Good corporate governance and finance


We are committed to our operating principles. Together, we generate economic value added.
  • The K Code of Conduct steers all our operations.
  • We follow good corporate governance principles.
  • Together, we improve financial profitability.
Topic Objective Progress of objectives 2014 Progress of objectives 2015 Progress of objectives 2016

K Code of Conduct

All of our personnel act in compliance with the K Code of Conduct.

Our Responsible Working Principles guidelines are a material part of the induction of new employees. According to a personnel survey, 93.3 % respondents have explored the guidelines.

From the beginning of 2015, all of Kesko's Russian business companies have had their own anti-corruption policies. We decided to update Our Responsible Working Principles guidelines in 2016.

We updated Our Responsible Working Principles guidelines in 2016. The new guidelines were named the K Code of Conduct and were published in the languages of all our operating countries in October 2016. We named 20 K Code of Conduct ambassadors as the messengers and contact persons. We will update all new and renewed employment contracts to include a clause about the requirement for personnel to familiarise themselves and comply with the K Code of Conduct. We will add a K Code of Conduct contract clause to all agreements signed by Kesko Group companies. As of 2017, we oblige the entire personnel to annually acknowledge their compliance with the K Code of Conduct guidelines. 

We organise regular training on the K Code of Conduct.

As part of the ongoing responsibility training, four training events on responsible working principles were organised in 2014 for different divisions in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The online training on responsibility, which was published in 2015 and directed at all Kesko employees, describes Our Responsible Working Principles. As part of the ongoing responsibility training, a training event on Our Responsible Working Principles was organised for the key employees of Kesko’s company in Belarus in 2015.

As part of the ongoing responsibility training, a training event on the K Code of Conduct was organised in Suomen Lähikauppa and two Russian subsidiaries in 2016. The events focused largely on corruption and fraud-related issues. The eLearning training targeted at all personnel had been attended by 3,159 people at the end of 2016. We drew an annual plan for 2017 which includes procedures to increase the personnel's awareness of the K Code of Conduct such as communication and training events for every quarter.

Return on capital

Kesko's objective is to achieve a 14% comparable return on capital employed and a 12% return on equity.

The comparable return on capital employed was 9.9% and the comparable return on equity was 7.6%.

The comparable return on capital employed was 11.7%, and the comparable return on equity was 8.2%.

The comparable return on capital employed was 11.9%, and the comparable return on equity was 9.8%.

Human rights

We respect human rights and take them into account in all our operations.

We started to assess human rights related impacts in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We continued to assess human rights related impacts in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. During the extensive report work, we heard the thoughts of customers and personnel as well as employees in high-risk countries' factories on human rights and how well they are realised in K Group's operations.

We published our human rights assessment and human rights commitment on our website. We will review and update it every three years. We will construct our operating models so that respect for human rights is observed in all our operations.


Management approach

Material aspects

  • Economic performance
  • Indirect economic impacts
  • Anti-corruption
  • Anti-competitive behaviour
  • Compliance
  • Grievance mechanisms for impacts on society
  • Customer privacy
We generate economic value added

At Kesko, economic responsibility refers to the good management of finances, the efficient use of resources, as well as generating stable, long-term economic benefits for the various stakeholders. Kesko's operations generate economic benefits for shareholders, personnel, retailers, suppliers of goods and services and their employees and customers, as well as municipalities and states.

The K Code of Conduct and reputation management

Different aspects of responsibility, such as the ethicality of production and sourcing, the fair and equal treatment of employees and environmental protection are increasingly important for customers. Kesko's attitude to bribery and other malpractice is absolutely uncompromising. Responsible working principles are essential for building trust between Kesko, K-stores, our customers and our business partners.

Public policy

Kesko plays an active role in trade and industry organisations in Finland and in the European Union, contributing its expertise to social development and legislative work. Kesko does not donate funds to political parties.

