As a global company, we also have a global responsibility to our communities and our stakeholders. Our sustainability programme not only embraces environment-friendly and resource-saving actions, but also responsibility towards society and the company-specific stakeholders. Due to our sustainability programme, we will be able to address these issues even more clearly and specifically in the future.
Our sustainability programme encompasses the three areas of economy, ecology and society.
With these three areas, we are living up to our responsibility vis-à-vis our main stakeholder groups. To us, the term sustainability not only means careful and conscious use of natural resources, the reduction of our CO2 emissions and social responsibility towards our employees and society. We regard it as a long-term, secure and profitable perspective for our commercial stakeholders. At the same time, we are ensuring that the millions of users of our products can continue to benefit from easy-to-use injection and infusion systems in the future so that their chronic diseases no longer dominate their lives. In the coming months, we will determine our ecological footprint more precisely and then define and implement targeted measures in the individual areas.
Our sustainability programme
Our sustainability programme is geared to the three areas of economy, ecology and society. We have defined concrete fields of action in the respective areas.
With our sustainability programme, we commit ourselves to the economic aspects of our strategy, our shareholders and other economic stakeholders such as countries, cantons, municipalities and associations. Our strategy of global expansion, assuring innovation leadership and continuous production and process optimisation is sustainable and future-oriented. We interpret this to mean expansion into new markets as part of our global growth, continuous investment in research and development with a sound patent catalogue and the willingness to reduce our manufacturing costs through lean management and new technologies.
With our sustainability programme, we commit ourselves to long-term profitability and a sustainable dividend policy vis-à-vis our shareholders and investors. We see our commitment to other economic stakeholders primarily in our commitment to Switzerland as a business location. We will continue to expand our production sites in Switzerland as best possible and continue to create new jobs in Switzerland. In addition, we will increasingly participate in areas of innovation sponsoring. For example, in the form of our Ypsomed Innovation Fund and participation in promising innovation programmes such as Venturelab and the Swiss Medtech Award, but also in cooperation with the Diabetes Center Berne.
Within the context of our flexible working time models, we also support all our employees who, along with their profession, hold public offices in local communities or politics, offices in non-profit organisations or the military in order to serve the general public.
The Ypsomed Innovation Fund Foundation aims to promote knowledge and technology transfer at universities and technical colleges in the region. It aims to motivate innovative and entrepreneurial teams to include market needs in their scientific work and to translate their developments into products or services on the market. The work presented should therefore focus on innovative and economically feasible processes, methods, products or services.
In 2019, the first prize of CHF 50 000 went to Dr. Samuel Zürcher’s team for the development of a molecular biological rapid test platform for the reliable detection of specific infectious agents.
The ecological part of our sustainability programme is divided into the areas of energy, mobility and nature. In the area of energy, we joined the Swiss Bulk Consumer Article in 2016 and committed ourselves to consistently improving energy efficiency in accordance with federal guidelines. This stipulates achieving a 20 % increase in efficiency in energy consumption within a period of ten years. We are already performing well here and have held the “Energy and CO2 Reduced” label since 2017. Large savings were achieved particularly in the highly automated production area. Due to the installation of a heat pump at the Solothurn site, the heat energy generated during the manufacturing of the injection pens is used for heating the building. We can therefore completely dispense with the use of fossil fuels at the Solothurn site. This allows a decrease in CO2 intensity of 40 % per annum.
Another focus in the area of ecology is mobility. We try to make travelling as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible for our employees. This not only applies to the use of modern means of communication to reduce business travel. We promote the use of public transport by providing all employees with a free half-fare Swiss rail season ticket. This offer is financed from the pool of fees levied on the company’s own parking spaces. In addition, every apprentice receives a full-fare season ticket free of charge. Last year we installed the first four charging stations for electric cars in the car park at our headquarters in Burgdorf. “Refuelling” is free of charge for Ypsomed employees.
Within the context of our sustainability programme, we are also committed to society. This applies to health, benefits and the use of our products, and, of course, to our employees.
In the health area, the concept of sustainability has long been firmly anchored in our company vision: our products make self-treatment a matter of course and life easier for people suffering from chronic diseases. We also attach great importance to the issues of costs and access. We adjust the prices for our products country specifically to the national reimbursement contributions of the health insurance funds, so that the self-contribution for the users of our products is as low as possible. This allows us to ensure that the costs to the national health systems remain realistic. This further enables us to ensure that therapies with our products remain accessible and affordable for all those affected.
Our employees form one of the most important stakeholder groups that we keep together and satisfy sustainably and in the long term. We actively invest in the further development of our employees. With the Ypsomed Academy, we have created a programme that promotes the professional advancement of our employees. In addition, we also counter the shortage of skilled workers by training the experts of tomorrow ourselves and, to a large extent, hiring them after their apprenticeship.
The topics inclusion and diversity have also been considered in our sustainability programme. Meanwhile, we employ people from around 45 nations.
Another topic that is very important to us in this context is the equality of men and women. Every year, we have our wage models and wage distribution analysed company-wide. This allows inequalities in pay in the divisions to be identified and corrected. Our female employees, who perform the same work as their male counterparts, have the same experience and contribute equally to the company, but do not receive the same pay, are specifically upgraded to the same level of pay as their male colleagues. Equal treatment and fairness towards our employees and each other is firmly anchored in our Code of Conduct which prohibits any form of discrimination.
The satisfaction of our employees is one of the most important aspects that make us successful and profitable in the long term. For this reason, we conduct an employee survey every two years to ensure satisfaction in our company and to continuously improve our performance.