Our Sustainability Governance

Governance and Sustainability Committee

A strong governance structure ensures that sustainability remains at the heart of our activities. The top management is actively involved in overseeing the delivery of our sustainability strategy.

At Board of Directors level, the Governance and Sustainability Committee assists the Board in defining the Group policies and strategies related to sustainability.

The SGS Operations Council takes the overall strategy forward, approving and implementing more detailed strategies, policies and targets through all operations across the Group. Led by our Chief Executive Officer and comprising 14 Chief Operating Officers, Executive Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents from across all our businesses, regions and functions, our Sustainability Steering Committee supports the Operations Council. They review sustainability management and agree core programs and targets.

Non-financial Risks

At SGS, non-financial risk management is a group-wide endeavor. We treat our non-financial risks in the same way as financial risks and incorporate our risk analysis into our materiality assessments.

Integrated within the financial risk strategy, our affiliates, local business lines and operations can assess potential risks through our group governance risk and compliance platform, ANTARES, and mitigate risk at a local level. We also take a top-down approach, carrying out annual assessments of future global risks to SGS, at Group level. We use a sustainability macro risk assessment model to analyze economic, political, social, environmental and regulatory risks across our supply chain and operations.

Stakeholder Engagement

We maintain continuous dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that we align our sustainability initiatives to their expectations and concerns.

Team of Entrepreneurs Collaborating in an Office
Customers Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. It is important for us to understand whether we achieve our goals to make their businesses more efficient, profitable and sustainable and create value together.
Woman Buying Dairy Product in a Supermarket
Consumers Our services ensure that consumers trust the products they buy. Understanding our end consumers tells us if our services support our commitment to delivering trust and assurance.
SGS Petrochemical & Mineral Services in Belgium
Employees Our people are our most valuable asset. Our priorities include health and safety programs, engagement and wellbeing, promoting diversity and inclusion, discussing performance, and providing training and development opportunities.
Warehouse Worker
Suppliers Our suppliers support us in the delivery of our services. In turn, we need to understand how we are adding value to their businesses. Promoting sustainability in our supply chain is part of our commitment to creating value for society.
Teacher Explaining to Students Recycling Process
Communities and the planet We operate around the world. We evaluate whether our sustainability endeavors are recognized as being among the very best – both regionally and in the TIC industry.
Urban Buildings in Guangzhou, China
Governments and industries Governments and industries are often moving in the same direction that we are. We need a clear picture of how we can contribute to driving innovation, promoting sustainability and shaping markets.
Business Colleagues Discussing Financial Data on Screen
Investors Our investors are vital to our ongoing success and growth. We constantly review market analysis, and aim to be assessed as both a sound investment and a sustainable business.

Materiality Matrix

On a regular basis we carry out a stakeholder survey on sustainability to evaluate the most important topics by stakeholder group and region. This analysis contributes to our materiality assessment process, which also includes a review of megatrends, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our risks and opportunities.

In 2020, we decided to update our analysis to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on our stakeholders’ expectations. Based on 2019 results, we carried out an in-depth stakeholder engagement exercise, consulting with over 4,000 stakeholders in 112 countries to evaluate the importance of each topic. At the same time, our Operations Council evaluated the potential impact these topics could have on SGS. The whole process has given us a deep understanding of the most material topics for the Group. The result of this analysis is our materiality matrix.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

To maximize our active contribution to the SDGs, we have selected those most aligned with our business model and determined specific measurable goals for our supply chain, direct operations and services. This way, we ensure progress tracking and transparency.

Our Sustainability Ambitions 2030 include environmental, social and governance goals for our whole value chain especially designed to ensure that our positive impacts are aligned with the SDGs. In the image you can see some of the SDGs we focus on as well as some examples of our contribution. More examples can be found in our Sustainability Report.

SDGs Direct Operations & Supply Chain

SDG 3 Good Health & Well-being

PPE testing. In 2020, we embarked on testing of Personal Protective Equipment, supporting the provision of items such as masks, gloves and gowns to keep people around the world safe from COVID-19.

SDG 4 Quality Education

Community initiatives. Through our community education projects, we seek to improve access to all levels of schooling, and provide employment training schemes and skills workshops. SGS Academy for the Community provides complimentary high-quality technical training to people in our communities earning less than the average living wage, to improve their qualifications and enhance their employability.

SDG 5 Gender Equality

Australia Diversity Strategy. Gender is one of the five focus areas of our diversity and inclusion strategy at SGS Australia and where we have achieved gender balance on the Operations Council.

SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Social audits services. Our social audits measure an organization’s performance against a range of factors helping to meet customer and consumer expectations.

SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

EDGE. Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that helps property developers create resource-efficient buildings quickly, easily and affordably. We are the one-stop-shop provider for all EDGE green building certification requirements. This is one of many Energy Efficiency in Buildings certificates we provide, along with others, such as LEED, WELL, BREEAM and DGNB.

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Traceability services. Our traceability services enable customers to trace their products back to source, understand where raw materials and components originate, and verify supply chain risk. Our Transparency-One service captures both supply chain mapping data (transparency) and operational data (traceability) to give businesses complete control of the data flow within their supply chain, providing them with greater protection against the risks inherent in supply chains.

SDG 13 Climate Action

Carbon services. Our laboratory facilities provide round-the-clock certification and verification services, to deliver fast test responses to enable our customers to confirm their off-setting targets. We also offer a range of assessments to help customers develop a plan for reducing their emissions. These services support compliance with GHG Verification against corporate voluntary schemes (14064-1, GHG protocols); EU ETS, Corsia; Product Carbon Footprint (PAS 2050, 14067, GHG protocols for products); and Carbon Neutrality (PAS2060).

Reducing our CO2 emissions. We are reducing CO2 emissions across our value chain, including our operations and vehicle fleets, and have set science-based targets. In the communities where we operate, we have invested in 421 GWh of renewable energy mechanisms. Our buildings account for 67% of our global energy consumption. Through our Energy Efficiency in Buildings program, we are reducing energy consumption at source.

Our Sustainability Ambitions 2030

As sustainability leaders, our purpose is to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world for all stakeholders. We have a clear vision of our contribution and, to make it a reality, we have defined our path: our Sustainability Ambitions 2030.