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Better Governance

At the core of everything we do, lies our commitment to the highest standards of integrity and professional excellence. We strive to maintain these standards in the way we do business.

Find out more about our programs and case studies in our Integrated Report.

Learn more about our Better Governance pillar

A cyclist biking

Our success depends on our ability to maintain customer and stakeholder trust and high standards of integrity. To ensure compliance, several policies and procedures are in place:

  • SGS Code of Integrity: Our main principles of professional integrity that apply to all our employees, officers, directors and our affiliated companies
  • Integrity training: Our annual integrity training is mandatory for all employees
  • Human rights policy and human rights training: The policy aligns with the key international human rights legislation and sets out our approach to respecting human rights across our global business. We have also established a Human Rights Taskforce to embed our Human Rights Strategy at operational level.

Access our Human Rights report >

Trade port

Being a global company gives us the opportunity to disseminate good business practices across our partners. To do so, we have implemented several programs to ensure that our supply chain meets our sustainability criteria:

  • Supplier Code of Conduct: applies to all new, critical and high-risk suppliers
  • New supplier selection and supplier assessment process: including sustainability criteria
  • Diversity and inclusion in the supply chain: some of our affiliates are working on specific diversity programs in their supply chain. These pilot projects will help improve the global sustainable supply chain management process
Data center

We recognize that innovation is key to our economic growth and sustainable success, both in terms of driving operational efficiencies in our own operations, and in developing innovative services that add value for our customers.

We focus on three main priorities:

  • Supporting internal processes through digital technologies
  • Digitalizing external services for our customers and improving the customer experience
  • Developing entire new products and business models

We have also applied innovation to our laboratory processes, where the World Class Services methodology has demonstrated a measurable increase in efficiency.

Sustainability solutions

We help our customers to establish, organize and develop rigorous processes, enabling them to efficiently manage their business operations.

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Better Society

People are at the very center of our business and the key to our success. All our efforts are focused on addressing the needs of our diverse workforce and unlocking their potential while we support the communities where we work and live.

Find out more about our programs and case studies in our Integrated Report.

Learn more about our Better Society pillar


Our talent acquisition goal is to attract the best people to work at SGS, now and into the future.

To achieve this goal:

  • We provide our HR professionals with training on recruitment best practices
  • We foster online recruitment through strategic partnerships with digital platforms
  • We provide a comprehensive onboarding program to accompany our new employees during their first months with us
Worker Inspecting Stone Screening

The health and safety of employees and contractors operating in our facilities is a top priority to drive our business success. Our approach is based on 8 pillars and 15 rules that we disseminate and monitor at different levels:

  • Mandatory annual e-learning for all employees to create awareness
  • Safety talks and Safety Month, with different activities to create awareness
  • Multi-leveled audit approach, beginning with annual site audits by the in-country team
Group of Colleagues Holding Hands Together

As a global organization with over 96,000 employees worldwide, we recognize the value that diversity brings to our business. Our workforce is characterized by diversity of nationality, culture, religion, age, sexual orientation and gender. Our programs include:

  • Training on recruitment best practice, talent acquisition and diversity best practice
  • Ethnic diversity-focused initiatives in several countries
  • Specific diversity and inclusion strategies in several countries

Access our Anti-discrimination and dignity at work policy >

Group of People Having Training in a Class

Our talent development programs are tailored to suit local market conditions, business needs and employee expectations, ensuring that our talents are equipped to meet the needs of our customers across the globe. Our knowledge management platform, SGS Campus, enables us to nurture a knowledge-sharing culture.

Our performance appraisal is also crucial for our employee development. Our focus is to continue moving towards a more continuous feedback culture to ensure timely actions and recognition for our employees.

