Our Approach
Sustainability Report > Our Approach > Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement
Sustainability Report

Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement

G4-17
Entities included in the organization reports

G4-18
Reporting principles for defining report content

G4-19
Material aspects identified in defining report content

G4-20
Material aspects within the organization

G4-21
Material aspects outside the organization

G4-24
Stakeholder groups engaged by the organization

G4-25
Identification and selection of stakeholders to engage

G4-26
Organization's approach to stakeholder engagement

G4-27
Key topics and concerns raised during stakeholder engagements

G4-17
G4-18
G4-19
G4-20
G4-21
G4-24
G4-25
G4-26
G4-27

Edwards’ five Aspirations guide us in our work to positively impact patient lives. In 2016, our Sustainability Council completed our first comprehensive materiality assessment to identify the most important topics for achieving this commitment. We engaged 42 internal and 20 external stakeholders, and analyzed 30 sources to identify the priorities highlighted in our matrix.

Materiality Matrix


ETHICS
PATIENTS
PRODUCTS
WORKFORCE
ENVIRONMENT

Corporate Governance

Definition
Implementing mechanisms and processes that promote ethical governance at Edwards, including board diversity, proxy access, executive compensation and accountability, and developing a culture where leaders are engaged in support of sustainability performance
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences‘ Board of Directors drives our unique, patient-focused culture. Through our corporate governance practices, we create a powerful and responsible organization from the top down. Our governance practices guide us as we grow, ensuring our leaders‘ values align with those of our company.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Investors

Our Aspirations

Create Exceptional Shareholder Value


Ethics & Compliance

Definition
Implementing training and policies that promote ethical behavior at Edwards, and compliance with all relevant laws and regulations
Why It‘s Material
At Edwards Lifesciences, our commitment to ethics shapes all that we do. We build our success from a foundation of integrity and have long been dedicated to doing the right thing. In our work to develop life-saving therapies, our leadership and employees know every decision matters, no matter how small.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
All Stakeholders

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work

Create Exceptional Shareholder Value


Corruption & Bribery

Definition
Enacting management practices and policies to prevent corruption and bribery at Edwards
Why It‘s Material
The nature of our work means Edwards Lifesciences regularly interacts with healthcare professionals who use our products. Some countries where we operate have socialized healthcare, meaning most physicians work for state-owned entities and can be considered public officials. To ensure these interactions remain appropriate, Edwards has long-held high standards for preventing corruption and bribery in connection with our external relationships.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Physicians

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work

Create Exceptional Shareholder Value


Transparent Communications & Reporting

Definition
Maintaining transparency regarding disclosure of Edwards‘ organizational performance and sustainability performance
Why It‘s Material
Edwards receives regular requests for sustainability performance data from customers and investors. As a leader in patient-focused innovation, we engage in dialogue and transparency with our stakeholders to act as trusted partners and be accountable for our environmental, social, and governance performance.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
All Stakeholders

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work

Create Exceptional Shareholder Value


Ethics

Edwards Lifesciences is committed to responsible and ethical business practices.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.

Access to Healthcare

Definition
Supporting the provision of quality care to underserved and diverse patients in global communities, helping to remove regulatory, geographic and economic barriers to treatment, participating in public policy development and providing financial contributions in support of Edwards‘ goals and aspirations
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences believes all patients deserve access to affordable and high-quality care. Unfortunately, patients in today‘s global healthcare system often face numerous barriers to treatment. These can include access to coverage, geographic barriers, inaccurate physician referrals and policy restrictions. Edwards‘ focus on improving access to care contributes to a more sustainable healthcare system and the long-term well-being of our company.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Patients, Communities

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies

Strengthen Our Communities


Healthcare Process Innovation

Definition
Monitoring, managing, and reducing negative health and safety impacts of Edwards‘ products and improving product quality
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences is powered by the unwavering belief that patient care can always be improved. It is our goal to make the patient experience better, reduce overall healthcare costs and continuously improve quality of care.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Patients, Customers

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies


Patient Experience & Voice

Definition
Providing products that continuously improve patient experience and empowering patients to support and aid other patients
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences is focused on providing therapies that save and enhance patient lives. While research shows that patients do better when they have support from others, we understand that too often, patients do not have a say in the administration of cardiovascular procedures. By listening to patients, we provide care that meets their individual needs.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Patients, Customers

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies

Attract and Engage Talented Employees


Patients

Edwards Lifesciences is dedicated to improving the lives of patients fighting cardiovascular disease.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.

