Axel Johnson’s sustainable business strategy clarifies our objectives as an owner company and guides our companies toward profitable and long-term growth.

The sustainable business strategy is holistic, eliminates the need for separate strategies with respect to sustainability and digital transformation, for example, and aims to secure Axel Johnson’s growth and sustainability over time. The strategy creates the right conditions for us to achieve our financial objectives: profit and growth, of course, but also healthy cash flow and the ability to make investments.

We monitor the companies’ performance in six business-critical target areas:

Valuable customer offering
At Axel Johnson, we put the customer first, mainly because we know it is the only way to create sustainable, long-term growth, particularly when markets are continuously evolving. We interact with more than one million customers every day, and our behavior and offerings determine the value of all these encounters. Our goal is to have the industry’s most satisfied customers and to have competitive brand positions in our markets.

Resource-efficient, eco-friendly and high-quality operations
At Axel Johnson, we strive to utilize resources efficiently. To do so, we prioritize reducing our environmental impact by lowering our energy use and emissions from transportation. Several companies in the Group have ambitious goals for reducing waste.

We understand the importance of innovation for our success. That is why we have the following goal: in ten years, at least 50 percent of Axel Johnson’s revenue will derive from activities that currently do not form part of our business. This goal does not include the renewal that takes place on a daily basis through improvements in our operations, but focuses on major business development within and related to our Group companies as well as acquisitions.

Digital transformation
Axel Johnson aims to harness the possibilities of digitization to become the standard-bearer in our markets. Digital elements are to be integrated into the company in areas where they can create benefits across all stages of the value chain, from e-commerce to warehouse management. We aim to be the industry and/or market leader in the industries in which we are active.

Sustainable and efficient production
Axel Johnson owns very few production companies, and instead works with thousands of suppliers worldwide. Our aim is to only purchase goods and services that are produced in an ethical, socially sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Axel Johnson uses codes of conduct to achieve this aim. A supplier can either comply with our Code of Conduct, follow a third-party verified code, or have its own code that we as a buyer can choose to accept.

Value-based employeeship and leadership
The Axel Johnson Group has a decentralized organization. Decisions are taken as close to the customer as possible, by committed employees and managers who grow as people and as professionals with every decision. Consequently, the companies grow, since motivated employees create greater value. That is why our goal is to have the most satisfied employees in the industry. As part of our leadership approach, we aim to challenge, show courage and follow up. We motivate and develop our employees by being clear, available and open. We are guided by our values and show trust in our staff members, and we always aim to retain and develop employees of the highest quality and ambition levels. Our goal is to have the best managers. Diversity is crucial for creating an inclusive and innovative company. Accordingly, we have set clear targets for increased diversity by 2020. By then, our companies are to have an equal gender spread among managers (40/60 percent spread), and at least 20 percent of our managers are to have international backgrounds. We track this trend annually.

For further information, read our Annual Review here.