GRI Content Index

GRI 101: Foundation 2016

In preparing this report, the reporting principles defined in GRI 101 were observed.

GRI 102: General Disclosures 2016

The list of general disclosures made, based on whether the report has been prepared in accordance with the "Core" option.

1. Organizational profile

SFS Group AG (SFS)

SFS is a leading global provider of mechanical fastening systems and precision components. SFS Group AG operates in the three segments Engineered Components, Fastening Systems and Distribution & Logistics, which reflects the respective business models. In the Engineered Components segment, SFS partners with customers to develop and manufacture customized precision components, fastening solutions and assemblies. The Engineered Components segment has four divisions: Automotive, Electronics, Industrial and Medical. In the Fastening Systems segment, which consists of the Construction and Riveting divisions, SFS develops, assembles, manufactures and markets optimized mechanical fastening systems. SFS is attractively positioned in both segments and has a wide range of activities in terms of end markets and regional presence. The two segments generate sales primarily in the following regions: Switzerland, Europe, Americas and Asia ( see Annual Report 2020, Markets. In the Distribution & Logistics segment, SFS is a leading provider of fasteners, tools and architectural hardware, and innovative logistics solutions in Switzerland and neighbouring countries. The products and services are authorized for sale in the markets where they are sold without any restrictions; they are not controversial or called into question by stakeholders.

Annual Report 2020. p.13, ‘SFS in brief’

SFS Group AG
Rosenbergsaustrasse 8
9435 Heerbrugg
Switzerland

SFS Group is a global player with manufacturing sites and distribution companies at more than 100 locations in 26 countries worldwide.

Overview of locations

SFS Group AG is a listed public company incorporated under the laws of Switzerland.

see Annual Report 2020, Corporate governance

Engineered Components (EC)
The EC segment is a global developer, manufacturer and supplier of precision formed components, engineered fasteners and assemblies. As a specialist in the field of cold forming, deep drawing, injection molding, precision machining and mechanical fastening, it aims to be the preferred development partner for customer-specific components and assemblies. By focusing on selected customer groups, it ensures high application expertise in business units and key account structures. EC has a leadership position in the technologies it uses, in the industries it is active in – Automotive, Industrial, Electronics and Medical – and in the regional markets where its customers are – Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Fastening Systems (FS)
The Fastening Systems segment combines the principles of threaded fastening and riveting technologies. Cold forming and injection molding, and the related secondary operations, are applied in the production of application-optimized products. FS offers a broad range of rivet setting devices and tools that enhance application comfort and convenience, safety and cost-effectiveness for its customers, most of whom are active in the construction and automotive industries. With a worldwide network of sales locations, customer demands can be met through local consulting and delivery services, mainly in Europe and the Americas.

Distribution & Logistics (D&L)
The Distribution & Logistics segment is a leading national supply partner for fasteners, tools, architectural hardware and related products to industrial customers, the professional trade, wholesalers and DIY centres. Through international alliances and sourcing, D&L serves its customers with fast and reliable processes and products at competitive cost levels. Furthermore, value is added by providing tailor-made supply chain solutions, which employ state-of-the-art e-business, warehouse and IT technology.

Corporate
The Corporate segment consists of the Technology, Corporate Services and Corporate IT & Finance functions. Technology ensures the transfer of knowledge among the segments and production sites. Methods, processes and best practices are exchanged and enhanced. Standardized investment policies and engineering processes improve the efficiency of the SFS Group further. Corporate Services und Corporate IT & Finance provides added value across the Group in the fields of information technology, finance, controlling, human resources, communication and other business functions.

