Our value to Society
Letter from the Acting Chairman and CEO
We strive to add value to society beyond the traditional financial returns.
Dear colleagues, partners and stakeholders,
As the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, we play a key role in creating a sustainable future for our stakeholders. Climate change, growing populations and rapid urbanization combined with increasing consumer demand from emerging markets are creating a unique set of challenges and opportunities.
With 97,000 employees in more than 2,600 offices and labs around the world, SGS finds itself directly engaged with many of these problems on a daily basis. This means that we are also in a position to make the kind of positive impact that our stakeholders are looking for.
Our 140 year-long history proves that robust, long-term business performance and world-class sustainability performance go hand-in-hand – that they are, in fact, reliant on each other to a large degree. As a result of this experience, we are committed to embedding sustainability thinking as deeply as possible into SGS’s culture – a commitment that is enshrined in our Business Principles – the very foundations of the way we operate.
The SGS Sustainability Report 2018 is aligned with the GRI Standards and is externally assured by Deloitte.
In 2018, we continued to add value to society through our operations, services and supply chain.
Trust lies at the heart of the value we deliver to our customers and society. Our responsibility to maintain the highest levels of operational excellence, professional integrity and best-in-class quality strengthen our position as a global market leader.
Our employees are critical to our business success, and we empower them to thrive in a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace that treats everyone fairly and with respect. We also welcome local talent and offer our employees flexibility, mobility and opportunity within the SGS Group.
To protect our planet for future generations, we minimize the environmental impact of our processes and operations. We do this by following a carbon neutrality strategy, seeking to use resources efficiently and reducing waste.
We want to create a positive, measurable and lasting impact on the local communities where we operate. We give back through projects that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and focus on education, empowerment and environmental sustainability.
05DJSI Industry Leader
For a fifth consecutive year, SGS has been named industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World and Europe.
06Gold rating from Ecovadis
SGS has received a Gold rating from EcoVadis for the fourth consecutive year regarding its approach to corporate social responsibility management.
Sustainability at SGS
Sustainability is embedded in the decision-making process of all functions and operations across the SGS Group. We are committed to creating net positive value to society. By aligning the SGS 2020 Sustainability Ambitions with the Sustainable Development Goals, we are leading the broader corporate sector in building a more sustainable economy, environment and society.
- 4.4million hours of employee training across the network
- 22%decrease in total greenhouse gas emissions since 2014
- 6,176million CHF value of positive societal benefits generated by SGS
What is Value to Society?
Value to Society describes the value that we create beyond our financial return. SGS adds value to society in three ways: managing our direct operations against our Sustainability Ambitions, promoting sustainability in our supply chain and addressing global challenges through our leading services.
Our business activity is designed to create value for and through our six main stakeholders: employees and suppliers, investors, customers, governments and industries, consumers, and communities and the planet. We see it as important to have a good understanding of the issues that are material to our stakeholders, why they are relevant at any given time and what they consider to be their impacts.
Basis of Reporting
We are committed to providing stakeholders with accurate and timely updates on our sustainability activities and performance. We publish an integrated Annual Report and a Sustainability Report, developed using the AA1000 Accountability Principles Standard and the Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards. They are both externally assured.
Sustainability Case Studies 2018
In 2018, our projects focused on adding value to society by building a better, safer, and more sustainable world.
We achieve our objectives through our Sustainability Strategy, which is built around four pillars – Professional Excellence, People, Environment and Community. Under each pillar, we use Group-wide policies, global programs and local initiatives to reach our goals.
In 2018, SGS Russia became the first affiliate to pilot the SGS Supplier Code of Conduct and implement a program to screen, analyze and audit its suppliers against defined procurement and sustainability criteria. A total of 152 suppliers actively engaged in the process by completing the SGS Supplier Self-Assessment Questionnaire, and many participants used the assessment as an opportunity to align with SGS’s expectations across ethical, social and environmental dimensions. After completing the pilot phase, SGS Russia plans to extend the Self-Assessment Questionnaire to its supplier network in 2019 to ensure that suppliers to SGS Russia meet our sustainable procurement criteria and the requirements of our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Ilya Toporskiy, Procurement Manager, SGS Russia
Canada’s Employment Equity Act aims to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. To ensure compliance with the Act, SGS Canada operates an Employment Equity program that spans the four designated groups and supports the SGS Business Principle of Respect, which encompasses the fair and equal treatment of all people. Our talent acquisition and onboarding follow specific requirements related to employment equity, and we participate in conferences and organize various initiatives, internship and career programs on the topic.
Sadia Qureshi, Communications Program Manager, Human Resources, SGS Canada
A new internal eLearning course introduces employees to the relevance of human rights at SGS and their essential role in upholding our commitment to protecting them. This course content was developed by CBE SGS Academy for external customers and was then internally adapted for employees according to SGS’s principles, commitments and policies.
Launched on December 10, to mark Human Rights Day, the 30-minute module was deployed across our corporate functions and covers topics such as child labor, forced labor, freedom of association and discrimination, working hours, and health and safety.
Natalia Fonseca, SGS Human Rights & Sustainability Supply Chain Manager
In 2018, SGS Ghana implemented its first renewable energy project. As part of its sustainability strategy, SGS decided to deploy a solar farm at the inspection and testing facilities in Ghana’s main harbor, Tema. The photovoltaic system, which was put in place in the summer, provides up to 20% of the facilities’ energy demand. The installation of a solar farm was driven by SGS’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources, and it enables the company to take a step toward decreasing greenhouse gas emissions while reducing electricity costs.
Solomon Adjei-Boateng, SGS Procurement Manager – Anglophone (West Africa)
SGS India contributes to reaching Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) by addressing the critical need for trained nurses and supporting women with no access to formal education.
Through a partnership with the Heart of India Foundation, an SGS-supported project aims to train 100 underprivileged female candidates to improve the employment prospects of women by enabling them to develop their skills and obtain a qualification. The women will attend a six-month Diploma Course in Geriatric Nursing and will receive funding from SGS for their education, nutrition and uniforms.
Nilesh Jadhav, Certification and Business Enhacement Director, SGS India
SGS Malaysia has contributed to efforts aimed at protecting local marine ecosystems and promoting economic development in the region. One such project supports the coral reefs of Sabah, located off the northwestern coast of Malaysian Borneo, which include some of the largest and most varied communities of marine life on earth. In March 2018, we donated funds and volunteer hours to the non-profit organization “Society of Petroleum Engineers (Sabah Section)” to support the installation of 1 029 artificial reefs at sites along the local coastal zone. These sites are home to 120 fishing villages whose livelihoods depend on the reefs being protected from erosion and overexploitation.
Rosli Bujang, Continuous Improvement Manager, SGS Malaysia
Our Approach to Sustainability
We use our scale and expertise to enable a more sustainable future.
We ensure that we minimize our impact on the environment throughout the value chain while positively investing in the communities in which we operate. In this way, we add significant value to society.