S Group engages in systematic dialogue with its stakeholders. The goal of the dialogue is to disseminate information about S Group, increase mutual understanding and make use of the competence of the stakeholders in the development of S Group's operations.
Stakeholder work at S Group is managed systematically and measured annually. S Group has defined its key stakeholders and their expectations and impact on S Group. In addition, the forms of stakeholder engagement for each group have been defined.
The co-op members represent the largest stakeholder group. Other groups include the media, suppliers and decision-makers in society, among others.
As a major Finnish company, S Group attracts extensive media interest. S Group actively seeks to keep representatives of the media up to date with its operations.
S Group openly answers questions and responds to feedback, whether provided by customers or civic organisations.
The partnership between SOK and the WWF is a good example of interaction with organisations. The goal of the two-year partnership is to advance S Group's responsibility, particularly in terms of the sustainable and resource-efficient use of natural resources. Through the partnership, SOK has supported the WWF's efforts to promote the sustainable use of natural resources.
SOK represents S Group in various lobbying organisations. These organisations supervise the interests of companies in the retail sector in both Finland and the EU. SOK is also a member of the Finnish Commerce Federation, the Finnish Grocery Trade Association, the Tekstiili- ja Muotialat TMA textile and fashion sector organisation, the Finnish Hospitality Association (MaRa) and the Finnish Petroleum Federation.
Through various sector associations, SOK participates in the operations of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of SOK, serves as Vice Chairman of the EK. In addition, SOK is represented in international retail sector organisations.
As a large company, S Group has numerous suppliers of different kinds and sizes. S Group treats all suppliers equally and adheres to its ethical principles in relation to them. In accordance with its ethical principles, S Group operates with integrity and responsibly and expects the same from its partners.
SOK and some of the cooperatives have been entered into the EU register of good trading practices.
Decision-makers in society
S Group wants to participate in social discussion openly and proactively. S Group's objective is to conduct on-going dialogue with decision-makers on issues impacting S Group's operations and the development of the service sector.
New models of stakeholder engagement
In order to be able to renew itself and address the challenges of the changing operating environment of retail, S Group needs new creative ideas, competence and innovative solutions to develop its operations. S Group wants to actively participate in the promotion and development of business operations that will generate new growth and vitality in Finland.
Among other initiatives, S Group participated in the Corporate Venture programme in 2014. This programme aims to assist Finnish growth companies in developing their operations and growing. S Group established an Advisory Group of external experts to accelerate responsibility development in the Group.
The "Tornin aamu" discussion events are S Group's new concept in stakeholder engagement. The concept was designed in 2014, and the first event took place in February 2015. The events are forums for discussing matters that S Group's stakeholders find topical, such as the price of food, regulation, the future of the service industries and corporate responsibility. Discussion participants invited to the events include stakeholders relevant for each topic, for example, representatives of associations, decision-makers, senior officials, the media and experts.
Read more about stakeholder work at S Group. (In Finnish)