Towards a carbon neutral K Group

According to its new climate goals published in the spring, K Group aims to be carbon neutral in 2025 and reduce emissions to zero by 2030. Matti Kalervo, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at Kesko, tells us more and how the goal will be achieved.

The coronavirus pandemic has not made the climate work any less important. The K Group wants to be very involved in climate work and believes it is important to be even more ambitious.

“We can still help to halt the rise of the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees at the most, which could spare us from the more severe effects of climate change,” says Matti Kalervo, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at Kesko.

“In fact, the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting unprecedented restrictions have shown that humankind can, if it wants to, make radical changes quite quickly.”

Renewable energy plays a key role

It is evident that K Group’s operations cause emissions. “As a large operator we are responsible for doing everything we can to reduce emissions,” Kalervo says.

The largest emissions in K Group’s own operations originate from the production of electricity and heat consumed by properties and from fuel consumption in logistic transportation. “These are the emissions we aim to cut by stronger measures than before,” Kalervo says.

All electricity purchased by Kesko for use in K-stores and other Kesko properties in Finland has been produced with renewable energy since 2017. It has been produced without emissions with hydroelectric power, bioenergy and wind power. “Purchasing renewable electricity has been one of our most important climate acts so far,” Kalervo says.
Our new aim is to also increase the share of electricity and heat produced with renewable energy in the other operating countries and in the retailers’ own energy purchases.

More sustainable choices in stores

Approximately 1.5 million customers visit K stores every day.

“By helping our customers make sustainable choices, such as making an energy renovation at home or increasing the share of vegetables in their diets, we can achieve even big changes one purchase at a time.” With the K-Purchases Carbon Footprint meter, customers can easily monitor the carbon footprint of their groceries.

Reducing emissions with efficient transportation

At K Group, the aim is to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing the emissions from our own operations and transportation to a minimum and by compensating for the remaining emissions during 2025-2030. Compensation is achieved with an emission reduction equal in size elsewhere, for example, by investing in renewable energy or forestation of new areas.

“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,” Kalervo says. 

Logistics and transports play a central role in achieving K Group’s climate goals. The efficiency of transports and the fuel used are of major importance in reducing emissions.

“Gradually by 2025, we will switch to using renewable biofuels, i.e., biodiesel and biogas in transports. We also aim to gradually increase the number of electric and fuel cell vehicles,” says Jyrki Tomminen, Vice President GT Supply Chain Management and Logistics at Kesko.

“We aim to achieve carbon neutral transports by 2025 and, when necessary, compensate for the remaining emissions.”

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