Human rights in retail

Human rights within our own company is very much linked to how we treat our employees. Not only in terms of health and safety, but also by respecting their right to family life: e.g., when making work plans. Respect of freedom of opinion and expression is also a very important and sometimes delicate issue, especially when taking the many social medias into account. We have though made it absolutely clear to our managers that while we expect loyalty from our employees, our employees also enjoy freedom of speech – a right that must not be questioned. Human rights are, however, not only linked to how we treat our employees, but could also be linked to citizens in the local community and our customers.

In our company we hire people based on their qualifications. Sex, religion, race, politics and other similar factors are irrelevant. This is probably true for most Danish companies, however in our company diversity is very visible in our stores where it is our aim that the staff should reflect the local community.

Our company is one of few companies that employ many unskilled workers and thus plays a role in providing access to jobs and careers. However, even in these unskilled jobs there is increasingly a need for skills such as computer literacy. This is not currently a large issue, but in the future society may have a situation where more people are unskilled for the jobs that are considered unskilled today.

We encourage women to become leaders, however we do see less women in management – especially top management. This is a challenge shared with many other companies. One of our three CSR focus areas is Equal Access to Jobs and Careers and so we will in the coming years try to address this issue.

The right to privacy is a human right, which is under pressure these years. We have increasing amounts of customer data and an obligation to protect the data we have been entrusted. We receive customer data through many different channels. We always uphold the law and give the customer the required information about their data, however it is very difficult for anyone to keep track of personal data in this day and age. As a company we need to understand this and act with a high level of integrity to protect customer privacy.

The right to health is a human right, which in our part of the world is interpreted as the equal access to health services. As a retailer we also view health as an important topic. We have more than 11 million customers through our tills on a weekly basis. We provide our customers and their families with food and basic household goods, which enables them to live healthy lives. Not all products in our stores are healthy, but we strongly believe that our customers are fully able to make the choices that are right for them. That said we work continuously to improve products, increase selection of healthy foods and inspire our customers by suggesting healthy alternatives.