K Group's grocery trade commits to reducing single-use plastics and food waste as part of its continued environmental work

At the end of 2022, K Group's grocery trade division made two environmental commitments: as part of the SUP Green Deal, K Group's grocery trade will reduce its consumption of single-use plastic packaging, while in the food industry's material efficiency programme, K Group committed to a second contract period with the goal of increasing its recycling rate and reducing food wastage.

By joining the SUP Green Deal, K Group has committed to reducing single-use plastics in its grocery trade and to developing new packaging solutions together with its partners. For example, K Group grocery stores aim to reduce the amount of plastic in their take-away packaging by 20% by the end of 2026, and Neste K service stations will offer food portions in reusable or easily recyclable containers and packages. Kesko's foodservice wholesaler Kespro is also doing its part, and can effectively promote the circular economy it its choice of packaging solutions for convenience meals.

In order to reduce and replace single-use packaging, K Group is active in research projects and cooperates extensively with its partners in product development. Staff and stakeholders also receive training to further improve our chances of achieving these goals.

Committed to halving food waste by 2030

At the end of 2022, K Group also renewed its commitment to the food industry's own material efficiency programme. In this second contract period, Kespro and rest of K Group's grocery trade division commit to reducing food waste and increasing its recycling rate. Our goal is to halve food waste by the end of 2030 from the 2019 baseline and to develop and bring new circular economy innovations to the market.

"Our material efficiency commitment was already a success in the programme's first period. We decreased food waste by our target of 13% and increased our waste recycling rate to 76%. This is why our targets for this second contract period are even more ambitious targets than before", says Timo Jäske, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Kesko's grocery trade division.

Although the SUP Green Deal and the material efficiency commitment are both voluntary, K Group considers them both worthwhile.

"These commitments support Kesko's sustainability strategy. In accordance with this strategy, we are taking concrete measures in the grocery trade to promote the circular economy. At the same time, we enable our customers to make responsible choices as we drive change throughout our entire value chain", Jäske continues. 

The Green Deal is a joint commitment of the Ministry of the Environment and numerous trade associations, including the grocery trade's PTY, ETL, the Finnish Packaging Association and MaRa. The food industry's material efficiency programme is a joint commitment of the food production industry, the grocery trade, and the restaurant sector and includes the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Participating companies work towards increasing the material efficiency and decreasing the environmental impacts of foods and their production processes.

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