Our corporate strategy is based on five long-term strategic themes, which together provide a foundation for all of ICA Gruppen’s operations. One of these themes is "A positive force“, where we lead the development towards a more sustainable and healthy society – for a good tomorrow. In the medium term, the direction is articulated in Ambition 2025, which sets out where ICA Gruppen needs to be in about five years to meet identified external developments and drivers. ”Healthy and Sustainable” is one of four teams identified in the ambition, which is then made more tangible in the group-wide step-changes ”Climate beyond neutrality” and ”Make healthy choices easier”.
Read more about ICA Gruppen’s strategies
We are constantly working to raise the level of our sustainability work by taking the lead on important issues in the areas of the environment, health, diversity, quality, and local community engagement. This strengthens us as a player in our respective markets, and our hope is that we can inspire others and create value for society as a whole and for our customers.
We also strive to continually develop our communication of how we work with sustainability. Among other things, we have published externally audited quarterly reports of our sustainability work on Group level since 2012.
ICA Gruppen’s sustainability targets
To drive and monitor its sustainability efforts, ICA Gruppen sets Group-wide targets in the prioritised focus areas. These are complemented by the targets set by each respective company and those set for specific issues. Read more about ICA Gruppen’s other group goals
Climate change affects everyone. To contribute to the UN’s goal to limit global warming, ICA Gruppen have long worked in line with science based climate targets, and between 2006 and 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from the Group’s own operations (stores, pharmacies, warehouses and offices) were reduced by 76%. Since 2020, all emissions are offset through carbon credits, making the Group’s operations climate neutral. By 2030, ICA Gruppen are to have net zero climate impact from the Group’s own operations. That will imply continued emissions reductions in line with the Paris agreement, to as close to zero as possible, and at the same time gradually moving from offsetting through carbon credits to measures that balance positive emissions with negative emissions.
An important part of the emissions in ICA Gruppen’s value chain come from the production stage. By 2025, ICA Gruppen’s suppliers accounting for 70% the Group’s upstream climate impact are to have adopted science-based climate targets. At the end of 2020, the outcome was 26%.
|Jan 2020 – Dec 2020
||Jan 2019 – Dec 2019
|Decrease in emissions compared to 2006||-76%||-66%|
ICA Gruppen reached its climate neutrality target in 2020. Since the base year of 2006 emissions of greenhouse gases have decreased by 76%, mainly due to major efforts and improvements in the areas of energy, refrigerants, logistics flows and goods transport. Altogether, emissions have decreased from an average of 111 kg CO2e per square metre to 26 kg CO2e per square metre. All 2020 emissions are offset through climate compensation. The outcome for the supplier target at the end of 2020 was 26%.
It is ICA Gruppen’s conviction that all commercial activity must take place under humane conditions. ICA Gruppen’s supplier agreements contain special provisions regarding human rights. Social audits of suppliers in high-risk countries that produce ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand products are conducted on site. The audits are to be performed according to a model approved by the Group or using ICA Gruppen’s own social audit tool. In 2018 a decision was taken that at least 90% of the suppliers of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand products in high-risk countries must have had an approved social re-audit by year-end 2020.
|Jan 2020 – Dec 2020
||Jan 2019 – Dec 2019
At the end of 2020 a total of 92% of suppliers of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand products in high-risk countries had undergone a social audit, and 86% had an approved re-audit. The target for social audits of suppliers was thus not reached, which was partly due to the severe impact of the pandemic on ICA Gruppen’s suppliers. Opportunities to conduct audits were limited, and the highest priority was to make it easier for suppliers to keep their businesses going. After 2020, ICA Gruppen will continue to monitor and report the percentage of suppliers of corporate brand products in high-risk countries that have undergone a social audit.
Customers should feel safe shopping with ICA Gruppen. ICA Gruppen’s focus on quality includes ensuring that suppliers have safe production processes. This is done through provisions in agreements with all suppliers. Suppliers of the Group’s corporate brand products are also required to have certification according to a standard accepted by the Group.
|Jan 2020 – Dec 2020
||Jan 2019 – Dec 2019
At the end of 2020 a total of 91% of suppliers of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand products were quality-certified. From 2021 onwards the number of quality-certified suppliers will continue to be monitored and reported to ensure that quality work remains at a high level.
Helping customers to feel good and guiding them to make healthy choices is a priority for ICA Gruppen, partly because customers call for it and partly because the Group, as a major player, has a great opportunity to positively impact people’s health. Success in achieving this goal is monitored through customer surveys.
• In the 2020 NKI customer satisfaction index, ICA came in second place among Swedish grocery retailers when respondents answered the question “Who inspires me to eat healthily?”.
• In a Nielsen Omnibus survey in November, Rimi came in first place in Estonia and Latvia, and in fourth place in Lithuania, when respondents were asked to associate grocery retailers with the statement “Offers healthy products and guides customers to choose a healthier lifestyle”.
• In a brand tracking survey performed by Nepa during the autumn, Apotek Hjärtat was seen to be second best in the industry in taking responsibility for improving public health in Sweden, and was seen to be one of the pharmacy chains most associated with making it easy for customers to make sustainable choices.
Food accounts for about a quarter of humanity’s total impact on the climate and it is therefore of utmost importance to take care of and properly handle the food that is produced. Accordingly, in 2019 ICA Gruppen decided to adopt a new Group target: to cut food waste from warehouses and stores in both Sweden and the Baltic countries in half by 2025 compared with the base year 2016. Food waste is measured using an international standard created by the FLW Protocol (Food Loss and Waste Protocol). Important activities to reach the new target include smarter algorithms for sourcing, producing circular products and having procedures and tools for early identification of food that is at risk of being wasted.
ICA Gruppen’s food waste has by the end of 2020 been reduced with 14% compared with the base year 2006. A continued focus on purchasing processes, and on registering, following up and analysing the cause of waste has led to an increased pace in reducing food waste. Especially the stores in Sweden have improved their work with systematically measuring and following up on their food waste, which also improves the reliability of data.
A significant share of global climate impact comes from the production and consumption of food. Therefore, ICA does not only set targets to reduce the Group’s own emissions, but also requires suppliers to adopt science based climate targets. ICA Gruppen also wants to cut the climate impact of customers’ grocery purchases in half by 2030.
ICA:s customers in Sweden can already follow their climate footprint from food through the service ”Mitt klimatmål” (My climate target), which also provides personalised tips for reducing climate impact, as well as links to climate guided recipes. ICA also works towards this target by inspiring and supporting customers with shifts in the product assortment, and improving production methods for lower environmental and climate impact, for example within the ICA Växa initiative.
The ambition to cut the climate impact from customers’ grocery purhcases in half was decided upon in 2020, and from 2021 ICA Gruppen will start reporting against the target.
All Swedish operations within ICA Gruppen have adopted a new health strategy, based on the ambition of making it easier for our customers to live a healthy life, in line with their situation and circumstances. The strategy focusses especially on children and young people.
One target, which can already be noticed in stores, is that we want our customers’ purchases of fruit and vegetables to increase significantly to a level corresponding to 500 grams per person and day by 2025. This change could make a big difference, as the average today is less than 400 grams, and for children and young people only half that.
The target for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables was adopted in 2020, and ICA Gruppen will report against it from 2021.
Data linked to ICA Gruppen’s sustainability goals
This is what a small selection of data linked to our Group-wide sustainability goal looks like in figures.