Question and answer

Do you have questions about ICA Gruppen's sustainability work? Start with checking in our list among common questions.

How is ICA’s sustainability work governed?

The strategic direction for ICA Gruppen’s sustainability work is set by the Board of Directors through the Sustainability Committee and is managed through strategic planning and business planning processes. The Sustainability Committee’s mandate is based on the rules in the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance on the responsibility of a board of directors to set guidelines for how the company should behave in society. The committee’s duties include preparing policies on business ethics and sustainability, preparing sustainability reports (annual and quarterly), and following up business ethics and sustainability issues. In addition, the Board conducts a yearly review of the Company’s sustainability work, covering risk analysis, ethical dilemmas, and in-depth training in specifically identified areas.

The CEO is responsible for sustainability issues within the Group, however, management of the day-to-day sustainability work has been delegated to the Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer. This position is part of ICA Gruppen’s Management Team (IMT). Under the leadership of the Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, the IMT is tasked with developing and, if need be, monitoring the Company’s sustainability work. To support the IMT and Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer in this work, the Company has established a Sustainability Work Group, which is a cross-functional committee that addresses matters regarding sustainability. The IMT recommends sustainability priorities to the Board and monitors ethical dilemmas, risks and public opinion. The IMT is also tasked with proposing policies to the Board and revising existing ones.

Read more about governance of ICA’s sustainability work ›

What is ICA’s sustainability strategy?

ICA Gruppen’s strategy is based on five long-term strategic themes which together form the foundation of all of ICA Gruppen’s operations. One of these themes is "A positive force" We lead the development towards a more sustainable and healthy society.

ICA Gruppen’s strategic priorities ›

What does “För en god morgondag” entail?

“För en god morgondag” (“For a good tomorrow”) is a platform for communicating ICA Gruppen’s sustainability work. It is a collective term for ICA Gruppen’s work in this area and is broken down into five defined areas: local, environment, health, diversity and quality. Clear ambitions and goals have been set for each of these areas, and all parts of ICA Gruppen have activities in the respective areas. “For a good tomorrow” signals that the work with sustainability will never cease – it is something that we must work continuously with and should permeate everything we do.

Is ICA a participant in the UN Global Compact?

Yes, ICA has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact business initiative since 2004 and takes responsibility for adhering to the Compact’s Ten Principles in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption.

Does ICA have a Code of Conduct?

ICA Gruppen has a number of policies that are obligatory for all employees and companies and which clarify rules and requirements for employees. These include a sustainability policy, a business ethics policy, and a customer policy. The requirements we set for our vendors are based on these policies and are laid out in contracts, which include clear wording on product safety, animal welfare, content, traceability, business ethics, the environment and social responsibility.

What is ICA’s largest carbon footprint?

Nearly two-thirds of ICA’s total, direct carbon footprint comes from stores. The remaining footprint comes mainly from warehouse operations and transports.

What is ICA doing to reduce its carbon footprint?

ICA Gruppen is conducting many activities to reduce its carbon footprint. Our most important goal at the Group level is that ICA Gruppen will be climate neutral by 2020. By climate neutral is meant the carbon footprint from our operations in stores, pharmacies, warehouses and offices via, for example, refrigerants, electricity, goods transports and business travel in both the Swedish and Baltic operations. The decrease shall be measured using scientific methods devised by the UN and WWF, among others.

ICA aims to achieve this by reducing GHG emissions and through more efficient use of resources, but also by offsetting the carbon footprint that cannot be eliminated in ICA’s operations by 2020. This target has been set using a method for science-based climate targets developed by WWF, the UN Global Compact, CDP and the World Resources Institute. ICA Gruppen expects to be able to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 70%, and the remainder will be achieved through carbon offsets.

What sustainability targets does ICA have?

At the Group level we have six sustainability targets. ICA Gruppen’s operations are to be climate-neutral by 2020, 100% of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand suppliers in high-risk countries will be socially audited, At least 90% of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand suppliers in high-risk countries will have a valid follow-up social audit by year-end 2020, 90% of ICA Gruppen’s corporate brand suppliers will be quality certified by year-end 2020, By 2020 ICA Gruppen will be perceived by consumers as the actor in the market that is best at helping them make healthy choices and ICA Gruppen’s food waste from warehouses and stores will be cut in half by 2025, compared with the base year 2016.

Read more about ICA Gruppen’s sustainability targets ›

How does ICA quality assure its products?

