Corporate Social Responsibility at Sonova

Ethics & integrity

Our shared core values – innovation, engagement, and responsibility – shape the corporate culture that defines and unites us as a company across all brands and regions. Our reputation for ethical behavior and integrity is one of our most valuable assets. It is the result of our daily actions and an integral part of our endeavor to create sustainable value and success.

Sonova’s commitment to compliance promotes ethical conduct at all levels of the organization. Compliance means that we follow the laws of each country in which we operate while also abiding by our own Code of Conduct and internal regulations.

Find more information about the Code of Conduct, our internal regulations, and statements: Code of Conduct, human rights, anti-corruption, anti-competitive behavior, data privacyindependence as provider of hearing care products, suppliers, taxes, bioethics

Code of Conduct

Sonova’s Code of Conduct defines general principles for ethical behavior; it applies to all employees in the Sonova Group, its subsidiaries, and any contractors or vendors performing work for the Sonova Group or any of its subsidiaries.

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Human rights

Sonova believes in treating everyone with respect and fairness at all times. We value the varied experience of diverse individuals from around the world. We are committed to conduct business and to align 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). All employees within the Sonova Group, as well as its business partners, are expected to comply with these standards.

Human rights as understood at the Sonova Group include the following principles:

  • Strengthening access to hearing care, including those currently underserved by the healthcare system.
  • Protecting the privacy of our employees, customers, and their patients.
  • Never tolerating harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, ethnic or national origin, marital / parental status, or sexual orientation.
  • Respecting the legal rights of employees to join or to refrain from joining worker organizations, including trade unions.
  • Ensuring that there is no child or forced labor, and no illegal workers at any point in our supply chain.
  • Ensuring that there are grievance mechanisms for employees and other parties to file complaints in a safe and anonymous environment.


As a general rule, Sonova does not make donations to political parties. Sonova and its employees and representatives may make contributions to support charitable causes, subject to appropriate due diligence. Contributions should be made for bona fide purposes and only where permitted by local law.

The Anti-Bribery Policy has been communicated and taught to all governance body members and employees worldwide. The Sonova Group Supplier Principles cover ethical standards such as compliance with all laws and regulations on bribery, corruption, and prohibited business practices. These have been communicated to all our suppliers.

Sonova performs an annual group-wide bribery / corruption risk assessment which takes into account Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and internal indicators. Potential bribery / corruption risks are also an integral component of our business partner due diligence, which, depending on the business partner risk assessment, is performed not only before entering a business relationship but also regularly thereafter, following a pre-defined process.

Anti-competitive behavior

Sonova’s Competition Law Policy provides the basic principles for doing business based on fair and efficient competition. It specifies how to interact with competitors, customers, distributors, and suppliers in order to comply with competition law regulations.

Data privacy

Sonova protects confidentiality and integrity of data, including the data of employees and customers, by technical and organizational means. We adhere to applicable data-protection regulations. We closely monitor developments in data protection law and incorporate its principles into our business processes and product design.

Independence as provider of hearing care products

Retail has long been part of Sonova's overall strategy: the company selectively invests in its own service and retail network, thus contributing to the industry's shared effort to strengthen and expand the provision of professional audiological support, patient care, and services to a growing consumer base.

We are always seeking the best solution for our customers, and we are convinced that this strategy brings us closer to the end-user, improving services and helping to correct the current under-penetration in the retail market. Our aim is high quality services in all aspects of audiology

This strategy has no significant impact on Sonova’s wholesale partners. We treat all our wholesale customers at arm’s length and provide our services to all our partners without discrimination. Audiologists and end-users deserve and demand a broad variety of choice, so it is not part of our general retail strategy to have single-brand stores. Even in centers where Sonova wholly owns both wholesale and retail operations, we will continue to offer multiple brands.


Suppliers are an integral part of our value chain: a risk to them is also a risk to our company and our customers. Sonova requires that all our suppliers be as committed to sustainable development as we are. Sonova’s Group Supplier Principles (SGSP) are based on a range of international standards, customer requirements, and industry characteristics. These principles are non-negotiable; they are the first basis of contact with possible suppliers. Once a supplier has been approved as a Sonova partner, the SGSP is incorporated into all development and supply agreements. The SGSP requires suppliers to put in place and maintain systems that ensure:

  • Healthy and safe working environments;
  • Respectful and dignified working conditions;
  • Environmentally friendly production; and
  • Legal and ethical behavior.

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Sonova Holding AG is registered in the Canton of Zurich; as a holding company, it is exempted from cantonal but not from federal income taxes. From its base in Switzerland, the Group develops, manufactures, and distributes in over 90 countries world-wide, including about 30 countries where Sonova owns distribution subsidiaries. Sonova maintains legal entities in those countries to host its local commercial distribution activities, thus ensuring that taxes are paid locally. The company annually verifies its locally-applicable tax rates to ensure that these are at least equal to those of comparable third-party distributors. The Sonova Group does not own off-shore companies.


As a manufacturer of medical devices, Sonova is required by regulatory authorities to demonstrate the biological safety of any product with body contact by complying with the international standard ISO 10993-1: 2009.

According to the standard, animal tests need to be considered in biological safety evaluations; in some cases, they cannot be completely avoided. However, we are committed to the “Three Rs” principle – replacement, reduction, and refinement – to limit such testing as far as possible.


  • We use non-animal testing methods (in particular testing with cell cultures) or chemical constituent testing in situations where these methods are accepted by the respective regulatory bodies and yield information as relevant as that obtained from in vivo models.
  • We monitor the development and regulatory acceptance of new in vitro methods.

We apply strategies to reduce the number of animals used in testing, e.g.:

  • We use previously evaluated or historically established biologically safe materials whenever possible, by taking advantage of shared research between the different Sonova companies around the world. We strive to avoid completely any unnecessary or duplicated testing.
  • We emphasize risk assessment to evaluate clearly any need for animal testing.


  • We select those test methods that cause the least distress to animals.
  • We conduct all animal testing through appropriately accredited testing laboratories. All tests are conducted according to recognized current / valid best laboratory / quality practices, such as Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).