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Performance and Progress in 2023: An Interview with Frankie Ng

February 23, 2024
Frankie Ng

In this interview, CEO Frankie Ng discusses our performance and progress in 2023.

How did SGS perform in 2023?

2023 marked the end of our current strategic cycle. We have made considerable progress in all key strategic areas, strengthening our Health & Nutrition service offering with the acquisition of Nutrasource in North America. We have also grown our market shares in Connectivity & Products and Business Assurance (previously Knowledge) through focused resource and capital allocation.

With the digital laboratories program and improved customer relations management for salespeople, we are also making significant advances in our goal of becoming the most digital company in the TIC industry. This progress has only been possible through agile thinking and the efforts of our colleagues across the network.

What challenges did SGS face in 2023?

Our challenges were the same as for everyone - rising costs, global instability, the climate crisis and shifting consumer demand. As a company, we responded in multiple ways.

Firstly, by taking care of our people. We foster employee engagement by providing motivating career paths as well as training initiatives on key topics, such as employee well-being, health and safety, integrity and information security.

Secondly, we focused on productivity and process optimization with our world-class services (WCS) program. In fact, we have become the first in our industry to obtain the bronze level for two of our laboratories located in Shanghai and Bangkok. This is an exceptional accomplishment, and I am very proud of the way this methodology is being adopted by the network, with seven laboratories joining the program in 2023.

Digitalization is central to our culture of efficiency. I am pleased to report that over 30% of laboratories are now digital. Our global server network has been migrated to a single cloud-based solution and through applications such as Windgo, a wind farm quality control solution, we are digitalizing our fieldwork. The ability to harness the vast amounts of data in our systems means we are also now developing better value propositions for our customers.

Thirdly, our strength lies in our geographic and service diversity. In a volatile and uncertain world, we can maintain growth trajectories by shifting our focus to different industries, services and/or geographies. For example, as growth in Asia and Europe slows, we have increased our North American footprint.

Finally, SGS continues to invest and innovate in new areas of growth, such as the implementation of global solutions relating to sustainability, health and safety, Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) and microplastics.

How is SGS responding to the climate crisis?

Sustainability is the foundation of our business strategy, as demonstrated by our commitment to 1.5°C and net-zero targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Our targets are ambitious, but this is only right because, as market leader and a global company, we must push the envelope of what is achievable. Otherwise, we will fail to be a part of the companies supporting a healthier planet, society and business practices.

We have strengthened our focus on four key areas to support our customers in their sustainability journeys: carbon, biodiversity, plastic and ESG assurance. By developing industry-leading solutions, we are helping our customers achieve their own sustainability goals, improving efficiency and accelerating growth.

Internally, we are making great progress in our decarbonization strategy, with a special focus on employee awareness through campaigns such as Spot the Orange Dot. While turning off one computer might seem inconsequential, the benefits for the environment are significant in a business with 99,600 employees. We are also focused on reducing emissions from our owned and leased properties and our vehicle fleet to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions, and our supply chain through procurement to address scope 3.

What are your reflections on leading SGS for 30 years and passing leadership to Géraldine Picaud?

It has been an extraordinary journey for me over the past 30 years, during which I have seen the Group transform into the company it is today. Therefore, I am excited to hand over the reins to Géraldine Picaud, whose energy and passion will no doubt lead SGS to new heights.

I will always hold fond memories of my time here at SGS. All the fantastic people I have met and worked with and all the great events I have attended with customers and investors across the world will remain engraved in my memories.

I would like to finish by directly addressing my colleagues throughout SGS. You are the beating heart of this company. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and dedication. It is your resilience and dynamism that has allowed us to achieve our goals.

Discover more in our 2023 Integrated Report

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 99,600 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Ariel Bauer

Media & Investors

Ariel Bauer

Group Vice President, Investor Relations, Communications & Sustainability

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