003 IR Dashboard

A global company
with a local approach

why do we care?

We do not embrace social responsibility and care because society expects us to do so or because it increases our stock value. Care for other people is the very foundation of our company.

The story of our company starts with one man's passion to help his wife lead a better life, unhindered by her hearing loss. This passion for empowering people to play an active part in improving their lives is what drove us through the last century, what drives us now and what will drive us in the years to come.

Within our natural sphere of influence, we strive to actively improve people's quality of life and minimise the adverse effects of our activities. This is achieved by ensuring that business results are financially viable, socially balanced and environmentally sustainable

We have specified our key corporate responsibilities and contributions in 14 principles covering four focus areas:

being responsible

To us, acting responsibly means doing more than just the minimum and in many instances doing more than what is required by law. Working with responsibility is a priority for William Demant and we will continue to develop our initiatives in the future.

Being responsible

In 2015, the Oticon Foundation made numerous donations to social, cultural and scientific projects, totalling almost DKK 102 million. According to the objects clause of the deed of foundation, the alleviation of hearing loss must be the Foundation’s primary focus area. In 2015, DKK 55 million was thus donated to educational institutions and research projects in the field of audiology.

The Oticon Foundation also supported global initiatives and among these a project aimed at strengthening and supporting the development of audiological knowledge and services in China. The Foundation donated DKK 1.2 million to support the establishment of a mobile hearing clinic to reach rural areas of China with no or little access to hearing care.

The Oticon Foundation also supports broader causes through donations to special social projects, such as fundraising for humanitarian organisations within poverty relief (the Denmark Collection), disease research, specifically cancer (Cure for Cancer) and children’s helpline (the Children’s Collection) – all arranged by Danish TV channels and broadcast as large TV shows.

The Oticon Foundation supported the publishing of the book Tal til mig nu (“Talk to me now”), written by a Danish mother of a child with a severe hearing loss to help other parents cope in the difficult period after their child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss.

part of the united nations global compact


In 2010, William Demant joined the United Nations Global Compact. We believe this helps us scope our commitment to corporate responsibility and align strategies and goals within the corporate world.

We report yearly on our actions and initiatives based on the 10 UNGC principles in such areas as human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption. You can see our reports here

co2 emission report

Very few materials are used to produce hearing aids, so the environmental impact of manufacturing our products is limited.


Nevertheless, we have chosen to report on corporate CO2 emissions and climate strategies through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This gives stakeholders an opportunity to compare our corporate CO2 emissions to those of other companies. See our reports here

In 2015, our Group’s CO2 emissions reached 14,406 tonnes, which represents 2.36 tonnes CO2 per employee and a decrease of 3.7% on 2014. We are proud to see that our effort towards environmental responsibility has resulted in concrete improvements, but this is an ongoing effort, so we strive to do even better in the years to come. Although our company is growing and we have seen strong increases in revenue and headcounts, our CO2 emissions only rose by 6% in total compared to 2014.

Since 2009, we have also reported on fuel consumption by company cars, electricity, heating and cooling in our Group. Starting in 2016, we will also take a stance on our water consumption.

corporate governance

William Demant Holding is subject to the Danish Recommendations on Corporate Governance laid down by the Danish Committee on Corporate Governance in respect to the way in which we adhere to the recommendations. The recommendations are also part of the disclosure requirements laid down by Nasdaq Copenhagen.

corporate governance

The company’s Board of Directors and Executive Board consider corporate governance an ongoing process and regularly assess to which extent the company should comply with the recommendations and whether the recommendations give rise to amendments to the company’s articles of association or managerial processes.

When reporting on corporate governance, we follow the “comply or explain” principle, which means that failure to comply with a recommendation does not constitute a breach, as long as we explain why we have chosen not to follow a given recommendation and also explain what we do instead. The few cases where we have chosen to deviate from a recommendation are well-founded, and we explain what we do instead. To further increase transparency we have decided to provide supplementary and relevant information, even when we follow the recommendations.

A complete schematic presentation of the recommendations and our compliance, Corporate Governance 2016 – Statutory report on company management, cf. section 107 b of the Danish Financial Statements Act, is available here

The assessment for 2016 is based on the most recent recommendations from May 2013. Out of the 47 recommendations there are only four that we do not comply with.

more female managers

We work actively to encourage more women to seek executive and managerial positions. In 2012, we therefore developed a policy and action plan to increase the share of female managers in the William Demant Group. We simply called it 'More female managers', and we work with four concrete initiatives to support the policy. Find the policy here


To increase the number of potential female managers, relevant departments in the William Demant Group must prioritise sending female employees to job fairs.


In job advertisements and in our employer branding material, we will further balance the tone of voice between ‘male’ and ‘female’ connotations and make sure we use female employees in employer branding visuals.


When cooperating with external recruiting agencies, we require qualified female candidates in the second round.


Our managers will have greater focus on guiding and nudging female talents towards pursuing opportunities for promotion.

Focus bears fruit

We are pleased to see that our increased focus on furthering the number of women in managerial positions seems to be bearing fruit. Since we started recording these numbers in 2009, the male/female manager ratio in our Danish companies has thus improved from 89/11 in 2009 to 80/20 in 2015. In middle and first-line management, the ratio has increased from 84/16 in 2009 to 76/24 in 2015.

The best candidate for the job

However, it is important to keep in mind that all these initiatives do not change our basic recruiting goal, which is to always seek, hire and promote the best qualified employees – gender set aside.


As we already in 2014 reached our target in respect of female Board members, the Board set a new target and deadline in February 2016: Before the end of 2020, the Board of Directors aims to have at least two female members.

product safety and quality

In William Demant, we have a strong focus on safety and usability in our products and services, both when designing and manufacturing products.

product safety and quality

Our internal standard operating procedures for qualification and testing are often stricter than international safety standards and are based on experience gained in the last century in terms of hearing aid quality, reliability and safety.

We are constantly committed to raising the safety and quality level of our products and have together with the hearing industry been one of the driving forces in developing a new international safety standard for hearing aids (60601-2-66: Hearing instruments and hearing instrument systems).

As part of this endeavour, we have obtained an FDA clearance for our latest product and have thus reached for the highest standards when it comes to safety and effectiveness. Further, we have designed our wireless products and technology to meet a high degree of safety and to enable them to coexist with pacemakers and defibrillators. We have ISO9001 and ENISO certifications.13485. Read the reports here.


the oticon foundation

The Oticon Foundation, or William Demants og Hustru Ida Emilies Fond, is a commercial foundation whose main purpose is to secure and expand the commercial activities of William Demant Holding and William Demant Invest and to donate money to charitable causes.

For the past ten years, the Oticon Foundation has donated more than 700 million Danish kroner to a string of different causes, focusing on projects promoting research into and dissemination of knowledge about audiology. But the Oticon Foundation also contributes significantly to young people’s education, to social projects helping marginalised groups and to initiatives with a view to furthering art and culture.