Supply Chain Management

Definition
Monitoring and assessing product quality, safety, social and environmental performance of Edwards‘ suppliers
Why It‘s Material
To create industry-leading therapies for cardiovascular disease, we rely on our suppliers and know supply chain performance can directly impact the quality and innovation of Edwards‘ products.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Suppliers, Operations

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies


Product Safety & Quality

Definition
Monitoring, managing, and reducing negative health and safety impacts of Edwards‘ products, improving product quality
Why It‘s Material
High quality products are a core part of Edwards Lifesciences‘ commitment to be a trusted partner to our patients. We hold ourselves accountable for developing products that enable patients to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Patients, Customers

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work


Product Lifecycle, Design & Innovation

Definition
Innovating to improve quality, design and performance of products and reducing environmental impacts of Edwards‘ products throughout their lifecycle
Why It‘s Material
Innovation is at the core of Edwards Lifesciences. We believe that when it comes to cardiovascular disease, there is always more to be done. Our focus on innovation allows us to produce life-saving products and therapies that transform the lives of patients around the world.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Patients, Customers

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies

Strengthen Our Communities


Chemical & Materials Stewardship

Definition
Reducing environmental and human health impacts from Edwards‘ use of materials and harmful chemicals in products or operations, including the sourcing of conflict minerals
Why It‘s Material
As a part of our patient-focused strategy, Edwards Lifesciences is committed to the long-term health of patients and strives to ensure our products are free from harmful substances. We monitor and adhere to rapidly evolving hazardous material regulations governing the use of chemicals in medical devices.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Suppliers, Communities, Patients

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work


Products

Edwards Lifesciences is a leader in patient-focused innovation for structural heart disease and critical care technologies.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.

Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention

Definition
Developing strategies for attracting, developing and retaining employees
Why It‘s Material
We unite our employees around a common passion for improving patients‘ lives. We must execute our work with the utmost precision and care, knowing our therapies have the power to affect patients in a real and lasting way. As a growing company, our culture must attract and retain top talent that will continue to move us forward.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Employees

Our Aspirations

Attract and Engage Talented Employees


Workplace Health & Safety

Definition
Providing Edwards employees with health resources and safe working conditions
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences believes our mission to help patients begins with the well-being of our employees. Maintaining a strong and healthy workforce enables us to stay focused on our goals and dedicate our energies towards the development of life-saving therapies.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Employees

Our Aspirations

Attract and Engage Talented Employees


Diversity & Inclusion

Definition
Promoting diversity in Edwards‘ leadership, employee population and suppliers through fostering an inclusive culture
Why It‘s Material
Diversity is foundational to Edwards Lifesciences‘ work to innovate life-saving therapies. We encourage our employees to share new ideas, take risks and push the boundaries of traditional norms for thinking and creating. For this, diverse talent is crucial. We believe change leads to improvement, and envision a culture that actively values diversity and is inclusive of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Employees, Board of Directors

Our Aspirations

Attract and Engage Talented Employees


Volunteerism & Giving

Definition
Dedicating time and resources to communities where Edwards‘ employees live and work, and supporting community health and well-being
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences believes our work can inspire greater hope and possibilities for our patients, employees and communities. Volunteerism and giving is a strong part of our corporate culture. Many of our employees identify this commitment as a key reason why they are proud to work at Edwards.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Employees, Communities

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities


Workforce

Edwards Lifesciences‘ employees drive our work with passion for helping others.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.

Energy & Emissions

Definition
Reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions generated throughout Edwards‘ value chain, reducing the release of fine particulate matter into the air and toxic air emissions, improving energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences is committed to reducing our environmental footprint. Although we are a relatively low-energy manufacturer, we continually strive to decrease our consumption of energy and fossil fuels. We promote conservation practices that help build a future where all patients can live healthier and more productive lives.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Operations, Communities

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities


Waste

Definition
Reducing the amount of waste to landfill generated by Edwards, recycling and responsible waste disposal and managing discharge of toxic and hazardous waste
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences produces solid and hazardous waste through our product manufacturing process. As we continue to innovate new and transformational technologies, we work to minimize our waste footprint—building a foundation for more responsible manufacturing.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Operations, Communities

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities


Water

Definition
Reducing total water withdrawn through Edwards‘ operations and being responsible about impact on water sources
Why It‘s Material
Edwards is conscious of the need to monitor our consumption as climate change causes water availability to shift.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Operations, Communities

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities


Environmental Compliance

Definition
Acting in accordance with environmental laws and regulations
Why It‘s Material
Edwards Lifesciences must ensure our business practices meet regulatory standards in each of our global markets. For environmental responsibility, this means adhering to all environmental requirements including limiting impacts to air, land and water through our daily business operations.
Primary Stakeholders Impacted
Operations, Communities

Our Aspirations

Excel as a Trusted Partner and Global Leader Through the Quality of Our Work

Strengthen Our Communities


Environment

Edwards Lifesciences conducts business with care and respect for our environment.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.

