Major progress on transparency and towards long-term goals
As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SFS is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and currently prioritizes four goals: SDG 4 – Quality education, SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth, SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13 – Climate action. This prioritization reflects the material topics as determined in the materiality assessment conducted in 2019. During the year under review, we focused on achieving improvements in these areas and, above all, on making a significant contribution to the global SDGs through our goals.
One of these goals is sustainable value creation for all our stakeholders. The pandemic had a highly negative effect on business activity and, consequently, on our manufacturing output. Thanks to our well-balanced positioning, the contraction in business was limited. Net value added declined by –10.7% compared with 2019. For 2021, despite the economic uncertainty in connection with renewed global waves of COVID-19, we expect to show a positive development in our
economic performance and thus in our value creation. Over a medium-term horizon, we are striving to achieve 3%-6% annual sales growth in local currency.
With respect to
employee health and safety, we reduced the number of work-related injuries in 2020 by another –13.3% to 82 incidents (2019: 98) and have thus made further progress towards our mid-term goal of reducing the number of work-related injuries in 2025 by 50% compared with 2019.
SFS is a strong advocate of the dual-track system of vocational
education and training. Our goal is to have 5%-7% of the workforce enrolled in a dual education program as apprentices or employees, and we achieved that goal once again in 2020 (5.0%; 2019: 6.3%). Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it was not possible to introduce the vocational training programs or high training standards of the dual education system we have in German-speaking regions to other global regions where the Group is active. These even had to be partially restricted, which is the reason for the year-on-year decline. We intend to make progress on this front in 2021.
A particularly important milestone during the year under review was the development and approval of our environmental roadmap, which will ensure a continuous and measurable reduction in our greenhouse gas
emissions. In specific terms, this means SFS has committed itself to reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions by ≥90% by 2030 (measured as tonne of CO2 per Swiss franc of value added). By 2040, Scope 3 carbon emissions will similarly be reduced by ≥90% (measured as tonne of CO2 per Swiss franc of value added).
The SFS Code of Conduct presents the company’s understanding of an exemplary, reliable and fair business partner and employer. To ensure adherence to the Code of Conduct, we have set up an effective compliance system that is evaluated regularly. During the year under review, as in the previous year, SFS Group was not subject to any
socioeconomic compliance sanctions; this is also our objective for 2021.