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Annual report 2013

We listen to our stakeholders

The assessment of Kesko’s operations and corporate responsibility performance takes account of the key stakeholders:

  • Customers
  • Investors and Kesko’s owners
  • Kesko personnel
  • Retailers and employees
  • Suppliers and service providers
  • The media
  • Authorities
  • NGOs and other organisations
  • Trade unions

The materiality assessment of Kesko's responsibility guides Kesko's corporate responsibility and stakeholder work. Operations in all areas of responsibility are developed in accordance with the expectations of the key stakeholder groups.

The stakeholder assessment is included in Kesko’s management system and operating plans. Kesko's corporate responsibility vision is based on taking stakeholders’ views into account.

Various surveys are regularly conducted to identify stakeholder expectations.

  • In a 2014 survey by TNS Gallup on companies' reputation and responsibility, 515 consumers assessed the K-Group. The strongest factors contributing to the K-Group’s reputation were considered to be customer orientation, competent personnel, and delivery and service reliability. Room for improvement was seen in terms of compliance with ethical principles and the transparency of operations.
  • In the VIP2014 survey, conducted by Taloustutkimus Oy, a total of 127 decision makers and influential people assessed the K-Group. The scores given for corporate responsibility and communications improved from the previous year, whereas assessments of the financial situation and competitiveness decreased from the previous year.
  • According to a survey conducted by Aula Research Oy in April 2014, Kesko’s reputation among 709 national and local people of influence is good. Kesko’s impact on employment and its regional significance in particular were singled out. On the other hand, the centralisation of the trading sector and the position of producers were highlighted.
  • In autumn 2014, an interview study was conducted to assess stakeholders’ views on the key points in Kesko’s value creation. Read more in section Description of value creation.
  • In 2014, Kesko’s Internal Audit conducted a survey on responsible working principles for all Kesko employees in Finland. A total of 93.3% of all respondents were familiar with the Our Responsible Working Principles guidelines.

A revised operating model for stakeholder impact was implemented in 2014. In issues related to regulation in the trading sector, we had active interaction particularly with decision makers and media representatives.

The Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, a member of Kesko’s Group Management Board, is the head of corporate responsibility. He reports to the Group Management Board about communication with stakeholders on economic, social and environmental responsibility.

Staying aware of stakeholder expectations requires regular dialogue. The following table describes interaction with the key stakeholder groups:

Key stakeholders Stakeholder inclusivity and channels of interaction Response to stakeholder expectations
  • Daily customer encounters
  • Customer service channels
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Post-shopping surveys
  • Interaction via social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram) continues to increase and the significance of blogs keeps growing
  • Inquiry and service functions on mobile and online services
K-stores’ customers place the highest expectations on comprehensive selections, ease of shopping, good service and competitive prices. Customers have to be able to trust in the quality and safety of products and the fact that their responsible choices start when they enter a K-store.
Investors, shareholders and analysts

Kesko provides information on issues affecting its share value by issuing stock exchange releases. Nearly 200 investor meetings are held every year. Key topics include strategy, markets, financial objectives and their realisation, and corporate governance. Responsible operating practices are the premise for many investors. Kesko replies annually to the inquiries of several institutions making sustainability assessments.
Major annual events:

  • Annual General Meeting
  • Publication of financial results
  • Capital Markets Day
Good financial performance and increasing the shareholder value are the prerequisites for business success of a listed company. Transparency of reporting and corporate governance principles – as well as ensuring that legislation and responsible working principles are observed – create a solid basis for Kesko's business operations. Kesko strives to continue and improve its ratings in significant sustainability indices and lists, as they are important neutral evidence of responsible operations.
 Employees and retailers
  • Daily activities
  • Induction and training
  • Personnel survey
  • Performance and development reviews
  • National Works Council meetings
  • Kesko’s intranet: Keskonet Global which is common to all and country-specific pages
  • Internal feedback channels, discussion columns and blogs
  • The annual K-Team event for K-retailers, K-store staff, Kesko employees and business partners
  • Our Responsible Working Principles guide (in all languages of our operating countries)
  • Value discussions on responsible working principles
Kesko's working community is developing and global. Common values, principles and practices provide the basis for our work everywhere. Responsibility is becoming ever more important in creating the employer image. Companies in which job satisfaction is high and that are able to offer versatile jobs and opportunities for career progress are most likely to succeed in attracting and retaining the best employees. K-retailers listen to the wishes of their customers and adapt their selections accordingly. Stores implement responsibility in all of their operations.
Suppliers and service providers (around 20,000 in all)
  • Close cooperation according to good trading practices
  • Principles and Practice of Socially Responsible Trading guide
  • Business partner meetings, such as Kesko Food’s annual partner info event
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Audits and training events in high-risk countries
Multi-form networking with suppliers and service providers requires that all parties to the supply chain accept the common values, objectives and working principles.
We are together responsible for ensuring that our customers can rely on our expertise, services and the quality and safety of our products.
Society (the media, authorities, NGOs and other organisations, and trade unions)
  • Meetings
  • Media events and inquiries
  • Activities in organisations
  • BSCI cooperation internationally and in the national BSCI group
  • Inquiries by NGOs, including Pro Ethical Trade Finland’s inquiry on clothes purchasing in May−June 2014 and Finnwatch's palm oil inquiry in August 2014 and chocolate inquiry in December 2014.
Kesko proactively follows all changes in society in close cooperation with its stakeholders. We cooperate and discuss openly with NGOs, authorities and other decision makers.
Public statements and policies.

Read our stakeholders' addresses: