Sustainable business

Focus on long-term competitiveness and profitability

Vitrolife’s business a source of joy and takes responsibility for long-term competitiveness and profitability

 

Vitrolife’s vision – To fulfil the dream of having a baby – by developing, producing and marketing advanced, effective and safe products and systems for fertility treatment, gives the business a clear purpose and responsibility. The Life Science industry is characterised by high demands on product safety and regulatory compliance and for Vitrolife sustainability is a self-evident and natural part of the growth strategy. The work on sustainability secures the Group’s long-term competitiveness, profitability and responsibility. This is done through transparent and reliable relations with the Group’s stakeholders, such as shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and society at large. Vitrolife’s work on sustainability is in line with the UN’s 17 goals for sustainable development and is based on our Code of Conduct.

The most important sustainability factors determined by the Board and management on the basis of significance and risk are competent employees, quality-assured products, responsible business and minimal environmental footprint.

The work on sustainability is controlled and followed up in our overarching corporate management system and has objectives and metrics relevant to the business. Company management is responsible for strategy and follow-up of the results of the work. A member of the company management team has functional responsibility for the Group’s work on sustainability and reporting is done on a regular basis at the management meetings during the year.

Vitrolife is certified as a ‘Nasdaq ESG Transparency Partner”, a certification that is awarded to Nasdaq-listed companies that work actively on sustainability and related reporting. Read more about the certification here

For the complete sustainability report, please see pages 15-21 in Vitrolife's Annual Report 2019.

Competent employees

Vitrolife is a knowledge-intensive Group where the employees are the single most important asset for the Group’s long-term competitiveness and profitability. Vitrolife has identified competence development, equality and anti-discrimination as critical sustainability factors for developing employees’ competence and well-being.

Vitrolife works in a goal-oriented manner to create an attractive workplace for all employees and promote the development of a high-achieving organisation. Vitrolife therefore annually conducts an employee survey where the results are analysed and form the basis for activity plans. The annual employee survey measures Vitrolife’s attractive­ness as an employee using eNPS, which stands for Employer Net Promoter Score. This is a measure of how willing employees are to recommend their workplace to friends and acquaintances. An eNPS score can vary from -100 to +100. A score of over 0 is good, over +20 very good and over +50 exceptional. Vitrolife’s eNPS for 2018 was +20 and during 2019 it increased to +25.

Equal opportuntities has been identified as a priority sustainability factor for attracting, retaining and developing all employees to their full potential and also because the ability to see different perspectives makes the business more sustainable and competitive. The Code of Conduct lays out the company’s position regarding human rights and zero tolerance with regards to victimization and the like.

Vitrolife strives to be an attractive employer that maximises and makes use of the competence of all employees.

It is important to create the conditions for being an inspiring workplace where everyone can do a really good job, feel good and develop. The baseline in all recruitment, competence development, promotion or other collaboration is the equal worth of all human beings. Diversity in the organisation and related new perspectives enable the company to continue to be a competitive and sustainable supplier for our customers.

Vitrolife has chosen to follow up gender distribution at various job levels in the Group so as to be able to detect and rectify any unjustifiable imbalances. There is a well-established annual process for identifying and rectifying any unreasonable gender-based differences in salary. This supports the UN’s equality objective of eliminating all forms of discrimination against women.

Quality-assured products

Vitrolife’s business comprises the product’s entire value chain, from research, development and production to distribution and sales. Most of the products are categorized as medical devices. Through its quality system and quality policy, Vitrolife has committed to following the rules stipulated by the authorities in each country where the products are sold or distributed. The goal is that through long-term customer relations, clinics and patients shall be treated in a sustainable manner. This is achieved when each product distributed to a customer is meeting the promised quality, which in turn enables effective treatment. Effective treatments using products and services from Vitrolife support the UN’s goal of securing that by 2030 everyone has access to reproductive health care.