Further information on the sales mix by region and end market can be found in the Annual Report 2020, Markets

i.
Total number of employees: 10,692 FTE at 31.12.2020; compare Key Takeaways Annual Report 2020

ii.
Total number of operations at 31.12.2020: 115 manufacturing site and distribution companies

iii./iv.
Net sales and total capitalization broken down in terms of debt and equity: compare financial overview Annual Report 2020, p.4 and financial report 2020

v.
Quantity of products or services provided

The number of products shown in the table below corresponds to the sales volume at the end of the calendar year.

calendar year 2018 2019 2020
segment Components (m) Components (m) Components (m)
Engineered Components third party 28'594.6 27'944.0 28,875.2
Fastening Systems third party 5'202.3 5'932.6 5,956.1
Distribution & Logistics third party 1'037.7 987.4 947.8
total result third party 34'834.6 34’864.0 35,779.1

The "Total number of employees" corresponds to the headcount at the end of the reporting year. The “Total disclosed in GRI” column corresponds to 85% of “Total number of employees” (2019: 88%). Figures in parentheses refer to the preceding year. The disclosure is less than 100%, since the data pertaining to companies acquired during the preceding four years has not been fully recorded.

Table a) Employee structure by gender and employment contract
Male Female Total
Permanent employment contract 6,085
(6,209)
2,243
(2,206)
8,328
(8,415)
Temporary employment contract 34
(45)
29
(48)
63
(93)
Total disclosed in GRI 6,119
(6,254)
2,272
(2,254)
8,391
(8,508)
Total number of employees 31.12.2020 9,797
(9,790)
 
Table b) Employee structure by region and employment contract
Americas Asia Europe Switzerland Total
Permanent employment contract 653
(686)
3,142
(3,149)
2,094
(2,089)
2,439
(2,491)
8,328
(8,415)
Temporary employment contract 0
(0)
0
(0)
63
(93)
0
(0)
63
(93)
Total disclosed in GRI 653
(686)
3,142
(3,149)
2,157
(2,182)
2,439
(2,491)
2,493
2,491)
Total number of employees 31.12.2020 9,797
(9,790)
 
Table c) Employee structure by gender and employment type (full-time/ part-time)
Male Female Total
Employment type, full-time 5,927
(6,072)
1,957
(1,962)
7,884
(8,034)
Employment type, part-time 192
(194)
315
(280)
507
(474)
Total disclosed in GRI 6,119
(6,266)
2,272
(2,242)
8,391
(8,508)
Total number of employees 31.12.2020 9,797
(9,790)
 

Almost all SFS Group’s activities are performed by workers who are employees of SFS Group.

SFS Group’s procurement organization, or supply chain management, is divided into seven divisions with technical responsibility for the procurement operations of their particular area.

SFS Group has a decentralized procurement organization across the seven divisions, which ensures that the specific needs of each division are optimally addressed. SFS has a global supply network based largely in Europe, Asia and North America. The various divisions purchase the raw and semi-finished materials they need from local and international sources. Decisions on where raw and semi-finished materials are purchased are based on criteria such as availability, transport routes, risks, cost-effectiveness and supplier compliance with the principles of the UN Global Compact (see UN Global Compact). For example, wire made to customized specifications will be imported if it is unavailable from a local supplier, or the required procurement volume of a particular product may be divided among two or more suppliers to reduce risk. Group-level purchasing activities are coordinated by the relevant peer group and the supplier relationsship management system.

SFS Group has defined seven main procurement categories:
WOM Wire and other materials
FC Finished components
OCE Oil, chemistry/energy
Tools Tools
ME Machinery and equipment
PACK Packing material
SP Service provider

SFS Group selects its suppliers based on uniform standards as defined in its supplier quality manual. These standards prescribe, inter alia, minimum quality requirements, the implementation of a code of conduct (or adherence to the SFS Code of Conduct) and supplier audits. Suppliers must agree to the Code of Conduct or sign a QMA (Quality Management Agreement, BMS --> G177, Section 12) confirming that they comply with all applicable legal requirements, or supply proof that their organization has implemented a code of conduct.

The SFS Code of Conduct is not (yet) applied collectively to small suppliers based in non-risk countries, most of whom are suppliers to the D&L segment.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct must be verified or a supplier inspection successfully passed before a business relationship with a supplier is established. Depending on assessment of the supplier risk and the supplier’s strategic importance, compliance will be verified or an audit conducted either annually or every two years. Audits can also be conducted outside the routine audit cycle, depending on the situation.