Materiality Matrix

In 2016, our Sustainability Council completed our first comprehensive materiality assessment to identify the most important topics for achieving this commitment. We engaged 42 internal and 20 external stakeholders, and analyzed 30 sources to uncover the priorities highlighted in our matrix.
 
Click on a topic in the matrix to learn more.
Corporate Governance
Ethics & Compliance
Corruption & Bribery
Transparent Communications & Reporting
Access to Healthcare
Healthcare Process Innovation
Patient Experience
& Voice
Supply Chain Management
Product Safety & Quality
Product Lifecycle, Design & Innovation
Chemical & Materials Stewardship
Employee Recruitment,
Engagement
& Retention
Workplace Health & Safety
Diversity & Inclusion
Volunteerism & Giving
Energy & Emissions
Waste
Water
Environmental Compliance
SIGNIFICANCE TO EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES
IMPORTANCE TO STAKEHOLDERS


Materiality Assessment Process

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Edwards’ Sustainability Council worked with a third-party firm to identify our most material topics through a multi-step process.

Benchmarking

We researched competitors and peer companies to establish a baseline understanding of trends, best practices and material topics in our industry. In fall 2015, we conducted an executive education workshop to brief our leadership.

Value Chain Mapping

To ensure we manage impacts across all of our operations, we created a value chain map showing the process through which we develop products that meet patient needs. The map also illustrates our relationships with the stakeholder groups with which we interact in the course of our work.

Identification

We consulted a broad collection of stakeholder sources to identify an initial universe of environmental, social and governance topics.

Prioritization

We conducted in-person phone interviews with 42 internal and 20 external stakeholders to gather feedback on our most impactful environmental, social and governance topics. We asked stakeholders to select issues that present significant risk, leadership opportunities or long-term effects on our business. Additionally, we scored 30 stakeholder reports, websites and other sources to gain broader perspective on topics of interest.

Validation

In mid-2016, we hosted a Validation Workshop with our Sustainability Council to review the materiality results and key findings. We discussed all feedback in total, as well as next steps for Edwards’ management on the matters raised in the interviews.

Stakeholder Engagement

Through our value chain mapping exercise, Edwards identified the major stakeholder groups who impact or are impacted by our business decisions. Our Sustainability Council reviewed a broad list of potential representatives and then subsequently selected a sample that reflects our geographic footprint, customer and supplier base, primary investors and internal departments. Throughout 2016, we engaged each of these groups to discuss topics of interest. The interviews also provided information we have included in our report.

Stakeholder Group Type and Frequency of Engagement Top Five Topics of Interest

Executives

Formal interviews conducted by third party, workshops

  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention
  • Patient Experience & Voice
  • Healthcare Process Innovation

Employees

Survey of participants in the Edwards Leaders’ Forum and Edwards Lifesciences Leadership Program

  • Patient Experience & Voice
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention
  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Access to Healthcare

Investors

Formal interviews conducted by third party, correspondence regarding ratings surveys

  • Corporate Governance
  • Corruption & Bribery
  • Energy & Emissions
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Ethics & Compliance

Patients

Formal interviews conducted by third party

  • Patient Experience & Voice
  • Access to Healthcare
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Diversity & Inclusion

Board of Directors

Formal interviews conducted by third party

  • Corporate Governance
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention
  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality

Opinion Leaders (Industry Associations)

Formal interviews conducted by third party; reviewed relevant reports

  • Access to Healthcare
  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Healthcare Process Innovation
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention

GPOs

Formal interviews conducted by third party

  • Waste
  • Water
  • Energy & Emissions
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Healthcare Process Innovation

Wholesalers/Distributors

Formal interviews conducted by third party

  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Corruption & Bribery
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Waste

Regulatory & Certifying Bodies

Reviewed proxy materials (ISO standards, FDA documentation)

  • Water
  • Chemical & Materials Stewardship
  • Access to Healthcare
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Patient Experience & Voice

Customers and Physicians

Formal interviews conducted by third party; reviewed customer sustainability reports

  • Access to Healthcare
  • Energy & Emissions
  • Water
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Waste

Suppliers

Formal interviews conducted by third party; reviewed supplier sustainability reports

  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting
  • Product Lifecycle, Design & Innovation
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Chemical & Materials Stewardship

Community Organizations

Reviewed reports and public materials

  • Volunteerism & Giving
  • Access to Healthcare
  • Product Health, Safety & Quality
  • Corporate Governance
  • Transparent Communications & Reporting

We utilize several regular communication channels to provide sustainability performance data and hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders. This report satisfies requirements for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Core standards. We annually report our climate and water impacts to CDP and respond to several sustainability rating and ranking surveys. We publish periodic philanthropy reports on our corporate giving initiatives. In addition, we publish our Sustainability Metrics at a Glance, which offers a multi-page snapshot of our metrics most used by external stakeholders. This report covers all global Edwards subsidiaries.

DEFINITION