Customer Satisfaction Evaluation

The well-being of our employees and how happy they are at work reflects on their performance, commitment and creativity. Our programs include:

  • Our Catalyst employee engagement survey, which helps us understand our employees’ expectations and better address their demands
  • Well-being initiatives at global and local level, from health training programs to flexible working hours and semi-retirement plans
  • Our annual SGS People 15-Day Challenge, which includes activities for employees, their families and local communities to strengthen the SGS community
Volunteer Delivering Groceries to an Elderly Man

Adding value to society through our community involvement is an essential component of our business strategy. We commit to investing in the communities where we operate under three pillars:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Education
  3. Environmental sustainability

These aim to address global priorities related to poverty, equal opportunities, health, education, climate change and environmental degradation.

Sustainability solutions

We offer our clients a wide range of services to ensure the quality of their products and the health and safety of the end consumer.

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Better Planet

Protecting the planet is a social, economic, ethical and environmental imperative. As a recognized sustainability leader, we are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint and delivering sustainable value to society.

Our climate change strategy includes three pillars:

  1. Reducing energy consumption at source
  2. Using renewable energy whenever possible
  3. Offsetting residual emissions

Aligned with the 1.5ºC objective from the Paris Agreement, we have committed to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 2050. To achieve this objective, we have approved near and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We are supporters of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

In addition, we have been carbon neutral since 2014. That means that, so far, while reducing our absolute emissions year on year, we have compensated our residual emissions using avoidance offsets. In our sustainability journey, while prioritizing the reduction of absolute emissions, we aim to gradually transition from using avoidance offsets to exclusively removal offsets.

Find out more about our programs and case studies in our Integrated Report.

Learn more about our Better Planet pillar


Our top priority is to reduce energy consumption at source. To achieve this, some of our global programs include:

  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings program (EEB): we design specific energy efficiency plans for our highest consumption buildings
  • Green IT Strategy: the actions within this plan aim to reduce the IT asset emissions
  • Sustainable Mobility: under our Vehicles policy, we undertake several initiatives to promote low fleet emissions

We are introducing renewable energy into our operations wherever possible. So far, 97% of the electricity consumed by SGS comes from renewable sources, either through onsite energy generation or renewable energy procurement.

Our third pillar, carbon offsetting, allows us to compensate any residual emissions through our carbon offsetting initiatives.

Trade port

SGS is fully committed to reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 28% by 2030 from a 2019 base year, a target validated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). To achieve this goal, we have taken several actions on different scope 3 categories, prioritizing the categories with the highest impact.

Regarding our supply chain, our Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) now includes questions related to CO2 that will serve as a basis for better understanding our scope 3 emissions and defining reduction actions with our suppliers. Moreover, in 2023, 75% of requests for proposals are to be online and include the relevant sustainability criteria, enabling comparison and selection of suppliers with the lowest carbon footprint.

Regarding fuel and energy related activities, our carbon neutral strategy sets a clear path to reduce energy consumption at source, including our buildings and transport. Our Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) program enables us to identify and implement energy conservation opportunities, with a dedicated global fund now available to enable affiliates to apply the recommendations. Our new vehicle emissions policy requires all SGS affiliates to gradually incorporate less-consuming cars.

Regarding the waste generated in operations, we have continued to develop our waste reduction initiatives, especially for plastic waste. We are working towards embedding the circular economy into our operations – keeping resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of their service life.

Lastly, we are engaging our employees towards reducing business travel and following our green travel policy.

With these actions, SGS hopes to achieve its SBTi targets and contribute towards a more sustainable future.

Air Bubbles in Water

Though our activities do not involve intensive water use, our labs are our highest source of water consumption. Various initiatives support our goal of monitoring and minimizing the amount of water we consume across our operations.

Likewise, the waste we produce is relatively low (chemicals, test samples, paper, plastic and organic waste from our offices and laboratories). We have several initiatives to promote reduction and reuse waste, whenever possible. For example, we exchange surplus laboratory equipment across our network through the EquipNet platform, and donate clean waste samples for charitable purposes.

Sustainability solutions

We provide our customers with a wide range of services that have a positive impact on their environmental performance across their entire value chain.

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