As a family-owned company, human values and respect for both people and environment have always been deeply rooted in Søstrene Grene.
Taking responsibility within these areas has always been a natural part of running our business – and it will continue to be so in the future.
Our ambition is to keep improving in all areas, and here, you can read about our CSR efforts and the actions we take to avoid negative impact on both people and planet.
We base our priorities on two fundamental principles:
1) to minimise negative impact on people and planet and
2) to create positive impact when we can. Our four priority areas are defined by what is material to the relation between our company and the society and environment we interact with.
Below you can learn more about our commitments and actions:
One of Søstrene Grene’s core values is joy. We strive to create slight bright differences to everyday life. This value begins with ourselves – with our commitment to running our company with responsibility and respect for the world we are part of. Our key priorities within Ethics and Governance are:
Our actions, 2016/2017
In the fiscal year 2016/2017, we have significantly scaled our management practices within CSR. Focus has been on establishing an efficient CSR governance structure. Actions include:
Our supply chain is the backbone of our business, and it adds complexity to the practical task of managing our responsibility ambitions. Therefore, our supply chain is the priority of our responsibility efforts. Through our Responsible Supply Chain Programme, we continuously work to ensure that our products are produced with great care and respect for workers and environment.
Our supply chain
We source our products directly from independent factories as well as from trading companies, who again source their products from other factories. Søstrene Grene does not own any factories. European suppliers provide 30-40% of our products, the rest is sourced from suppliers in Asia - mainly China, India and Vietnam. Some suppliers we use only once, e.g. campaign-related products. Other suppliers have been with us for many years. In total, we use around 500 different suppliers each year. Approximately 100 of these suppliers are categorised as CSR Focus Suppliers and are selected for CSR audits and training. The selection is based on relevance and risk parameters such as location, product, production process, raw material and how much we purchase from the given supplier. Most of our Asian suppliers are categorised as CSR Focus Suppliers, most of our Northern European suppliers are not.
Responsible Supply Chain Programme
Our Responsible Supply Chain Programme consists of several parts.
In the very rare case that severe concerns are identified, we will cease all business with the supplier until the concern has been corrected. Sufficient corrections and true commitment must be documented at a re-audit by our audit team before we can take up business with the supplier again. If the supplier does not reach a satisfactory level, we do not take up business with the supplier again. In case of less severe concerns, we agree on a deadline for correction with the supplier, and we follow up on implementation, either by conducting a re-audit or by exchange of documentation, depending on the character of the concern.
Our actions 2016/2017
In the fiscal year 2016/2017, we have increased our responsible supply chain efforts. Actions include:
Read more: Søstrene Grene’s Supplier Code of Conduct
It is crucial to Søstrene Grene that our customers can trust the quality and safety of the products they buy at our stores. Therefore, we allocate a significant amount of resources to product testings and screenings, ensuring that our products live up to all applicable national and EU legislations.
Our Product Compliance team performs a Risk Analysis of each and every product we sell in our stores. They are highly qualified professionals with specialised knowledge about chemical substances, materials and the relevant legislation. We request comprehensive documentation from the suppliers, including Bill of Material, chemical composition etc. This approach means we only perform the tests which are relevant for each specific product.
The Product Compliance team monitors new developments in the relevant legislations. We follow new developments in the health and safety field in close cooperation with the relevant authorities and Trade and Consumer Organisations. In many cases, we must take action before a specific law is passed in the product safety field. We have to stay ahead of the legislation, so we can keep developing and improving our products. Søstrene Grene has chosen to ban all Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) from EU’s candidate list and fluorine substances in food contact materials/packaging. We have also chosen to reduce the use of PVC in product packaging and other product groups.
Our actions 2016/2017
In the fiscal year 2016/2017, our focus has been on continuing the strict testing and screening process of our products. Actions include:
Taking care of our climate and environment is a great priority to Søstrene Grene. Our key focus is to reduce waste, reuse and recycle.
Within some areas there is a lot we can do ourselves, e.g. how we deal with recycling, use of packing materials and energy optimisation of our stores and warehouses. Within these areas, we monitor our performance, analyse where we can improve and set in with relevant actions.
Within other areas, we are reliant on the efforts of our collaborators, e.g. the efforts of our suppliers and the transportation companies we use. When it comes to transportation of our goods, we choose companies that work effectively towards reducing their CO2 emissions, and we try to avoid air freight. When it comes to suppliers, we have clear environmental requirements in Søstrene Grene’s Supplier Code of Conduct, and environment is an important part of the CSR audits we conduct at our suppliers’ factories. Read more
Our actions 2016/2017
In 2016/2017, we have implemented a more efficient management structure regarding climate change and environment. Actions include:
Read more: Søstrene Grene’s environmental policy