SFS Group’s supplier network comprises about 6,500 suppliers. SFS purchased raw materials, goods and semi-finished materials from the following countries during the year under review:

  • Europe 57% (PY 58%)
  • Asia 37% (PY 35%)
  • Americas 6% (PY 7%)

Its global procurement volume amounted to more than CHF 600 million in 2020.

The following significant changes occurred at SFS in the period under review:

Strategy tested by COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic put the effectiveness and sustainability of our business strategy to the test. Our strategic alignment proved to be robust and correct:

  • The effects of the pandemic also created considerable challenges for SFS’ supply capabilities. Early in the pandemic, the focus was on ensuring material availability, particularly from high-risk areas, and on employee safety and health. A slump in demand during the second quarter of 2020 led to an enormous decline in order inflows and quantities at most of the Group’s divisions. Business began to recover during the third quarter and material requirements had to be adjusted once again. At the time this report was published, order lead times for the main groups of goods purchased by SFS were still significantly longer than usual. This has led to increased costs and necessitates foresight in planning our procurement activities to ensure that we can continue to deliver customer orders on time.
  • For SFS, close customer relationships are essential in the successful realization of its value proposition. In keeping with our “local for local” strategy, we are steadily building up our global development and production platform. SFS and its customers benefit from superior supply reliability thanks to short and robust supply chains.
  • Due to its balanced focus on different end markets, regions and sales channels, SFS successfully cushioned the consequences of the decline in demand.
  • With its increased focus on the medical device industry – a market that is growing worldwide – SFS is attractively positioned for the future.
  • Thanks to its good profitability and solid balance sheet, the company has the means and the ability to pursue its long-term strategy and to make the associated investments even in such a crisis.

Based on these findings, SFS is encouraged to pursue the path it has chosen consistently.

Global development and production platform continuously expanded

1 Expertise in deep drawing technology expanded through Truelove & Maclean (T&M) acquisition
Economic globalization is an important trend for SFS. Thanks to its global development and production platform, SFS is strategically well positioned to participate in this development. Our global footprint allows us to manage and execute projects worldwide as a local partner, in particular for our international customers.

In addition to organic growth, acquisitions are important for the ongoing development of SFS Group. Selective acquisitions give us access to new markets, customers and applications, which in turn lays the groundwork for future organic growth. We focus on enhancing our performance with the takeover of suitable candidates and are attracted to well-positioned, well-managed small to mid-sized companies that do business with blue-chip customers and which have an attractive product portfolio resulting in sustainable profits. SFS continued to methodically implement its “local for local” strategy with the acquisition of Truelove & Maclean (T&M), which added deep drawing to its existing development and production platform in North America. T&M, located in Watertown, Connecticut, is a leading supplier of deep-drawn components primarily for the automotive industry. The company generated sales of USD 36 million in 2019 and employed approximately 110 people. Through this acquisition, SFS will be able to supply deepdrawn components to its customers in North America as a local manufacturer.

2 Basis laid for sustained growth in medical device industry
Demographic change is leading to changes in consumer behavior in terms of health and wellness. SFS offers OEMs in the medical device and dental industries innovative and forward-looking solutions for a wide range of applications. As a value engineering specialist with many years of experience in the industrialization of products and processes, SFS has proven time and again that it creates substantial value added for its customers.

Sustained strong market demand, SFS Group’s steady growth momentum and customers looking for manufacturing partners with a global reach formed the basis of management’s decision to establish a global manufacturing platform for medical device applications. The advantages of SFS Group’s manufacturing sites worldwide will allow customers across North America, Europe and Asia to be served locally under the Tegra Medical brand.

3 Fastening system business for façades in Germany expanded
With the acquisition of Moderne Befestigungselemente GmbH (MBE), SFS expanded its fastening system business and its market reach in central Europe. MBE is a leading supplier of painted fasteners for high-performance façade systems. The company generated about EUR 10 million in sales with just under 70 employees in 2019.

