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

Through the Oticon Foundation multiple, philanthropic activities and charitable projects are fostered and initiated. Projects and initiatives in the fields of research, education, culture and selected social areas are carried out with particular emphasis on audiology and hearing, i.e. projects initiated to outline the impacts of hearing loss, and treat or alleviate its symptoms.

In 2016, the Oticon Foundation donated DKK 78 million to projects in such areas as research, education, culture and care. A total of DKK 42 million was donated to projects aiming at alleviating hearing loss all over the world and to education and research projects within hearing healthcare. One example of our global philanthropic activities was the Mobile Hearing Clinic project – a hearing clinic on wheels that can reach the rural districts of China.

Supporting institutions and research projects in the field of audiology is an important part of the Oticon Foundation’s activities. In 2016, the Oticon Foundation donated DKK 11 million to audiological research at leading universities around the world in for instance the Netherlands, the US, South Africa, Italy and in the Nordic countries. In Denmark, the Oticon Foundation co-founded the establishment of CASPR, a new research centre at Aalborg University, with a contribution of DKK 8 million.

For several years, the Oticon Foundation has funded the Ida Institute and has contributed with DKK 12 million to the work of the Institute in 2017. Ida is an organisation that works to disseminate patient-centered hearing rehabilitation globally and that develops tools to empower and support people with hearing impairment in their process of recognition and treatment.

part of the united nations global compact

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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. In 2016, we updated our reporting structure and framework in order to adhere to new regulatory changes. We meet the new requirements by elaborating on the company business model and by giving explanations of our policies, processes, actions and results. You can see our reports here

human and workers' rights

William Demant supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO's Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Modern Slavery Act. With respect to these declarations, we have five principles as guidance for management and employees.

 

In 2016, we updated our reporting in order to adhere to the new British legislation on Modern Slavery. Our CSR report functions as William Demant Holding’s statement on the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Modern slavery

We stand by building awareness of modern slavery and against exploitation of labor, slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labor and human trafficking.

We consider the risk of human trafficking in our supply chain to be very mild. Our revenue model has a predominant base in OECD countries, where the government has a higher level of control over human rights, labour rights and modern slavery enforcement. In terms of production and assemblies of our products, the company operates predominantly in Europe, North and Latin America, where the risks are contained.

We tackle the risk of exploitation in the labour market by working with suppliers, entities, sales subsidiaries and distributions network that comply and abide with our code of conduct, regulations on human rights, labour rights and business ethics.

 

Five human and workers’ rights principles


co2 emission report

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

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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 2016, our Group’s CO2 emissions reached 14,973 tonnes, representing 2.32 CO2 tonnes per employee. This is a stable trend compared to 2015, when emissions reached a total of 14,406 tonnes representing an amount of 2.36 CO2 tonnes per employee. As a company in growth, we are satisfied with our ability to decrease, slightly, our footprint per employee compared to 2015. In 2016, William Demant Group CO2 emissions are split among electricity accounting for 74%, heating of buildings for 9%, and cars for 17%.

By way of example, we have ambitious goals regarding IT infrastructure. Continuing our goals to optimise business agility and lower energy consumption when delivering IT solutions, our investments have proved beneficial in both these major areas for 2016. This year, our service utilisation had a 20 % increase in users at our major data centre. This increase has been consumed alongside with a vast consolidation effort while still saving on power consumption compared to prior years.

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

1

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

2

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.

3

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

4

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 81/19 in 2016. In middle and first-line management, the ratio has increased from 84/16 in 2009 to 79/21 in 2016.

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.


Target

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.

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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.