Henrik Tjärnström: Collaboration makes Kindred the trend setter in global sustainability

Stockholm-listed online gambling firm Kindred Group Plc has published its 2018 corporate sustainability report, outlining key long-term social responsibility commitments and targets for its enlarged enterprise.

Updating stakeholders, Kindred Chief Executive Henrik Tjärnström details the enhanced responsibility placed on the online gambling group, which in 2019 services 25 million customers, across Europe, the US and Australia, operating 11 brands and employing 1,500 staff globally.

One of the largest Stockholm Nasdaq tech enterprises, at present Kindred, records an average of 30 million transactions per day, having recorded an 18% increase in 2018 active customers.

Having been a company executive since 2003, Tjärnström details that the Kindred is entering its most exciting phase in business, where the company has to meet numerous complex and diverse global challenges.

“As an online gambling group with operations spanning literally across the world, we face interesting challenges and complex regulatory requirements wherever we set our feet,” Tjärnström added. “It keeps us on our toes and we enjoy the close relationship we have with local regulators across our markets. To ensure a steady course we have set out a clear path ahead, focused around our purpose of transforming gambling to ensure fair play, the best deal and a great experience for our players.”

Leading Kindred through numerous growth phases, Tjärnström outlines the importance of the company being able to meet challenges head-on, whilst maintaining top customer experiences, product output and its diversified business model.

Tjärnström points to the success of Kindred’s ‘sustainability framework’, launched in 2018 with the initiative derived from a close dialogue with key gambling and wider stakeholders.

“This framework, together with our corporate values, ensure we focus on where we as a company have the biggest impact, both positive and negative, and thereby can make a substantial difference,” he continued. “The framework is integrated into our long-term strategy, objectives and business model to ensure it filters through every area of our operations.”

The success of the framework has allowed Kindred to approach complex matters differently, with the company absorbing advice from multiple field experts such as Christian Kalb (Ethisport Co-Founder expert on sports integrity), Dr Mark Griffiths (Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University), Sant Yanica (Malta MGA Legal Counsel on Customer Protections) and the All-in Diversity on industry workforce inclusion and diversity.

Moving forward, Tjärnström notes collaboration as a key dynamic that will help Kindred meet its tough objectives, with the CEO outlining that partnerships have helped the operator launch first to market social responsibility tools.

Furthermore, at an operational level, collaboration with sustainability researchers has led to Kindred gaining better customer profiling abilities, player communications, self-perception and team-to-team feedback on customer engagements.

He concluded: “With approximately one per cent of customers who cannot keep their gambling under control need to stop and we as an operator need to help them in the best way we can. We do not benefit from having them as customers and our goal is that zero revenue is derived from harmful gambling by 2023.

“To reach this goal we continue to invest in tools and research, as we do not have all the answers ourselves. ‘Collaboration to Improve’ was the theme at the 2018 Sustainable Gambling Conference, which you can read more about on page 17, and we intend to continue to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders.”

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