4 Creating additional capacity for growth projects in the automotive business
Over the years, SFS has successfully positioned itself as a preferred development partner for customers in the automotive industry. Innovation drivers are the trends towards more comfort, improved safety and increased efficiency, and above all autonomous driving technology. The associated electrification of vehicles, including vehicle brake systems, is an attractive and growing business area from which SFS is benefiting. The successful acquisition of new projects for assemblies used in electric brake systems has laid the groundwork for further growth. In order to realize these customer projects, SFS is investing in the expansion of its production capacity and building an additional facility at its Heerbrugg (Switzerland) location. The investment volume for the new building is in the region of CHF 25 million to CHF 30 million. Construction began in early 2021.

All SFS Group’s current activities for the medical device industry, which until now have been conducted in the Medical and Industrial divisions, will be organizationally situated within the Medical division under the Tegra Medical brand.

Responsible management in action
On 1 January 2020, Iso Raunjak assumed responsibility for the Distribution & Logistics segment from Josef Zünd, who retired in March 2020 after a successful 49-year career at SFS. After J. Mark King stepped down as Head of the Medical division on August 1 and also retired, Jens Breu, CEO of SFS Group, led the Medical division on an ad interim basis. As part of the decision to create a global production platform to better serve customers in the medical device industry, Walter Kobler, Head of the Industrial division and long-standing member of the Group Executive Board of SFS Group, additionally assumed management responsibility for the Medical division effective 1 January 2021.

In the interests of early and diligent planning, at the end of April 2020 the Board of Directors of SFS Group appointed Volker Dostmann to succeed Rolf Frei as CFO. Volker Dostmann joined the Group Executive Board on 1 November 2020 and assumed the function of CFO from the Annual General Meeting as of 22 April 2021. Since standing down as CFO, Rolf Frei is continuing to serve the company in selected strategic projects until his retirement in 2023.

At the Annual General Meeting 2021, the Board of Directors of SFS Group proposed the election of Manuela Suter, currently CFO of Bucher Industries and a member of its Executive Board, for election to the Board of Directors. With her many years of experience in multi-divisional, international and listed industrial companies, the Board of Directors regards the election as a valuable addition to the board and is pleased that it has been confirmed by the shareholders.

SFS acts with foresight and prudence, and assumes its responsibilities with respect to economic, environmental and social issues. Doing so increases the value of the company over the long term and enables it to contribute to sustainable development by providing future-oriented solutions.

The precautionary principle or approach plays an important role at SFS and is therefore enshrined in its Corporate Principles and Code of Conduct. Sustainability at SFS means maintenance of a healthy balance between business performance, environmental stewardship and social responsibility that takes the needs of present and future generations into consideration. This attitude also reflects the spirit of partnership that characterizes SFS’ relationship with its various stakeholder groups. The application of a precautionary approach also serves to reduce or avoid any negative effects on society and the environment that arise or could arise as a result of the company’s activities. In addition to its environmental management principles, SFS supports the goals of the Paris Agreement, such as limiting global warming to 2°C or 1.5°C. Specifically, SFS aims to reduce its carbon emissions (Scope 1 & 2) by >90% by 2030 (measured as tonne of CO2 per Swiss franc of value added). By 2040, CO2 emissions across its entire value chain (Scope 3) will be reduced by > 90% (measured as tonne of CO2 per Swiss franc of value added, see also road map graphic).

The Group Executive Board and the Board of Directors regularly assess the main business risks to which SFS Group is exposed. A comprehensive risk assessment is conducted at least once a year. In this assessment, the relevant risks are systematically classified according to the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of the potential consequences. The focus in the period under review was on risks pertaining to sustainability (such as climate change), data loss and operational disruptions due to cyber attacks, investment risks related to major projects, delays in order fulfilment due to the pandemic, risks at acquired entities, warranty risks arising from product recalls, company exposure to the global economic environment, and compliance and currency-related risks.

