Corporate Citizenship and Sustainable Business Practices
We operate as a responsible corporate citizen within the society around us. We are a reliable local partner and employer. We engage in active and open dialogue with our stakeholders, act in accordance with our mutual operating principles, create added value for our shareholders and seek operating methods and solutions that promote sustainability.
We monitor the effects of our operations and the added value we provide for different stakeholders on an ongoing basis. Our key stakeholders include our shareholders, customers, employees, partners and other suppliers as well as the public sector. You can find more information on the cooperation with our stakeholders in chapter ‘Responsibility managementī.
Since its establishment, Bittium has followed the values that were defined as guiding principles by its founders. We have revised our values with the passing years; the new values that guide our business were released in fall 2017. Bittiumīs revised values can be summarised into three keywords: trust, courage and innovation.
Corporate Social Responsibility is Driven by Good Governance
The management of Bittium Corporation is governed by the Articles of Association, the Finnish law and the Bittium governance guidelines. Bittium conforms to the Finnish Corporate Governance Code (2015) that is prepared by the Securities Market Association. Bittiumīs Corporate Governance Statement is available at www.bittium.com.
GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) refers to the skills and abilities that enable an organisation to meet its targets, address uncertainties and operate with integrity. Bittiumīs GRC measures also include the framework for internal control, which begins with our corporate values and extends all the way to the principles set by our Board of Directors.
Bittiumīs Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct
Our ethical principles comprise the following areas:
Due to our market area and business sector, corruption is a significant risk in the areas of social responsibility and human rights. We do not condone any forms of bribery or corruption in our operations or the operations of our subcontractors. We use our internal and external anti-corruption guidelines that were updated in 2017. We provide our employees with training on the subject as part of our employee training programme, and we expect our partners to comply with the instructions.
We have available a tool for following up and recognizing potential corruption or other obscurities of our cooperation partners.
There is a channel available to both our external and internal stakeholders for reporting anti-corruption rule violations. There were no cases of corruption reported to Bittium in 2018.
2) Information Security and Protection
Bittiumīs information security and privacy instructions specify the methods related to the classification, storage and disclosure of information.
3) Fair Business, Advertising and Competition
We follow the rules on fair business, advertising and competition. We have access to different methods of securing our customersī information in accordance with information security procedures.
4) Corporate Citizenship
The company supports community involvement in order to promote social and economic development.
5) Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
We respect intellectual property rights and apply our IPR strategy and guidelines to all of our operations.
Sustainable procurement is also an essential part of our sustainable business operations. The principles of sustainable procurement have been described in greater detail in chapter ‘Confidential customer relationships and secure productsī.
Development of Export Control
In 2018, we also developed our export control system and the related policies strongly from the point of view of sustainability. In its operations, Bittium has always complied with the export control instructions and regulations, for instance, in the defense and data security sectors where the functionality of the export control system is a precondition for successful cooperation with the authorities as well as the customers. Parallel with the development of our export control system, we provided dozens of employees from the sales, marketing, product management and logistics functions with training on the principles of export control.
Responsibility for the Environment
Our business is mainly focused on product design, assembly by manufacturers, sales and marketing. These processes only account for a small share of the productsī life-cycle effects. The greatest environmental impact occurs during the last stage of the productīs life-cycle, i.e. recycling. Nonetheless, responsibility for the environment, fighting climate change and resource-efficient solutions are a key part of our operations and the development of our operations. By maximizing the service life and recyclability of our products, we can affect the total life-cycle effect of the product.
Environmental Liability Management and Environmental Programme
- In line with our environmental policy, we are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the production, use and disposal of the products designed by us. We apply the ISO 14001 standard to our environmental management programme and implement sustainable development in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard, for example, at the following levels:
- Monitoring and complying with amendments to laws and regulations on environmental protection. This also covers to use of energy-efficient solutions in R&D (ecological design) and premises.
- Minimizing the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of products. The development of instructions and practices related to ecological design supports these principles.
- Encouraging suppliers and partners to implement environmental management programmes. Compliance with the principles that limit the use of hazardous substances supports these goals.
We regularly monitor the environmental requirements that govern our products as well as the local regulations derived from these. The requirements also extend to our major suppliers. We have applied the provisions of the ROHS directives (I, II and III), the REACH regulation (on hazardous substances) as well as the WEEE (recycling of waste electronic and electrical equipment) directive in our design since 2002. Our ETJ+ energy-efficiency system was certified to comply with the ISO 50001 standard in 2018 Although the use of halogens is not yet forbidden in electronics, we strive to provide halogen-free products in order to meet the growing demand in the field and minimize the environmental impact of our products. Bittiumīs halogen-free statement conforms to the IECīs (International Electrochemical Commission) definition of halogen-free materials (IEC 61249-2-21).
Achievements of 2018 Environmental Programme
Our objective for the 2018 environmental programme was to manage environmental information in our Oulu facility, the certification of our ETJ+ energy-efficiency system to the international ISO50001 energy-efficiency system, as well as the piloting of the productīs ECO design in two products.
We reached our environmental information goals we set for 2018.
- Up to 12 percent of the electricity used by our facility in Oulu was received from solar energy.
- We calculated our total carbon footprint for the first time.
- Our energy-efficiency system was certified to comply with ISO 50001.
- Our ECO design was also piloted, and the related viewpoints were added to our product development and project audit list.
Environmental Liability Indicators
We keep a constant eye on the level of environmental protection. The following figures were selected as the key environmental liability indicators.
In addition, we also keep an eye on the total carbon dioxide equivalent division within our group. 2,865 kg of CO2e in a year corresponds with approximately 27 percent of the annual carbon footprint of an average Finn (10,300 kg of CO2e/year) as stated by Sitra.
Significant Improvement Achieved at Oulu Office
The starting point of the design of the new premises opened in Oulu late in 2017 was to concentrate different functions in order to improve efficiency and achieve savings. In 2018, we achieved significant improvements in energy-efficiency. For example, replacing office equipment and optimizing our lighting system such as LEDs controlled by motion detectors enabled us to significantly reduce our energy consumption. Whatīs more, we centralized our product testing and development laboratories and IT servers.
We were very successful in utilizing solar energy on our Oulu premises, where up to 12 percent of the used electricity comes from solar energy. We also optimized the electricity transmission costs by utilizing 20 kV medium voltage supply.
In addition, the move to our new facility in Oulu made a massive difference to our total water consumption: our total consumption dropped by 11 percent from the previous year. The level of recycling also rose from 66 to 99 percent, which resulted from significantly reduced amount of burned waste in 2018.