Message from the CEO
At Sonova, we are committed to creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders: we continuously innovate to provide the best solutions for our customers. We enable access to hearing care for millions of people with hearing loss, invest in the development of our employees and partners, and apply eco-efficient practices across all our business activities.
We work to meet our responsibility to our customers by continuing to set new standards in hearing performance, ease of use, design, and by regularly launching advanced new products and powerful eSolutions. A significant innovation for 2017/18 was the launch of our new wireless chip, SWORD (Sonova Wireless One Radio Digital), which enables direct connection to virtually all currently used cell phones, as well as to a broad range of other consumer electronic devices.
We strive to expand access to hearing care by offering the industry’s most comprehensive product portfolio and by supporting training of local specialists, including specific efforts we support in emerging countries. We also support people with hearing loss who have no access to hearing care through our Hear the World Foundation. This year, Sonova gave the Foundation a record value of more than CHF 3.7 million in cash, in-kind-benefits, and resources.
We advance our commitment to develop our employees through our professional leadership culture and proactive approach to employee engagement. We are proud to report that, for four years in a row, we have been able to secure internal succession for more than half of our open leadership positions, and that 48% of our current leadership positions are held by women.
We continue to find ways to minimize our ecological impact across all our business activities, through our comprehensive environmental program. In 2017/18, we were able to improve the eco-efficiency of our corporate car fleet to an average of 135 grams of CO2 per kilometer, thereby achieving a long term goal.
We never let up in our efforts to further advance our corporate social responsibility; we are proud that we continue to be recognized by a number of relevant organizations in the field, including the internationally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good indices.
Sonova has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2016, fully endorsing its ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. We also support the newly developed Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which define the global sustainable development agenda through 2030. These goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
I am pleased to invite you to read this report to learn more about our strategy and how we are contributing to these global goals through our own sustainability commitments.
Arnd Kaldowski, CEO