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CEO Statement

Dear readers

A hardware store that opened its doors more than 90 years ago in Altstätten, Switzerland, and the start-up of cold forming production for fasteners in 1960 formed the basis for today’s SFS Group: a global leader for mechanical fastening systems, precision parts and sub-assemblies, and logistics systems. The vision at the time – “every employee an entrepreneur” and “achieving sustainable success together” – has shaped our path over the years. This striving for sustainable success through true partnership is no less important to us today. It is firmly anchored in our core values and actively pursued inside and outside the company according to our value proposition of “Inventing success together”.

Focus on sustainability sharpened

In order to broaden and deepen the company’s reporting on sustainability, a dedicated website was created for this topic and SFS will publish a Sustainability Report based on the internationally recognized GRI Standards (Core option) every year from now on.

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Materiality matrix updated during the reporting year

In preparing this report, extensive interviews with the identified stakeholder groups were conducted during the year under review. The subsequent consolidation and prioritization of the results led to the new and updated materiality matrix with the following material topics:

Progress achieved and further improvements targeted

During the year under review, we focused on the five material topics as determined in the materiality assessment process. Pleasing progress was made and further measures regarding different improvements are underway.

In 2019 we were able to prove our solid economic performance and slightly increased our added value once again. In accordance with our medium term planning we are pursuing the goal of continuously expanding our economic performance until 2025, while the share of added value for each of the stakeholder groups shall remain stable. The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on added value cannot be comprehensively assessed yet.

In the area of occupational health and safety, the total number of occupational accidents worldwide declined, compared to the previous year, by 19% to 113. We have set a goal of reducing the number of occupational accidents by 50% by 2025, as a stepping stone to our ultimate goal of zero occupational accidents.

SFS is a strong supporter of the dual training and education system. The long-term goal of 5 –7% of all employees being trainees or employees in a dual educational activity was once again confirmed by us in 2019 with 6.3% (2018: 6.6%). In particular in the German-speaking region the dual training and education system is taking place on a very good level. Thus, we continue to expand this educational standard across the entire Group.

Along with the effort to continuously reduce emissions, we are developing a roadmap for the entire Group by the end of 2020. This roadmap serves as the basis for systematic reduction of CO2 and will be presented in the next Sustainability Report. Furthermore, we are pursuing the steady continuation of certifying production platforms according to ISO 14001 (environmental management): currently 15 out 27 production platforms are already ISO-14001-certified. Further production platforms are to follow in 2020.

The SFS Code of Conduct presents the company’s understanding of an exemplary, reliable and fair business partner and employer. Compliance with the Code of Conduct is assured with the effective compliance system that has been set up. During the year under review, SFS Group was not subject to any sanctions in the socioeconomic compliance area, which is also our clear objective for 2020.

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Success stories that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability

Before closing, I would like to mention our success stories. As a value creator, we develop ideas and solutions that generate added value in economic, environmental and social terms for you, our stakeholders. The success stories of the past year are impressive proof of our commitment to sustainability. Read about our hands-on approach to sustainability in the articles on ‘Employee health and safety first and foremost’ or ‘Mjøstårnet: sustainable timber engineering’ to name but a few. In addition, the projects highlighted in this report accord well with the material topics identified in the materiality matrix.

I am very pleased to be able to offer you an exciting and transparent look “behind the scenes” of SFS with our new format of the Sustainability Report and at the same time invite you to continue to seek the dialogue with us.

Incidentally, our Sustainability Report 2019 can also be downloaded in a compressed form.

Sincerely,

Unt_Jens_Breu
Jens Breu
CEO SFS Group