wage or a wage that is specified in a collective labour agreement that is binding on the employer, whichever is greater. Wages shall be paid direct to the employees.
Kesko's Board of Directors approved these principles on 30 April 1999, and on 22 October 2004 the Corporate Management Board approved the use of other certification systems along with the Social Accountability SA 8000 standard.