Corporate Social Responsibility at Sonova

Safeguarding the environment

Sonova makes an explicit commitment to continuously promote and pursue environmentally friendly practices throughout the entire lifecycle of its products and across all its business activities.

Environmental management 

Sonova has an established corporate environmental policy that supports our commitment to behave proactively and describes our environmental performance management organization and responsibilities, along with their relevant environmental aspects and other management approaches. It also states that we are committed to compliance and performance in line with relevant environmental regulations throughout the entire lifecycle of our products and across all of our business activities.

Sonova endeavors to continuously reduce its environmental impact by adopting all improvements that are technically and economically feasible, with a particular focus on the life cycle of our products and on reducing our group-wide carbon footprint. We insist on environmentally friendly business practices throughout our supply chain: we do not restrict our environmental standards to our own operations, but consider them equally crucial in selecting our suppliers.

Environmental commitments 

Sonova will drive...

Sonova reductions in carbon footprint

reductions in its carbon footprint

optimization of material use

optimization of its material use

reductions in waste

improvements in green product stewardship

improvements in green product stewardship

reductions in its solvent use

reductions in water consumption

reductions in its water consumption

green procurement assessments

green procurement assessments


Sonova plans strong efforts to further improve our environmental performance. We have updated our environmental program and complemented it with clearly defined targets, of which the three most important are:

  • a 10% reduction from 2013/14 levels of production-related carbon emissions intensity by 2018/19
  • a 10% reduction from 2013/14 levels of air travel-related carbon emissions intensity by 2018/19
  • ensuring that 100% of purchase volume comes from suppliers having environmental friendly practices in place by 2018/19


Description & unit Base Year: 2013 Target: 2018 Perfomance: 2015 Performance: 2016 Performance: 2017
Production-related carbon emissions intensity (in kg CO2eq per input unit) 0.93 0.84 (-10%) 1.16 1.23 1.35
Air travel-related carbon emissions intensity (in kg CO2eq per sales) 4.94 4.44 (-10%) 4.41


Purchase volume that comes from suppliers having environmental friendly practices in place (in %) 87.4 100 91.9 93.1 95.5

Best practice

  • Operations center, Suzhou, China: The solar panel system at our operations center in Suzhou, China, covering 5,000 square meters, generated 500,000 kWh of green electricity in 2017. This solar system helps us reduce group-wide carbon emissions from purchased electricity by substituting solar power for coal-derived electricity.
  • Sonova Headquarters, Stäfa, Switzerland: an integral mobility program provides incentives to use public transport, accompanied by targeted awareness campaigns. This initiative increased the proportion of employees who commute using public transportation from 40% to 60% over the last 10 years.
  • In 2016/17 Phonak introduced the Virto B-Titanium, combining the strength and lightness of titanium with the versatility of 3D printing to produce the smallest custom instrument in the company’s history, and saving material with a shell twice as thin as traditional custom shells.
  • With the Phonak Audéo™ B-R, launched in June 2016, Phonak introduced the first ever hearing aid to feature a specifically designed built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery, providing 24 hours of hearing with only one charge. During 2016/17, Phonak, Unitron and Hansaton completed Sonova’s rechargeable portfolio with the launch of additional rechargeable hearing solutions.
  • Sonova’s technology development aims to build improved energy efficiency into each new product. Launched during 2017/18, the Phonak Naída™ B-R RIC is the most feature-rich rechargeable hearing aid from Phonak, designed for people with severe to profound hearing loss. With 40% more capacity than conventional rechargeable batteries, our proven built-in lithium-ion technology is reliable and fully supports the superior performance of Naída™ B-R RIC. Sales of rechargeable products based on the Phonak Belong™ platform continue to grow strongly.
  • Also introduced in 2017, the new wireless chip SWORD™ (Sonova Wireless One Radio Digital) is the world’s first Bluetooth® Classic chip compatible with small hearing aid batteries. SWORD is a low voltage radio chip with the lowest power consumption of any hearing aid using Bluetooth® Classic.

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