Serving society is at the core of Sonova’s vision to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world who suffer from hearing loss. We achieve this by developing and continuously enhancing innovative solutions and making sure that our broad portfolio is accessible and affordable to people in an ever-growing number of locations and at all income levels.
Our ESG targets
- We increase unit sales of hearing instruments in low- and middle-income countries by 50% vs. 2018/19 by 2023/24.
- We train and certify 250 hearing care professionals (HCPs) in low- and middle-income countries through the Swiss International Hearing Academy (SIHA) 12-month HCP program by 2022/23.
- We increase lives impacted by the Hear the World Foundation (HTWF) by 10% YOY – focusing on children with hearing loss in low- and middle-income countries.
The fundamental need for hearing solutions is driven by long-term socioeconomic factors. The number of people on our planet will continue to increase. Although populations in low- and middle-income countries are expected to grow the most, even high-income countries with stable populations will face a growing proportion of elderly citizens, who are likely to experience hearing loss. These developments increase demand for hearing care: a large unmet need remains.
The following section provides a description of the most relevant aspects of the " Serving society" pillar of our IntACT ESG strategy:
Innovative hearing solutions
Broad product portfolio: Our declared goal is to offer the most innovative hearing solutions and services available to consumers worldwide, continuously improving speech intelligibility, sound resolution and quality, and ease of use. With the acquisition of Sennheiser’s consumer hearing division, we have established a fourth business unit, expanding our product portfolio from hearing instruments to true wireless headsets and speech-enhanced hearables, along with cochlear implants, hearing protection, wireless communication solutions, and audiological care services.
Digital solutions: Sonova continuously expands digital solutions that bring together the healthcare provider and the consumer in real time through all stages of the hearing journey. From online-based histories and customer support to remote adjustment and optimization under real-life conditions, digitally networked solutions offer consumers a higher degree of control and autonomy.
Accessibility and affordability
Distribution network: Innovation is not limited to products – it also drives the way we approach the market, both through our wholesale companies and our audiological care network. Operating through many channels multiplies the potential paths to hearing in all markets, even in parts of the world where hearing care has been in short supply. Our Audiological Care business represents the second-largest store network in the industry, with a clear path to further growth.
Customized solutions: We develop dedicated products and services for underserved markets. For example, to better understand the specific needs of Chinese people with hearing loss, we are working with Chinaʼs largest hospital, the Tongren Hospital in Beijing. The result is a specific prescription formula for the amplification/frequency curve shapes of tonal languages – or, to put it more simply, hearing aids offering significantly better speech clarity for millions of people in Asia.
Under-served markets: Affordable hearing care is still a challenge for many people in low- and middle-income countries and for social groups with low income in high-income regions. Sonova is committed to increase accessibility and affordability of hearing care by expanding its presence in underserved markets.
Training and education
Many countries lack trained health personnel, educational facilities, and necessary data to address the needs of those living with hearing problems. These factors, and the lack of hearing care professionals and infrastructure in many markets, can impede efforts to raise the proportion of people receiving hearing care. Building local capacity worldwide and training hearing care professionals to the highest standards is very important to Sonova.
We also support children with hearing loss and limited access to hearing care in low-and middle-income countries through the Hear the World Foundation.