SFS creates transparency, applies a preventive approach and pursues continuous improvement through internal audits and inspections of its own operations, external audits of its customers and certification programs at individual company sites.

It also reviews its supply chain on a regular basis, which enables it to identify risk at an early stage and take appropriate action. It is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and where required to ISO 45001.

SFS has a broadly anchored idea management concept to ensure the steady ongoing development of innovation, new business fields and sustainability practices. The company also makes targeted use of external specialists to augment its internal ideas and insights.

SFS Group AG supported, continued to pursue or joined the following initiatives during the period under review.

  • GRI
  • UN Global Compact

SFS also assumes corporate and social responsibility through its engagement in various associations and interest groups. Globally, SFS is active in the following associations and interest groups:

SFS is an active member of the above-mentioned associations and interest groups, with the exception of Swissmem, and supports the organization in both personal and financial terms.

2. Strategy
3. Ethics and integrity

The SFS Code of Conduct and the SFS Corporate Principles cover a wide range of issues and were formulated by the Group Executive Board in consultation with the various stakeholders and approved by the Board of Directors. Both documents are distributed to all new employees on recruitment. Furthermore, all SFS employees receive training on the SFS Code of Conduct every two years. The SFS Corporate Principles and the SFS Code of Conduct are also part of the company’s leadership workshops. The Code of Conduct and a supplementary document are available in German and English on SFS Group's website for internal and external stakeholders. The SFS Corporate Principles and the SFS Code of Conduct have been translated into the 12 languages that the company uses most often with its employees and business partners, and are available to these stakeholders in print or digital format.

SFS Code of Conduct

SFS Corporate Principles

4. Governance

The Board of Directors and Group Executive Board attach great importance to good Corporate Governance. In the interest of shareholders, customers, business partners and employees, the principles of Corporate Governance ensure the necessary transparency and a healthy balance of management and control.

SFS follows the SIX Swiss Exchange Guideline.

 

Responsibilities in the area of ​​sustainability clearly defined
SFS’ sustainable development is very important. The CEO and the entire Group Executive Board devote their attention to the issue of sustainable development on a regular basis, set priorities and review the progress made. On behalf of the Group Executive Board, an interdisciplinary team of environment and safety, compliance, HR and communications representatives coordinates and consolidates the various sustainability activities. To address the diverse factors involved and maximize effectiveness, the job of implementing the activities falls to the respective divisional management teams. Wherever possible, sustainability is integrated into the regular management processes and reports using standardized performance indicators.

5. Stakeholder engagement

SFS’ most relevant stakeholder groups are (in alphabetical order):

  • Academia
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Financial analysts/investors
  • Financial and economic media
  • Local communities
  • SFS Board of Directors
  • SFS management
  • Suppliers

At the end of the year under review, about a quarter of all employees were subject to collective bargaining agreements. There is no collective bargaining agreement in Switzerland or the US.

The stakeholders listed under GRI 102-40 have been identified as key stakeholders within the scope of stakeholder dialogue because they meet at least one of two criteria: the stakeholder group has a material effect on the economic, environmental or social performance of SFS, and/or the stakeholder group is significantly affected by the economic, environmental or social performance of SFS.

The inclusion of key stakeholders is therefore an important element of sustainable business practices and of vital importance when gathering opinions and insights from across the company and its surrounding environment. In the materiality analysis conducted in 2016, SFS focused on the Engineered Components segment’s customers and suppliers. In 2019 the company surveyed, besides the in GRI 102-40 listed stakeholders, customers and suppliers from the D&L segment. After deciding to have a dialog within the context of a materiality assessment every two years, a new materiality assessment was not performed in 2020.

