Retail in motion
EK is a large European multi-sector group that supports around 4,000 independent retailers in the living, electrical, toy, baby, fashion, home, DIY, sports and book sectors. We are active in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
Turnover € 2.4 Billion | 6.000 suppliers | 560 employees.
To become a future-proof and sustainable organisation, and support our partners in the best possible way, EK focuses on three pillars:
Moving towards Net-Zero
Human-induced climate-change is the largest, most pervasive threat to the environment and societies the world has ever experienced, a UN expert said. We must act now to limit global-warming. EK is committed to the Paris Agreement and contributes to limiting the global-temperature-rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. This means that EK will become Net-Zero by latest 2050, whilst drastically reducing GHG emissions by 2030.
Currently we are mapping our emissions from the EK buildings, fleet and commuting & travelling of employees. Consulting company ClimatePartner is helping us with mapping and setting annual reduction targets to achieve our Net Zero ambition. Insights will soon be shared on this page.
Eliminate waste by focusing on ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’
In response to the climate-policy ambition, we, as retail, need to find new and innovative solutions which go beyond current efforts. Shifting to a circular economy can be the answer. For EK, it means using more renewable and recycled materials in our (private) label collections, striving to eliminate waste in our operations, and helping retailers to start with circular-business-models, like repair, rent and/or reuse possibilities. Last, but not least, influence change and reward the front-runners we so desperately need.
Support Local Retail
Local Retail can become the customers’ first choice in sustainable & attractive shopping
Local retail can play a major role in helping customers to make more conscious choices. For decade upon decade, the local entrepreneur has sold quality over quantity, provided a full service and the right advice, due to excellent shop staff. So, from our point-of-view, local retail can become top-of-mind when customers think of sustainable and attractive shopping.
This requires sustainable products from brands and private label collections, more ESG knowledge in the shops, and a helping-hand to increase the level of sustainability step-by-step.
Increase and highlight sustainable products
When retailers want to make their businesses sustainable, one of the biggest components is the assortment. However, retailers often do not produce their own and therefore have to rely on sustainability progression from the respective brands. EK plays a role in making the sustainability progressions of brands and their products transparent and measurable.
To help consumers make more conscious choices, EK strives to highlight more sustainable alternatives and open the dialogue with brands to increase their sustainable assortment. EK takes also responsibility and practices what we preach; this means that we are working on having more sustainable materials in our (private) label collections.
Challenge suppliers to drive sustainable supply-chains
EK challenges suppliers to provide goods which are made under good working conditions and with respect for the environment and animals.
When we talk about sustainable products, we are thinking of several criteria, such as more sustainable materials that have less impact on the environment by saving water, energy and chemicals, or the use of recycled materials which do not exhaust the soil again. Furthermore, a sustainable product is a product made under responsible conditions throughout the entire supply-chain. Think, for instance, of no child labour, a living wage for all workers, no discrimination, and no over-working. However, the method of transport and packaging also form part of a sustainable product.
EK strives for transparent supply-chains in order to identify and mitigate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks.
The long-standing collaborations EK has with its partners come from the strong relationships our employees have with our customers, after all, the base of a strong and long-running organisation are our employees.
To create lasting value for now, and in the future, we invest in the health, development and engagement of our employees.