Customer privacy

Customers' personal data is, for instance, processed in various personal data registers and online stores' customer registers that are collected for the implementation of marketing activities. Furthermore, Kesko manages and maintains the K-Plussa customer loyalty system, operated by K-chains and K-Plussa partners. Using the information received from the K-Plussa customer loyalty system, we can develop and tailor our operations to better suit our customers' needs. Taking care of our customers' privacy is of utmost importance to us.

Policies, principles and commitments

  • Accounting policies
    • Kesko Group complies with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) approved for adoption by the European Union.
  • Corporate Governance principles
    • Kesko's decision-making and corporate governance are guided by Kesko's values and the K Code of Conduct guidelines. Decision-making and corporate governance comply with the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act, regulations concerning publicly quoted companies, Kesko's Articles of Association, the charters of Kesko's Board and its Committees and the rules and guidelines of Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. The company complies with the Finnish Corporate Governance Code for Listed Companies that entered into force on 1 January 2016.
  • Risk management principles
  • Good trading practices
    • Kesko's grocery trade and Kespro are committed to good trading practices.
  • K Code of Conduct
    • The K Code of Conduct is used to ensure that everyone at Kesko has the same understanding of the values and principles that guide our daily work. The principles are the same for every Kesko employee in all our operating countries. We also expect our business partners to operate responsibly.
  • Data protection policy
    • The data protection policy defines how Kesko Group strives for compliance with the law in the processing of personal data and a high level of data protection in all of its operations and operating countries.

Monitoring and control systems

  • Financial reporting and planning
    • Kesko's financial reporting and planning are based on the Kesko Group's management system. The Group's financial development and achievement of financial objectives are monitored by financial reporting covering the entire Group.
  • Compliance
    • Kesko runs compliance programmes to ensure that Kesko employees are familiar with the key laws relating to operations and act in compliance with them. For Kesko, knowledge of and compliance with competition laws is of primary importance.
  • Prevention of malpractice
    • The Kesko Group's Internal Audit monitors and secures the functioning and efficiency of management, supervision, risk management and corporate governance in the Kesko Group. Kesko's Internal Audit pays special attention to the efficiency of controls that prevent malpractice and financial losses. Kesko's Legal Affairs and Internal Audit have organised value discussions in Kesko subsidiaries with the focus on anti-bribery work.
  • Risk management
    • Kesko has a uniform risk assessment and reporting system. Risk identification is based on business objectives and opportunities and the defined risk appetite. Risks are prioritised on the basis of their significance by evaluating their impact in financial terms and probability. When assessing the impact of materialisation, the impacts on reputation, people's wellbeing and the environment are considered in addition to the impact in euros. Risk management measures are assigned persons in charge who are responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the measures. The measures defined are added in action plans and monitoring systems. Kesko's Internal Audit annually assesses the functioning and efficiency of Kesko's risk management system.
  • Privacy protection
    • Personal data collected for various purposes on the grounds defined in the Finnish Personal Data Act form separate person registers. For example, the customer information of K-Plussa cardholders forms a customer database that is used, with the customer's permission, for managing customer relationships, for customer contacts and the marketing purposes of the companies that have joined the K-Plussa system. K-Plussa customers can prohibit the connection of product or product group level information to their identified customer relationship. In compliance with the Personal Data Act, the file description is available in Finnish at
    • Data controllers ensure that customer information is only used for the purposes specified in the file description. Information on individual customers is secured by issuing instructions to personnel and by using technical systems. Customer data is only disclosed to third parties if required by law.

Responsibilities and resources

  • Kesko's Corporate Governance structure is presented at Kesko's Corporate Governance principles
  • Group Legal Affairs Unit
  • Internal Audit Unit
  • Risk Management and Strategy Process Unit
  • K-Digital Unit

Grievance mechanisms

Through Kesko's intranet, employees in all operating countries can give feedback and ask questions concerning operations not only in their own units but also directly to top management. Feedback can be given openly or anonymously.

SpeakUp is a confidential reporting channel meant for reporting crime and malpractice suspicions when, for one reason or another, the information cannot be passed directly to Kesko's persons in charge.



Corporate governance Kesko
Finance Kesko