In order to ensure the best possible engagement with the stakeholders identified, SFS plans to focus on the following stakeholder groups in its next materiality analysis in 2021:

  • Customers and suppliers from the Fastening Systems segment
  • Universities/educational institutions
  • Business and financial media
  • Local municipalities in Switzerland and in some cases abroad (the international sites determine the intensity of their local engagement)

During the year under review, SFS conducted an extensive survey, expert interviews and a corresponding analysis with the identified stakeholder groups (see → GRI 102-40 & GRI 102-42). The survey structure reflected the 33 sustainable criteria defined by the GRI grouped into six focus areas. The stakeholders and stakeholder groups consulted were first asked to select the issues among the 33 sustainable criteria that were most relevant to them – with respect to the economic, environmental or social performance of SFS – or, if not applicable, to present their own key issues. In a second step, the issues selected by these stakeholders were weighted according to their impact (low, medium or high). A final consolidation, analysis and prioritization of the results led to the new materiality matrix.

In addition to the materiality analysis, SFS was engaged in a constant dialogue with its stakeholder groups through the following:

Employees

  • Routine employee surveys (e.g. Swiss Employer Award)
  • Quarterly information
  • MbO
  • Idea box

Customers

  • SFS sales representatives, technical advisors and key account managers who are in touch with our customers every day.
  • At the 29 HandwerkStadt locations, our customers throughout Switzerland receive direct service from our professional sales staff and can give us direct feedback.
  • Customer satisfaction analyses: In conjunction with the introduction of a new Group policy, every division reviewed its existing policies and practices for measuring customer satisfaction and issued a corresponding new concept. In view of the different target customer groups, the divisional concepts vary. Methods of measuring customer satisfaction range from a scorecard, which is used in the Automotive division, to online surveys, which the Electronics division uses.

Universities/educational institutions

  • Collaboration with various universities and educational institutions on innovation and technology development.

Financial analysts/investors

  • Routine conference calls, bilateral talks, conferences and roadshows by CEO, CFO, Head of Corporate Services and Head of Investor Relations.

Business and financial media

  • Routine bilateral talks and interviews and an annual media conference for the media relevant for SFS.

Suppliers

  • Initial contact in compliance with the supplier assessment guidelines and the Code of Conduct for suppliers.
  • Ongoing discussions between SFS procurement staff and suppliers.
  • Audits at regular intervals (quality, environment, workplace safety).

Local governments

  • Open door day at several production sites
  • Invitation to Annual General Meeting

The following key concerns were raised by stakeholders during the year under review:

  • (customers, discussions with analysts)  The company’s stance and measures taken regarding sustainability (incl. future goals and KPIs for reducing emissions) →  In December 2020, an environmental road map was approved that will ensure a continuous and measurable reduction in 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). SFS also aims to reduce its Scope 3 CO2 emissions by more than 90% by 2040.  This will be achieved by reducing in-house emissions, purchasing electricity generated from renewable sources and installing in-house renewable electricity systems. In 2021, we will also evaluate how we can better integrate our supply chain into our sustainability processes.

  • (employees) Work health and safety in connection with COVID-19 →  Health and safety plans were implemented at all sites in compliance with the local guidelines. Best practices were shared throughout the organization.

  • (media) Dividend payment despite short-time work/COVID-19 → The dividend of CHF 1.80 per share proposed by the Board of Directors for the financial year 2020 was approved by shareholders. The dividend amount was thus unchanged from the prior-year level; in 2020, the dividend was reduced by 10% from the payout in 2019 as a sign of solidarity with the company and its employees during the first wave of the pandemic.

  • (schools, parents, potential applicants/ labor force entrants) Career information opportunities despite corona restrictions → adjustments in vocational career guidance due to the COVID-19 situation (e.g. SFS Insights: a career information event carried out at company headquarters in Switzerland in compliance with the applicable COVID-19 restrictions).

  • (employees) General and permanent possibility of working from home → In 2020, SFS introduced general guidelines enabling employees to work from home that will be implemented in 2021 (this applies to all sites in Switzerland).

