Sonova CR Report 2020/21
Message from the CEO
In times of crisis, the true essence of an organization and the way it embraces its responsibilities become apparent. Challenged by the global COVID-19 pandemic throughout the last year, businesses had to reveal that sustainability is truly rooted in their organization – and not just a superficial promise.
At Sonova, it has always been our mission to have a positive effect on our consumers’ lives. We aspire just as much to have a positive effect on society as a whole. The pandemic has simply confirmed the importance of making environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles integral to the way we do business.
We are further embedding our ESG commitments across all dimensions of the business and aim to track and optimize our ESG performance with the same intensity as our key financial indicators.
We are proud to share highlights of our progress in 2020/21 toward achieving our ESG goals: We have further reduced our carbon footprint this year by 17% and driving innovation to address climate change, including opening of one of the first zero-energy commercial buildings in Switzerland. Action on diversity and inclusion is yielding results: at year-end, 34% of all upper and senior management positions were held by women, while across all people leaders the ratio is 49%. Employee engagement remains high despite all challenges to social interaction, with a 83% positive engagement score in our annual survey. And by adding ESG targets to the objectives for the variable cash compensation of the members of our Management Board, we maintain alignment between the interests of the business, the environment, and society.
We are further embedding our ESG commitments across all dimensions of the business and aim to track and optimize our ESG performance with the same intensity as our key financial indicators. As part of this effort, we have launched IntACT, an upgrade to our ESG strategy that builds on four key areas: serving society, advancing our people, acting with integrity, and protecting the planet. This Corporate Responsibility Report describes our approach and performance in each of these strategic areas.
We have also introduced an additional range of measurable ESG targets with firm dates for achievement. We aim to achieve carbon-neutral operations by the end of 2021. Through energy savings and the transition to renewable energy, we will align our long-term carbon reduction targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) aim to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Social goals include having women hold 40% of upper and senior management positions by 2025. In governance, we are extending and intensifying our long-established system of supplier ESG risk assessment and audits, and establishing a strong digital ethics and cybersecurity function.
We are pleased that our progress in ESG matters has again been validated by indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good Indices, and that relevant ratings agencies have described our ESG performance as industry-leading for several years.
As Sonova we are a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2016 and fully endorse its ten principles governing human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. We also support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which define the global sustainable development agenda through to 2030.
In the spirit of continuous improvement and high ambition levels, we will keep advancing on our ESG journey – driving tangible, measurable action and contribute towards a healthy planet and fair society. We look forward to telling you about our progress.
Chief Executive Officer