Governance Structure & Body

Management approach
GRI 103-1

We are meticulous in our approach to governance. Whether we are monitoring and quantifying compliance, managing risk or inviting and engaging in public discourse, our goal is to foster a company
and a credo in support of the principle that innovation goes hand in hand with maintaining customers’ and society’s confidence and trust.

Under our CEO’s active direction and in collaboration with our Board of Directors and its committees
responsible for performance and compliance review, Oerlikon holds itself to the highest standards of economic, environmental and societal performance as well as compliance with laws, regulations, and corporate policies that govern our operations and practices worldwide.

To underscore our sustainability commitment, we have appointed a member of the Executive Committee (EC) as Chief Sustainability Officer, effective January 1, 2021.

Our Chief Sustainability Officer, Georg Stausberg, will be working with the other members of the EC to provide leadership and direction on the sustainability strategy. The Chief Sustainability Officer chairs a Sustainability Management Team, consisting of three subject matter experts on operational and environmental sustainability, health & safety, communications and IR, and the team is supported by other expert functions, such as supply chain, HR, legal and R&D.

GRI 102-18,19,20,26,32

Oerlikon is cognizant of the interdependence of economic, social and environmental interests and
seeks to convert this dynamic to a strength that serves its operational and societal objectives. This is a key component of ensuring that we consistently deliver long-term value creation in our daily business activities to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Sustainability is thus an integral part of the corporate culture and behavior in business as described in Oerlikon’s Code of Conduct and corporate culture program.

Each employee accepts individual responsibility for upholding the sustainability principles, and line management is charged with ensuring alignment in business activities and processes within their area of responsibility.

To maintain the close link to the operational part of the business and affirm management’s thorough commitment, Oerlikon’s sustainability organizational framework integrates members at the strategic, operative and local business levels. This framework reflects Oerlikon’s Group management model, and enables the company to draw on the full complement of relevant resources, experience and knowledge.

The Board of Directors leads oversight of Oerlikon’s sustainability mandate. The Board agenda covers sustainability topics throughout the year and dedicates significant time for the purpose of establishing the overall guidance for the company’s sustainability strategy.

The Board then delegates the tasks to the EC, the Chief Sustainability Officer and the Sustainability Management Team for the purpose of monitoring, aligning and complying with this strategy.

The Chief Sustainability Officer is a member of the Executive Committee, and he is mandated to:

  • Establish, monitor, manage and coordinate the Sustainability strategy and its implementation across the Oerlikon Group based on annual objectives and an action program approved by the BoD.
  • Manage and coordinate all sustainability processes within Oerlikon.

The Chief Sustainability Officer also leads the Sustainability Management Team, which consists
of the Head of Operations (Sustainability), the Head of Group HSE and the Head of Group Communications, IR and Marketing to:

  • Develop and increase stakeholder awareness (both internal and external) of the need and benefits of sustainable behavior and to initiate changes and/or continue with improvements.
  • Provide regular internal and external reports (including the annual Sustainability Report) and update the sustainability content on Oerlikon’s website.
  • Identify and assess, together with line management, the significant social, ethical and environmental risks that might have an impact on Oerlikon's long-term business or impair Oerlikon’s objective to remain recognized as a responsible leader in its industry.
  • Ensure together with the existing Group functions (such as Internal Audit, Group Human Resources, Group Legal and Group Compliance) that appropriate internal systems and controls are in place to identify and manage economic, social and environmental risks, and that business is conducted in a responsible manner.
  • Manage and coordinate stakeholder dialogues with regard to social, ethical and environmental matters.

The Sustainability Management Team works closely with the Divisions and Group functions in executing the Sustainability strategy, program and action plans. The Sustainability Management Team meets as the program requires, at least once a month.

Identifying and managing economic, enviromental and social impacts
GRI 102-29

Benchmarking is essential for identifying and addressing material challenges. In keeping with the
principle that what can be measured can be improved, we have undertaken extensive research with regard to material challenges.

The exercise has encompassed soliciting input from internal experts and external stakeholders, conducting a benchmarking analysis and assessing Oerlikon’s sustainability actions and initiatives in the Annual Report relative to more than 120 sustainability reports.

This depth of research has guided us to a consensus view of the topics, risks and trends that are most relevant to Oerlikon. These fall into two categories: those that could or already do have an impact on the company, and those on which the company has or could have a meaningful impact. We have captured an overview of these material challenges in a materiality matrix, which can be found on page 13 of this report. Based on the materiality assessment, we have
defined eight material challenges as focused areas (see the materiality matrix). In line with these focused areas and considering where Oerlikon can make the most difference in sustainability, we have selected eight United Nations SDGs and formulated our 2030 targets. To enable comparable and transparent reporting, we have also chosen to report according to the internationally recognized GRI standards.

Reporting practice / targets
GRI 102-47

Enviromental (own operations)

Priority Topics Objective 2019
Climate & Energy Implementing energy management system at sites
Increasing the share of energy from renewable sources
Increasing the share of operations that are climate neutral
Circular Economy Reducing the share of disposed waste 42% 21%
Innovation 100% of R&D investment in new products must cover ESG criteria n.a. 100%


Objective Measure 2019
Employment Practices Increasing % of woman in management and leadership roles
Increasing % of woman in high potential program
Health & Safety Ensure Zero Harm to People
(Decreasing the rate of recordable work-related injuries (TAFR) )
0.88 <0.50


Objective Measure 2019
Ethics & compliance Increase number of employees who have completed the compliance and CoC training 91% > 95%

Consulting stakeholders on economic, enviromental and social topics
GRI 102-21

Diverse perspectives are a cornerstone of Oerlikon's culture. Without them, we cannot plant the seeds from which innovation grows. It’s therefore very much a part of our culture that we are not only open to, but that we welcome and invite engagement with divergent points of view that can help us understand the needs and concerns of all stakeholders in the industries and communities we serve.

With that in mind, we are exploring the option of creating a Stakeholder Panel for the purpose of
accessing a broad spectrum of perspectives and insights into our operations, practices and impact. This is a natural extension of our belief that even adversaries can find common ground, that communication and exchange of ideas are the building blocks of reaching accord and working together toward mutual goals, and that we make progress in business and human welfare when we share a sense of ownership in meeting our targets and objectives.

Stakeholder engagement
GRI 102-40,41,42,44; GRI 407-1

Oerlikon respects its employees’ rights to form and join trade unions and take part in collective bargaining. We abide by legally binding collective agreements. We also take care that employee representatives do not suffer discrimination and that they have open access to members in the workplace. An estimated 36% of our employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in 2020 (2019: 35%). We do not collect or report information on employee union membership due to differences in national legislation in the countries in which we operate.

Oerlikon maintains an ongoing exchange with its stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers and partners, investors and analysts, local communities, authorities and government representatives, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and the media.

We depend on multiple channels and processes (see the Stakeholder Engagement table below) to optimize stakeholder engagement and ensure comprehensive reporting on areas that are material to the business. In addition to one-on-one and focus group conversations, we conduct, as appropriate, internal surveys that aid us in anticipating and preparing for potential disruptions to Oerlikon’s business. We expect our stakeholder engagement strategy to continue to evolve, and we anticipate that we will expand our stakeholder consultation efforts in 2021 and beyond.


Thomas Schmidt

Head of Group Communications