SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production
As an UN Global Compact signatory, efforts and policies to reduce our global consumption are included in our code of conduct and are constantly under review. This applies to environmental decisions made not only for new buildings or production, but also in the recycling of our products and in alignment with new policies, such as the European Union’s WEEE Directive. But of course, we consider more facets of sustainability.
Sivantos Group has a long tradition of developing energy efficient hearing aids. Very often, having the industry’s lowest battery consumption is yet another reason why Sivantos hearing aids are the smarter choice. Users save time and money when changing fewer batteries, while also doing our environment a favor. Additionally, three out of our four premium segment sales are already rechargeable.
Another milestone: Passing external audits
Never heard about EH&S? No Problem. In simple terms, “Environment, Health and Safety” is what organizations do to make sure that its surrounding and people are not harmed by their activities. Since this is important to all of us, we certainly abide by the global norms and regulations to fulfill our duty as a responsible company. That’s why every company is more than happy to pass these audits successfully. And yes, you guessed right: The Sivantos Quality Management System (QMS) team has passed the external audits for a certified EH&S system for their locations in Singapore and Suzhou, China. The best part? The audit resulted in an outstanding zero on non-conformities, the best result one can get.
We are very proud of this outcome because we had to set up a new and lean quality management system that is compliant with the international standards of ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001, as well as regulatory requirements – within eight months! Not to forget that at the same time, we developed our own new EH&S Policy, conducted training with all employees, and implemented the new processes and documents.
Since September 2018, our location in Poznan is certified as well, giving us a total of three production sites to be EH&S certified.
Successfully passing manufacturer’s inspections
Sivantos’ sites in Germany, the US and Singapore have all successfully passed the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) inspection in 2018. To make sure that medical devices are safe in every aspect, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly inspects manufacturers of those devices, and thus they do with hearing aid manufacturers. Cross-functional colleagues from different departments in Germany, Singapore, USA, China and Poland have been working together to achieve these impressive results.
Jan Knittel, Head of Quality Systems at Sivantos, says: “This time, documents dating from 2016 were reviewed by the FDA inspector and the team provided approximately 5,000 pages of records, evidence and procedures.”
The main result? We were told that our Quality Management System is in a very good shape. Since the quality system is of course a strategic key piece of our business landscape, we are more than happy about the outcome.
Reducing our carbon footprint with Style
In August 2018, Sivantos unveils its most stylish hearing solution to date: Styletto. A consumer study shows that 8 out of 10 people prefer the Styletto design over conventional hearing aids. However, it not only combines a new level of style, high tech and rechargeability, it’s also the first product officially in line with our Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Policy.
Styletto is manufactured in factories certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System. The eCharger and Li-Ion Batteries reduce the carbon footprint. The concept of repair and reuse saves natural resources and reduces energy consumption. And finally: The product disposal is done through approved and certified e-waste collectors.
Reducing printed pages
Sivantos Group markets their products through approximately 30 subsidiaries and through international sales departments in another 90 countries worldwide.
Corporate Marketing, based in Erlangen, Germany, develops templates for all the marketing material used worldwide. Because of this, they attach special significance to the need to appropriately observe all essential environmental aspects.
What does that mean in practice?
Using the application one2edit, we provide print files worldwide in a web-based solution.
These files are available in the corporate language of English and serve as the basis for any necessary translations. Because printing is generally done directly on-site, this eliminates the need to ship printed material over long distances. Nevertheless, should it be necessary to generate marketing material at a central location, shipping and storage is minimized to our distribution centers. We also support environmental efforts by using FSC certified paper.
For the 2018/19 fiscal year, we are going a step farther: our strategy will be to reduce the amount of printed material as much as possible with the stipulation to transition from print into digital form wherever feasible.
Every small step counts
(December 2017, Brazil) The United Nations state that approximately 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year and adversely affect our environment. Since every step counts to take action against this urgent problem, Sivantos Brazil has launched its ECO POINT campaign to raise awareness for the usage of plastics among its employees. As plastic cups are non- biodegradable and mostly designed for single use, they are a main contributor to land and water pollution. Therefore, our office in Brazil handed out free glass bottles and reusable cups so that employees won’t have to purchase plastic bottles and – cups anymore.
(January 2018, DE) Sivantos regularly donates unused IT equipment to the non-profit group “Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung” (AfB) [English: Work Employment for Disabled]. This organization provides people with disabilities jobs such as refurbishing, selling, or disposing of certain devices and equipment.
As a nice spillover effect from our donations, we were not only able to sponsor the work for people with disabilities, but were also to save 8,465 kg of iron equivalents, 15,190 kWh of energy, and 4,570 kg of CO2 equivalents.
Step by step our impact is growing.