Header - hero image Report by the Board of Directors
Report by the Board of Directors 2023

Statement of Non-Financial Information

Bittium is an international technology company that offers socially useful technical innovations that improve communication connections, create security and promote healthcare.

The company is committed to responsible and sustainable business through its sustainability program. The sustainability program is based on the company´s strategy, values, stakeholders´ expectations and megatrends in the operating environment, which include digitization and the aging of the population as well as information security.

Bittium´s new sustainability program is valid for the years 2022–2025. The company´s sustainability work focuses on three key themes: 1. personnel, 2. customers and information security, and 3. environment. Ethical principles and responsible business practices are the basis of all activities.

Sustainability is part of Bittium´s organizational culture and way of working. The company identifies and manages liability-related risks as part of the company´s risk management, which emphasizes the role of the company´s management group and the Board of Directors in implementing measures in daily operations.

During 2023 Bittium stated preparing for the entry into force of the EU’s new sustainability directive. As part of this, the company will carry out a double materiality analysis, based on which the group will update its sustainability program in 2024.

Key Operating Principles

Bittium’s operations are based on values, ethical principles, and a Code of Conduct. The code of conduct is part of the orientation program for new employees. Over the next few years, Bittium aims to bind all its partners and suppliers to the Code of Conduct through contracts. Bittium will update its Code of Conduct and other politics during 2024.

Bittium´s partners are expected to comply with Bittium´s Code of Conduct principles and the supplier manual (Bittium Supplier Manual), which state, for example, Bittium´s policies and requirements regarding the selection of suppliers and quality control. Bittium reviews the principles of sustainable operation of suppliers and partners and audits them according to the defined criteria. In 2023, compliance with the guidelines has been assessed based on suppliers’ self-assessments and critical supplier audits.

Export control is an important part of the company’s operations and a prerequisite for cooperation between authorities and customers. By closely monitoring the changing legislation in different market areas and by following the regulations, Bittium promotes the responsible message of Finnish technology. During 2023, Bittium has specified the export control procedures in cooperation with the authorities.

Environmental Matters

Responsibility for the environment, climate change mitigation and resource-efficient solutions are an important part of Bittium´s operations and development. In accordance with its environmental policy, Bittium is committed to minimizing the environmental impact in the production, use and disposal of the products it designs. Bittium´s products are designed to be long-lasting, repairable, and recyclable. Since Bittium´s business is mainly focused on the beginning of the products´ life cycle, its environmental impact is very small. The biggest environmental impact is caused by recycling the product.

In the new responsibility program, Bittium focuses on monitoring three environmental indicators that measure the environmental effects of operations: the development of the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2ekg), the development of the energy used (Mwh) and the percentage share of renewable energy in the total energy use.

The most significant areas in reducing Bittium´s carbon footprint are the recycling of waste generated from operations, the utilization of renewable energy sources, and increasing the environmental awareness of the personnel.

The Scope 1 carbon dioxide emissions (travel and waste) of Bittium´s offices in Finland were 206.8 tCO2 in 2023 (204.0 tCO2 in 2022) and the Scope 2 emissions (heating and electricity) were 413.1 tCO2e (563.5 tCO2e in 2022). Bittium´s total energy consumption decreased by 13.1 percent and was 3,331 MWh (3,827 MWh in 2022). Regarding the office space in Oulu, about 5.6 percent of the energy used was produced with solar energy on an annual basis (goal >5 percent). The share of renewable energy in the energy used in Finnish offices was 38 percent (38 percent in 2022).

Bittium´s waste utilization rate was 99,9 percent last year (goal > 95 percent).

Social Issues and Employees

Bittium does not allow discrimination or unequal treatment based on gender, age, origin, religion or belief, opinion, sexual orientation, disability, or any other reason related to the person. The equality plan was updated during 2023. Its most important measures are paying attention to the equality of wages and career development, the openness of recruitment, and the systematic support of the working careers of aging employees.

The key measure of the annual employee survey was the staff engagement index, the goal of which for the years 2023–2025 has been set at 4.0 (scale 1–5), but for the year 2023 the goal was not reached. As expected, the result reflects the change negotiations held at the end of 2023.

Bittium’s position as a technological pioneer requires that the personnel actively maintain and develop their own expertise, both in terms of basic skills and the related common ways of doing things, as well as the latest technologies, tools, legislation, and other regulations of the rapidly changing operating environment, and that they have a vision of the trends in the development of technology and the operating environment. The goal in competence development is continuous development and learning while working.

The most typical work ability risks in the field are musculoskeletal disorders as well as coping at work and mental well-being. Bittium invests in good work ergonomics and occupational health care services that support the well-being of the personnel, as well as other personnel benefits. In 2023, Bittium’s Finnish companies reported 11 workplace accidents, one of which resulted in a short, temporary incapacity for work.

Respect for Human Rights and Fighting Corruption and Bribery

Bittium respects human rights in all its business operations, avoids violating human rights and intervenes in possible negative human rights impacts caused by its operations in accordance with the UN´s guiding principles for companies and human rights. At Bittium, monitoring the realization of human rights is mainly related to the activities of subcontractors and suppliers. Bittium takes care of the responsibility of the company´s supply chain, e.g., in terms of supplier requirements and material reports related to materials and components. Personnel training is part of ensuring responsible procurement. During 2023, Bittium has not been notified of any suspicions related to minerals in conflict areas.

Because of Bittium´s market and business areas, corruption is one of the key risks related to social responsibility. Bittium does not accept any form of bribery or corruption in its own operations or those of its partners. The company has internal and external guidelines drawn up to prevent anti-corruption activities, and an electronic self-study module on anti-corruption activities has been implemented for new employees. The company uses a monitoring tool to identify corruption or other ambiguities of partners, and the company´s stakeholders have a channel where they can anonymously report violations of anti-corruption rules. In 2023, the company did not become aware of any suspected corruption.

In the spring of 2023, Bittium implemented a notification channel in accordance with the whistleblowing directive. The company has precise processes for following up and handling notifications, and notifications are investigated urgently and confidentially, protecting the identity of the person making the notification. The channel did not receive any announcements during the year.