Vitrolife’s products are sold worldwide. Customer comments are regularly compiled and are reported to executive man­agement. Vitrolife measures customer satisfaction as the main measure of perceived quality. Vitrolife has a method for measuring customer satisfaction whereby the Group’s customers are asked via a questionnaire if they would be willing to recommend Vitrolife as a partner to other clinics in the IVF field. The customers selected are direct customers (not distributors) who had made purchases in the past 12 months. Willingness to recommend is measured on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 is the best score. Vitrolife received a positive response from the customers: 74% gave Vitrolife a score of between 8 and 10. The result is somewhat of a decrease compared to last year. The decrease is primarily due to a changed geographic mix of respondents and lower product availability during the year.

Responsible business

Responsible business is a critical sustainability factor, both as a competitive advantage in recruiting and external collaboration and to reduce the risk of breaking the law.

To ensure that Vitrolife’s business is run in accordance with local legislation, international and national codes of conduct and Vitrolife’s norms, all employees and business partners receive training in Vitrolife’s Code of Conduct. This has been drawn up on the basis of, amongst other things, the UN’s Global Compact with regard to human rights, working conditions, the environment and anticorruption.

Vitrolife requires that all employees and distributors sign and comply with Vitrolife’s Code of Conduct. The distributors thus certify that there is no form of forced labour, child labour or bribes. All distributors have signed Vitrolife’s Code of Conduct. Vitrolife conducts web-based training annually for all employees to repeat the content and to ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct. All employees at work completed the training and verified compliance with Vitrolife’s Code of Conduct.

When selecting and qualifying suppliers with regard to the purchase of materials for production, one of the selection criteria is that suppliers comply with and work in accordance with Vitrolife’s Code of Conduct. Vitrolife works together with established sup­pliers, mainly in the EU and the US.

Further social responsibility is taken through Vitrolife’s support of the work of Swedish Medical Aid (Läkarmissionen) which enables safe childbirth for women in rural Africa, thus saving lives and reducing suffering.

Vitrolife pays tax in every country where business is conducted pursuant to current legislation and OECD guidelines for fair distribution of results, which contributes to the development of the local society in each country.

A digital whistleblower function has been established so as to be able to draw attention to any suspicion of irregularities in the company.

Vitrolife's Code of Conduct

 

Minimal environmental footprint

Vitrolife aims to conduct the Group’s business with as little impact on the environment as possible without sacrificing Vitrolife’s competitive advantage. The business in Gothenburg has been certified in line with ISO 14001.

Vitrolife endeavours to improve its environmental perfor­mance through the following environmental policy:

  • Continuous improvements and emissions prevention
  • Compliance with legal and other relevant requirements
  • Minimising the environmental impact of energy consump­tion and transportation
  • Communication of Vitrolife’s environmental policy to employees, suppliers, distributors and the general public

We provide digital tools for communication and cooperation so as to be able to promote productivity, efficient use of resources and collaboration while at the same time limiting travel. Vitrolife has elected to have a policy for company cars ordered from 2020, where CO2 emissions may not be higher than 50 g/km.

Due to the fact that Vitrolife’s products are temperature-sensitive, air-freight is necessary even though this impacts the environment.

Vitrolife has developed tools to calculate how to fill the refrigerated boxes optimally. Vitrolife’s first choice is to use professional freight carriers with efficient transportation systems that optimise shipments through bundling and transportation routes, thus reducing CO2 emissions and costs. Vitrolife strives to reduce the amount of refrigerated freight by informing customers about CO2 emissions generated by transportation, thereby encouraging customers, for example, to order larger quantities on fewer occasions.

As from 2019, Vitrolife measures emissions in accordance with the GHG protocol. Scope 1 covers direct emissions, for example from the company’s production facilities, and Scope 2 covers electricity consumption. Scope 3 covers external emissions, for example related to the transportation of goods and travelling.

The index value is calculated as emissions of CO2 in tonnes in relation to Group sales in SEK millions. As this is the first year that emissions have been measured in accordance with the GHG protocol, no comparative figures are reported.

Vitrolife's environmental policy