Social impacts

Number of personnel

S Group is the largest private employer in Finland. In 2016, S Group employed more than 40,000 professionals of different sectors. The majority of S Group employees work in Finland, but there are also people working in Estonia, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Number of employees

30 November 2016*

2015

2014

Regional cooperatives

32,940

29,991

31,248

SOK Corporation (incl. Finland and the neighbouring countries

7,542

7,400

10,098

S-Group total

40,482

37,758

4,046

*From 2016 onwards, the situation on 30 November is reported. The figure includes both active and inactive employment relationships and provides the most accurate depiction of the number of personnel on an annual level, since the figures collected at the end of the year also include seasonal employees, for example. The 2015 and 2014 figures were collected at the end of the respective years and include active employment relationships.

 

Employment relationships

In S Group, the intention is to enable all employees to earn their primary income by working for the Group, if they so wish. Although the majority of employees still value full-time work, part-time work is popular among young people under 25 years of age and those in the last years of their work career, in particular.

Type of employment (%)

30 November 2016

2015

2014

Permanent

89

87

87

Fixed-term

11

13

13

Full-time

40

37

36.4

Part-time

60

63

63.6

 

 Turnover (%)

2016

2015

2014

Personnel turnover, permanent employees

17.2

15.6

24.9

 

Employing the young

S Group is committed to increasing the employability skills of young people and improving their opportunities to enter working life. S Group has made a Society's Commitment to Sustainability: a promise to help young people grow into retail sector professionals. S Group companies introduce the young not only to the job duties, but also to working life in general. This includes all operating methods and practices that promote the readiness of young people to become members of the working community and society.

The S-Trainee and S-Päällikkö coaching programmes attract university students and graduates year after year.

Employing the young

2016

Summer employees and trainees

13,000

S-Trainee programme participants

9

S-Päällikkö programme participants

12

 

Diversity

Promoting diversity, in other words, e.g. equality and multiculturalism, is one of the focus areas of S Group's new responsibility programme. Discrimination is not tolerated in any situation, and the employment agreements are signed with the candidates most qualified for each position.

Gender and age distribution

30 November 2016

2015

2014

Women (%)

77.0

76.0

76.3

Men (%)

23.0

24.0

23.7

Average age*

37

37

* The figure does not include Inex, Meira Nova and personnel in the Baltic countries and Russia.

Diversity

2016

2015

2014

Share of women in Boards of Directors (%)

16

-*

-*

Share of women in management teams (%)

10

9

9

Share of women in supervisor and manager roles (%)

60

57

64

Share of employees under 25 years of age in all employees (%)

24

25

26

Share of employees over 50 years of age in all employees (%)

15

15

14

Number of nationalities

74

72

74

 * The figure is not available.

Job satisfaction

Happy and healthy employees build a successful company. That is why S Group aims to achieve a total result that exceeds the general norm in Finland by a minimum of five points in its work community survey. The goal was achieved in 2016 as well.

Results of the work community survey (in a scale of 0–100)

S Group 2016

General norm in Finland 2016

S Group 2015

General norm in Finland 2015

S Group 2014

Work community index

72.6

65.6

72.6

65.4

71.3

Dedication index

76.0

72.1

76.4

71.7

75.0

Commitment index

71.9

67.0

71.6

66.8

70.0

Management index

72.7

64.1

72.7

63.9

71.5

Performance index

70.7

61.5

70.8

61.3

69.9

Supervisory work index*

75.3

69.9

-

-

-

The average score of statement "The principles and values of our company are adhered to in our daily operations" (in a scale of 1–4)

3.42

3.17

3.42

3.17

3.38

*The supervisory work index is new and the figure is not available for the previous years.

S Group's values are based on responsible cooperative activities and guide everything we do at both the management and operational level. The values and principles are well adhered to in the daily operations of the units.

 

Employee training

S Group's multi-sectoral nature and personnel's diverse competence offer an opportunity to maintain a long and permanent employment relationship within the retail group. The personnel are encouraged to venture boldly outside their comfort zones and to expand their own competence.

In addition to diverse job duties and internal mobility, S Group employees can participate in training provided by the Group's own learning and coaching centre, the Jollas Institute.

Training

2016

2015

2014

Training days, Jollas Institute

 1,276

1,230

1,356

Number of students at Jollas Institute

 11,665

12,204

15,700

Online training taken

 40,826

32,879

32,972

 

Safety at work

A safe working and service environment is a fundamental right of our personnel and customers. S Group ensures safety through accident prevention and identification and avoidance of various hazardous and close-call situations. Continual improvement of the personnel's safety awareness and the regular reviewing of work-related risks are important means of prevention.

Accidents at work

2016

2015*

2014

Number of accidents at work

1,829

1,909

1,966

Accident frequency (accidents per one million hours worked)

33

35

36

Share of accidents in the workplace (%)

78

81

82

Share of accidents on the way to and from work (%)

22

19

18

Share of serious accidents in all accidents (%)**

4.5

4.8

4.8

* The figures of the 2015 annual review have been specified. 
** The share of serious accidents in all accidents at work is calculated as follows: the number of accidents at work resulting in absence of more than 30 days divided by the total number of accidents.

