K Group strengthens efforts towards equality

K Group / Kesko is the most sustainable trading sector company in the world and in Finland, and we are constantly and ambitiously striving to improve the sustainability of our operations in various areas. We are now strengthening our work towards gender equality by making the promotion of equality a more systematic part of our responsibility programme.

K Group has long worked towards promoting opportunities for women and girls both in its own operations and its purchasing chains. We have also committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, of which Goal 5 is Gender Equality.

This October, K Group took part in Plan International’s Girls Takeover event. In 2018, special focus was placed on the ability of Finnish operators to impact change globally. As K Group wants to continue to promote the themes of Girls Takeover and the International Day of the Girl beyond one day, we have decided to make our efforts towards gender equality more systematic by making equality one of the objectives of our responsibility programme.

This means we will measure, monitor and publicly report each year our success in implementing gender equality, promoting women to leadership positions, and strengthening the rights of and opportunities for women and girls in all our operations and purchasing chains.

“As an employer, we want to offer meaningful and versatile work and growth opportunities to all our employees. The proportion of women in Kesko’s top management, for example, has grown in recent years. I believe this trend will continue, but we must absolutely also work systematically towards promoting opportunities for women everywhere we operate,” says Matti Mettälä, EVP in charge of human resources and responsibility in K Group.

Responsible purchasing chains enable a better future for the girls and women of the world

K Group has global purchasing chains, and as a company we are committed to responsible purchase and sales. Our objective is that all the work conducted in our purchasing chains offers fair compensation and safe working conditions. We pay special attention to human rights issues and working conditions. Through our responsible purchasing chains, we at K Group can positively affect change in the rights of women and girls around the world.

“Supporting women and girls has proven to be an effective way to promote sustainability and welfare. Our purchasing chains provide employment for many women in developing countries. We also engage in activities that support women connected to our purchasing chains, and their daughters. These include building learning centres for children in Thailand, supporting Fairtrade in local communities, and committing to improvements in workplace safety in Bangladesh in industries that employ mostly women,” says Matti Kalervo, K Group’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility.

K Group and Plan International Finland have been collaborating to improve the responsibility of the Thai fishing industry and the position of migrant workers in Thailand since 2015. The project, which extends to the end of this year, has strived to improve the working conditions of Cambodian migrant workers and enable their children to go to school. It has also entailed training suppliers on issues related to social responsibility. As part of the project, two learning centres were established for the children of migrant workers. The centres provide the children with the skills they need to attend public schools in Thailand and support them in continuing their studies.

K Group is constantly on the lookout for new projects in which it can promote welfare in its purchasing chains, with emphasis particularly on promoting rights and opportunities for girls and women.

Find out more about K Group’s responsibility programme and our efforts to promote equality:

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