S Group takes care of its personnel and promotes more sustainable future
The well-being and safety of employees is an important part of the Finnish retail group’s corporate responsibility work. Over the course of this year and next year, S Group’s employees working at Prisma, S Market and Sale will receive new uniforms. The goal in designing the uniforms was to make them as comfortable as possible to improve the job satisfaction and ergonomics of approximately 20,000 S Group employees. At the same time, it supports S Group’s own sustainability agenda.
As a large customer-owned operator in Finland, it is especially important for S Group to act responsibly and understand the effects of its actions when it comes to building a more sustainable future in the long term. S Group is working with its employees, customers and other stakeholders towards making Finland a better place to live.
“Responsibility is an integral part of our values and DNA. As a large employer, we naturally have a big responsibility in ensuring the well-being of tens of thousands of employees at work and making their day-to-day lives as easy as possible. We are extremely pleased that our Market workwear collection, designed with the help of Lindström, promotes our personnel’s well-being and safety at work,” explains Veera Vuorinen, Vice President, Store Layout Design and Space Management at SOK, who is in charge of the workwear update project and continues:.
“We want to be a workplace employees enjoy coming to every day, and comfortable workwear has a significant role in making that a reality. Because workwear is worn throughout the workday, it is extremely important that every employee is able to find an outfit that works for them in the collection and that the uniforms are practical, elastic and breathable. According to the feedback we have received from our personnel, the new workwear, the materials used and the finer details have been a hit, which is great to hear because these factors directly impact our personnel’s well-being and employee experience,” Vuorinen says.
S Group employees have been included in the design process
S Group believes that the key to better everyday life can be found where people work – and it involves including personnel in decisions and listening to them. S Group employees were part of the process of designing and testing the new Market workwear collection.
“Appreciating our employees, listening to them and understanding their everyday lives is very important to us. It is part of our corporate responsibility work, as well as our equality principles. We take pride in actively listening to our personnel and including them in developing smoother ways of working. The workwear project we undertook in cooperation with Lindström was a great experience because it gave our market employees a chance to take part in coming up with ideas for the uniforms, designing them and testing them. Now our workwear collection is fresh and tailored precisely to the needs of every S Group market employee,” Vuorinen says.
Fighting climate change with circular economies
The goal of S Group is to make its own operations carbon-negative by the end of 2025. Part of S Group’s climate work is to continuously map out new operational models for circular economies.
“Every choice we make takes nature and the climate into consideration. For example, we are constantly mapping out new circular economy operational models that keep valuable raw materials and resources in circulation longer and more efficiently. Our collaboration with Lindström is part of this bigger picture that has us looking for new circular economy opportunities everywhere,” Nina Elomaa, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at S Group explains, adding that:
“It’s fantastic that Lindström’s operations are based on circular economies. It means we can be 100-per-cent sure that our workwear is made of sustainable materials, that they are washed in a way that reduces water and energy consumption and that, when they come to the end of their life-cycles, they are responsibly turned into recycled fibre and new products. It’s also important to us that our workwear gets repaired when necessary to give it as long a lifecycle as possible. Our new workwear collection also includes recycled materials: 10 per cent of the fabric used in aprons and equipment belts comes from fibre made out of recycled workwear.”
Responsibility targets guide the selection of partners
Lindström and S Group’s shared journey has been going for some time. S Group values the Lindström’s staff’s eagerness to work together and come up with new solutions to help S Group meet its corporate responsibility targets.
“We take a comprehensive approach to corporate responsibility and we appreciate our partners doing the same. Responsibility is a core part of S Group’s values, and we start evaluating our partners’ ability to support our responsibility targets as early as the tendering phase. Working with partners whose responsible operating methods we can take into account from as many angles as possible is important to us. Our cooperation with Lindström has been going on for a long time, and it’s great that we have found new ways of doing things in order to achieve our corporate responsibility targets together. Ways like including our personnel in the workwear design process, implementing ergonomic workwear and using recycled materials in our new collection,” Elomaa says.