 

Responsible procurement

S Group's procurement operations contain several responsibility policies. These include product-specific quality requirements and respecting the rights at work and human rights in purchases from risk countries and the principle of non-discrimination.

In 2016, a total of over 20,000 suppliers and service providers provided products and services for S Group. The share of private labels and own imports in purchases of products sold in S Group is approximately 20 per cent.

The majority, or approximately 85 per cent, of the products and services sold in S Group are purchased from Finland. Direct purchases from countries with a higher risk of human rights violations account for approximately one per cent of all purchases. The share of risk country manufacturing varies considerably depending on the product category. For example, the share of risk country manufacturing is higher in textile products and consumer goods than in food products.

S Group's goal is to perform a human rights assessment on all suppliers and service providers. In addition to the general assessment of human rights, risks are assessed in greater detail at the product, raw material and supplier level, if needed. In 2016, the development of a responsibility monitoring model for indirect risk country purchases and product ingredients continued jointly with procurement partners.

S Groups' ten largest procurement countries % of total procurement
Finland 85.4
The Netherlands 2.4
Germany 1.9
Spain 1.6
Denmark 1.5
Sweden 1.4
Italy 1.1
Belgium 0.6
Hongkong 0.4
Great Britain 0.4

 

S Group's ten largest risk countries of procurement % of direct risk-country purchases % of total procurement
China 31.5 0.4
India 13.0 0.1
Thailand 11.9 0.1
Bangladesh 8.3 0.1
Indonesia 6.4 0.1
Turkey 6.1 0.1
Egypt 5.5 0.1
South Africa 5.1 0.1
Pakistan 3.2 0.0
Peru 2.8 0.0

** Direct purchases from risk countries" refers to purchases from suppliers, whose home country is a risk country in accordance with BSCI's risk country classification. "Indirect purchases from risk countries" refers to purchases from suppliers, whose home country is not a risk country, but who sell products that are manufactured in a risk country or whose main raw material originates from a risk country.

Read more about S Group's responsibility policies.

 

Monitoring the production chains

The monitoring of suppliers in S Group focuses, in particular, on countries with the greatest risks of labour and human rights violations. Such risk countries include several countries in Africa, Asia, South and Middle America as well as certain European countries.

In its ethical principles, SOK Corporation is committed to respecting human rights. In addition, S Group is committed to the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) principles, which are based on UN's Guiding Principles for Businesses and Human Rights. Parallel to the BSCI, S Group monitors the social responsibility of the supply chain by means of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) database.

Ninety-seven per cent of the direct purchases of private label products and own imports from risk countries in S Group (2015: 82 per cent) are from BSCI-audited suppliers or suppliers audited using an equivalent method. The goal is to have all risk country suppliers of the private label products undergo a BSCI audit or an equivalent third-party inspection.

In the BSCI system, independent auditors inspect production plants to ensure that the criteria of the system are met in practice. The audits focus, among other things, on practices concerning working hours, occupational safety as well as payment of statutory minimum wages.

The development areas most often identified in the 2016 BSCI audits were the management practices of factories, working hours, and occupational safety practices.

Read more about the auditing models.

The 2016 audits did not include Zero tolerance observations. These are observations of the use of child labour, forced labour, safety issues causing immediate danger, or bribery.

 

Product safety

Ensuring the safety of the products in the product range is a daily task for S Group. The quality of products is evaluated even before the products are accepted into the product range, and daily self-monitoring measures ensure that the products are safe for customers.

All S Group grocery stores and restaurants carry out self-control measures. The quality and freshness of products are monitored, and if for some reason quality is compromised, the affected product is removed from the shelf. In addition, storage temperatures and the tidiness of the facilities, for example, are regularly monitored in accordance with the self-control plan.

The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira coordinates the inspections carried out in accordance with the Oiva system at locations where foodstuffs are sold or served. The inspections cover, among other things, the temperature management of food items, store cleanliness and personnel performance.

In 2016, a total of 610 Oiva inspections were carried out at S Group grocery stores and ABC markets. The result of the Oiva inspections was excellent or good in 94.1% of the cases, a need for corrective measures was identified in 5.6% of the inspections, and the result was poor in 0.3% of the cases.

Removing defective products from the market is an aspect of ensuring product quality and safety. Therefore, S Group continuously makes sure that the shared alarm systems and operating models, agreed and practised together with our suppliers for implementing recalls or stopping products at warehouses function in a proven and fast manner.

A product recall from consumers is carried out whenever there is reason to suspect that the product can be hazardous to consumers' health.

Recalls from S Group supermarkets

2016

2015

Recalls from stores

276

244

Recalls from consumers

42

40

 

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