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Response by Sonova

We would like to thank you for your interest and for the opportunity to explain the purpose of the letter addressed to Members of the Swiss Parliament. For a clarification of the positioning in regards to the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative, we would like to refer to the consolidated statement prepared by economiesuisse and SwissHoldings which was sent out to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre today.

We would like to stress, that we are aware of our duty as a leading hearing care company to act responsibly. Sonova respects human rights and we consider it our responsibility to foster compliance with human rights not just in our own business across the globe, but also in the whole supply chain.

This commitment is reflected in particular in our Code of Conduct and Group Supplier Principles (SGSP) and embedded in the company culture. Sonova is a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2016, endorsing its ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. All Sonova employees and business partners are expected to comply with the UN Global Compact's principles.

Sonova takes a systematic approach to managing corporate responsibility, both in its supply chain and in its own operations. Identifying and mitigating human rights risks is already an integral part of our strategic risk management process, and it is reviewed and assessed regularly, together with all other business risks. Sonova is committed to ensuring that its operations and supply chain are free from any slavery practices, including child labor, forced and bonded labor, and human trafficking. Sonova has already been proactively implementing due diligence processes of our third parties and partners and has enhanced public reporting transparency. As a global company, we are committed to further advance and continuously improve policies and processes across our own operations and supply chain.

In line with industry best practices, Sonova operates a robust compliance program and proactively promotes the reporting of concerns, including through the use of a hotline managed through a dedicated third-party provider. Employees and external stakeholders are encouraged to report any concerns of wrongdoing, including human rights violations. All reports are tracked, investigated and appropriate action is taken as required. 

Sonova values transparency. We regularly publish a Corporate Responsibility Report according to internationally recognized guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and UN Global Compact. Sonova has also aligned reporting with international regulations on disclosure of non-financial information, such as the Directive 2014/95/EU and closely follow best practices. Our reporting contains regular updates on our due diligence efforts and how we promote responsible business practices in our own business and among our suppliers and business partners. Sonova considers transparent reporting an important tool in engaging with our stakeholders and create and sustain trust.

More information on Sonova’s policies, principles, and approach regarding human rights and labor practices and human rights due diligence can be found in our annual public reporting: Sonova Corporate Responsibility Report 2018/19.

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