ICA’s quality assurance work is grounded in clear routines and processes for ensuring traceability and control regarding its product range and the handling of goods. ICA puts great emphasis on quality assuring its operations and is at the forefront among grocery retailers with respect to certification. ICA works with audits, traceability checks, reviews of product contents and labelling, product testing and structured quality assurance in both logistics and stores.

How does ICA make sure that its suppliers have good working conditions?

ICA Gruppen’s firm conviction is that all trade shall be conducted in a manner that respects human rights. ICA Gruppen sells products from around the world and needs to know where the products come from and under what conditions they were produced. ICA Gruppen does not accept discrimination, infringement of the right to organise and collectively bargain, child labour, forced labour, or other failures to comply with human rights. This is made clear in the company’s policies and in contracts with all suppliers. ICA Gruppen is also represented out in the world to better be able to collaborate with suppliers, control production and advocate for change through training initiatives, projects and partnerships with other industry actors. ICA Gruppen’s requirements are based on the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) core conventions. ICA Gruppen also supports Consumer Goods Forum’s Forced Labour Resolution. The overarching goal is that all of ICA Gruppen’s suppliers of corporate brand products in high-risk countries will have undergone a social audit.

How does ICA work with palm oil?

ICA Gruppen supports Consumer Goods Forum's resolution to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020 in key commodity sectors by only purchasing responsible grown palm oil. 100% of palm oil in ICA's corporate brand products must be RSPO certified. ICA Gruppen is also a member of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

How does ICA work with soy?

ICA Sweden supports Consumer Goods Forum's resolution to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020 in key commodity sectors by ensuring that the soy used in products for human consumption as well as feed for meat and milk producing animals is responsibly produced. This means that 100% of the soy used in ICA Sweden's private label products is certified or covered by certificates for the corresponding volume. ICA Gruppen is a member of RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy) and in the Swedish Soy dialogue.

What responsibility does ICA take for promoting good food habits?

For many years we have worked actively and purposefully to encourage customers to adopt a lifestyle that benefits not only their own health and the environment, but also society in general. Increasing their intake of fruit, vegetables and legumes provides benefits both for the environment and for their own health. We support our customers, such as by offering wholesome products and by encouraging physical activity and increased knowledge. Through products that address issues concerning additives, diets, allergies and lifestyles, we can spread information and inspire customers to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This work is based on official Nordic dietary guidelines and nutritional recommendations.

We also carry on a continuous dialogue with politicians, authorities, trade colleagues and other stakeholders concerning how the retail trade can help reduce public health problems.

How does ICA ensure animal welfare?

ICA’s products shall be produced under dignified conditions. Animals may not be treated badly, and natural ingredients shall not be altered without good and well-conceived purposes. We shall ensure good animal care as far as possible. By this we mean that

  • animals shall be treated well and spared from unnecessary suffering and illness.
  • animals shall be housed and cared for in an animal-friendly environment that promotes their health and gives them opportunities to graze naturally.
  • animals shall be given proper care and supervision.
  • we do not accept the use of antibiotics for preventive purposes in animal husbandry.
  • meat from animals that are threatened with extinction may not be sold.
  • we have a positive view of production plants that use third-party systems to ensure satisfactory animal care.
What is ICA’s view of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

ICA Gruppen says generally not to all GMO labelled products. If we shall approve such a product, the customer benefit should be obvious and the product should be approved by ICA Gruppen’s management team. ICA Gruppen has at this time not approved any GMO labelled product.

What is ICA’s view of additives?

Additives shall be used restrictively and provide clear value added for customers, such as improved nutritional value, safety, ease of handling, appearance and flavour. In content declarations, all ingredients shall be always be listed so that customers can make an informed decision. Certain additives may cause oversensitivity reactions or have other adverse effects. We monitor scientific reports surrounding additives and may choose to restrict their use in our private label products.

We not allow azo dyes in food products. Nor do we allow other colourants in basic foodstuffs such as butter, milk, cereals, flour, sugar, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.

What is ICA’s views on sponsorships?

One of ICA’s overall goals is to be a positive force in society. Sponsorships are arranged in cooperation with organizations working for good purposes, healthy ways of living or good and healthy food.

Who should I contact if I want to discuss sponsorships?

The practical matters on sponsorships are handled by each company in ICA Gruppen.

Here you can find contact information on each company ›

What is ICA Gruppen’s position on paying taxes?

ICA Gruppen has a tax policy, that is approved annually by the board. The policy describes guidelines for how tax matters should be handled in the group. ICA Gruppen is compliant with tax law in each country we have business in. All business decisions are taken on a commercial basis and tax effects are a consequence of these decisions.

ICA Gruppen creates jobs and contributes to tax revenues in the local economies where the Group operates.