  • (media) Opportunity for shareholders to voice their concerns, although physical attendance at the Annual General Meeting was not possible  → In accordance with article 27 of the Swiss Federal Council’s Ordinance 3 on measures to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19 Ordinance 3), the Board of Directors of SFS Group AG instructed shareholders to exercise their voting rights at its Annual General Meeting of 22 April 2021 in writing or electronic form or through the independent proxy. The notice of the non-physical meeting invited shareholders to engage in a dialog with SFS and ask questions, voice concerns or give feedback via email or post.

6. Reporting practice

The reporting of the company’s sustainability performance was not always based on the full scope of consolidation as presented in the consolidated financial statements ( see Annual Report 2020, p. 90-92). A disclosure has been made wherever this was the case.

SFS distinguishes between the scope of consolidation for key sustainability data and for determination of the corresponding ISO certifications by site. In order to match expenses and performance/profits, ISO certification is required at all production sites with more than 50 employees in which SFS holds an interest of ≥50%. “Non-manufacturing sites” such as distribution and logistics centers are also included in the sustainability data. SFS aims to collect sustainability data from all material sites by 2025. A materiality assessment will be conduced at the same time to determine which of our sites are material sites.

SFS has endorsed the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) since 2016 and has reported on its sustainability performance in accordance with GRI Standards (Core option) since 2019. The starting point was a comprehensive materiality analysis based on the methodology described in the GRI Standards and on the issues covered by the GRI Standards. Material sustainability topics and the corresponding measures had already been covered in brief in the sustainability sections of the annual reports published during the period 2016–2018.

The principles of the UN Global Compact are also of material significance and SFS has committed itself to upholding these principles since 2010. Progress on this front is reported annually in the Sustainability Report (see: Link zu UN Global Compact). As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SFS is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is currently prioritizing four goals: SDG 4 – Quality education, SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth, SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production, as well as SDG 13 – Climate action. This prioritisation reflects the material topics as determined in the materiality assessment conducted in 2019: Economic performance, occupational health and safety, training and education, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and socioeconomic compliance. Through this action SFS is not only supporting adherence to the principles of the UN Global Compact, but also contributing its part to achieving the SDGs for 2030 to the fullest possible extent.

As part of a workshop with the Group Executive Board and other internal and external stakeholder groups in 2016, an initial materiality analysis was developed and approved by the Group Executive Board. After adopting the GRI Standards (Core) in 2019 and deciding to publish the Sustainability Report separately from the annual report in future reporting periods, the materiality matrix established in 2016 was reviewed and updated based on the standards prescribed by the GRI. Some of the previous material topics were combined, some were no longer applicable and others were rearranged or given a higher/lower priority level. The identified SDGs together with the material topics established in the materiality matrix determine the primary objectives of SFS’ sustainability strategy and, by extension, of its short- to mid-term business strategy. All other topics listed in the matrix are important, but are not the focus of attention due to reasons of prioritization. SFS aims to conduct a materiality assessment every two years and then update its matrix based on the findings. The next materiality assessment will take place in 2021 and the findings thereof will be reported in 2022 (see also GRI 102-42).

  • GRI 201: Economic performance
  • GRI 305: Emissions
  • GRI 403: Occupational health and safety
  • GRI 404: Training and education
  • GRI 419: Socioeconomic compliance

With the exception of the information under GRI 102-10, the current sustainability report does not contain any new information compared with the previous year.

There were no significant changes in reporting in the year under review. Based on the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, SFS now also addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 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, and thus makes a contribution to sustainable global development.

The reporting period is the calendar year.

The last Sustainability Report in accordance with the GRI Standards (core) guidelines was published on June 4, 2020.

SFS will report on its sustainability performance on an annual basis.

In case of any questions regarding sustainability please contact:

Claude Stadler
Head of Corporate Services, Member of the Group Executive Board

Yvonne Geiling
Lead Sustainability, Corporate Communications

SFS Group AG, Corporate Services
Rosenbergsaustrasse 8, CH-9435 Heerbrugg
T +41 71 72 75185
sustainability@sfs.biz

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.

There is currently no external review of the Sustainability Report.

Material topics