Building a more sustainable world

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At the beginning of 2021, Kesko was ranked the most sustainable grocery trade company in the world for the seventh time. 

“Responsibility is our choice.” 

An information board greets customers at K-Market Haukiluoma in Tampere. The lobby also has a bottle recycling machine and an infographic on the global circulation of bottles.

The store also displays similar messages that emphasise responsible choices.

This is a new trend in Kesko's stores all over Finland.

“We are the world's most sustainable grocery trade company. We want to tell our customers about our responsible actions in an even more effective manner,” says Ylva Lindqvist, the Store Designer of Kesko's Real Estate Services unit.


Increasing sustainability 

Kesko is an award-winning pioneer in sustainability. Kesko is the only Finnish company to have been on the Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable companies every year since the list was first established in 2005. At the beginning of 2021, Kesko was ranked the most sustainable grocery trade company in the world for the seventh time.

“Sustainability is not just about a single campaign that ends one day. Sustainability guides our everyday operations and is part of our daily lives,” says Lindqvist.

“It is not about greenwashing, but about concrete actions. If a company claims to be responsible, it must be backed up by the company’s operations and values,” says Karoliina Schneider, the Development Manager of Kesko's Concept Development Unit.

Among other things, Kesko is committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to combat global warming and has set science-based emission targets for its operations and supply chain.

At Kesko, waste is minimised and recycled, and energy efficiency is improved at the level of individual stores.

In the future, the importance of sustainability will continue to grow – both among customers and companies. Sustainable and responsible operations also mean sustainable and evolving business, which is why they should be communicated more effectively.

“I have to be honest. We have been doing a good job of improving our sustainability for a long time, but we could have told people more about our actions,” says Lindqvist. “We promote sustainability in many different channels, but now we want to tell people about our good deeds in our stores as well,” Schneider continues.

A network of 1,300 stores 

At the turn of the year, Kesko launched a major project, which included the installation of sustainability information boards in the company's stores. The purpose of the boards is to enable an individual merchant or the entire chain to better inform customers about the store’s or chain’s sustainability measures. Brand ID is one of the companies that is involved in implementing the visual makeover in the stores.

“We have approximately 1,300 stores all over Finland, so we have our work cut out for us,” says Lindqvist. “As a nationwide actor, we needed a nationwide supplier for the project who is familiar with our concept and merchants. We already had experience of successful cooperation with Brand ID.”

Brand ID and Kesko collaborated in the “K palvelee” campaign, in which Brand ID gave a total of around 700 stores a makeover.

“We know how to implement this type of nationwide projects. In this case, Kesko designed the graphics for the sustainability materials. We will deliver and install them in the stores. The merchants will be in contact with us, and we will map out the needs of the store and implement the makeover. We will constantly monitor the progress and keep Kesko up to date about the project,” says Brand ID's Sales Manager Tapio Virta.

The project will take about a year to complete.

The content of the sustainability information boards will vary depending on the location: some will contain information on the benefits of solar energy and others will explain Kesko's measures to promote circular economy.

“The aim is to keep the messages clear. After all, sustainability is about concrete action,” says Lindqvist.

Kesko wants to tell people about the responsible measures it has taken, but the company also wants to make a difference.

“We also want to encourage our customers to act more responsibly and to promote dialogue on sustainable choices,” says Schneider.

“We are the world's most sustainable grocery trade company.”

Ylva Lindqvist

Store Designer, Real Estate Services, Kesko