Sonova regularly assesses expectations of its key stakeholders, as well as the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics that present the greatest risks and opportunities. This materiality assessment plays an important role in strengthening the integration of CR with our core business. In the 2019/20 financial year, we conducted an updated materiality assessment to identify and prioritize the most material ESG topics and further improve our global CR program. We further consolidated the relevant ESG topics identified in the materiality assessment into five focus areas:
Sonova is committed to increase access to hearing care by expanding its presence in underserved markets: offering a broad product portfolio with a wide range of performance and pricing levels, creating customized solutions, leveraging digital technologies, expanding our global distribution network, enhancing remote access, investing in partnerships, promoting training and education of hearing care professionals, and supporting the charitable Hear the World Foundation with funding, expertise, and hearing solutions. Our efforts to increase access to hearing care and improve the quality of life for millions of people with hearing loss closely aligns with SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and SDG 4 (quality education).
Sonova strives to be a responsible employer: We value diversity as an important key to our success, support the development of our employees, and offer a flexible and inclusive work environment. Our approach includes developing our employees to higher levels of success with a systematic talent management process, including a strategic approach to training, succession, and career planning, along with fostering employee engagement through a holistic Diversity and Inclusion strategy and other initiatives, such as the group-wide Body & Mind initiative. Through these efforts we contribute to SDGs 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work and economic growth).
We offer our customers and consumers innovative technology, high quality products, and expert audiological care, and strictly adhere to health and safety standards. Our approach includes strict enforcement of standards relating to product quality, safety, and reliability; ensuring data privacy and IT security; adhering to strictly ethical marketing practices; and limiting animal testing required by regulatory authorities as far as possible. These efforts are in line with SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).
At Sonova, we lead with ethical behavior and integrity, take accountability for our daily actions and conduct our business activities in line with the high standards we have set for our company. Our approach includes conducting business and aligning our codes and principles according to internationally recognized standards of the United Nations (UN), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); strengthening the Group Compliance program; respecting and supporting human rights; fostering responsible supply chain management; striving for good corporate governance; and ensuring tax compliance. We thereby positively influence SDGs 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).
Sonova strives to make efficient use of natural resources and minimize the environmental impact of our activities, products, and services over their life cycle. Our approach to achieve this includes improving operational energy efficiency (e.g. fully utilizing capacity, renewing equipment, remodeling existing buildings, moving to new buildings); increasing the use of renewable energy; continuously improving environmental management systems at our own operations; and urging our suppliers to follow the same standard. This contributes to several SDGs related to the environment (6, 7, 9, 12, 13).