Sustainability report

Our approach

Welcome to Edwards Lifesciences’ 2019 Sustainability Report. While acting as a trusted partner in a responsible manner has always been a key tenant at Edwards, we began formally reporting our sustainability progress in 2014. In 2019, we met many of our sustainability goals, conducted a new materiality assessment, created new goals and built on our reporting. These actions reflect the integration of sustainability into our business’ core strategy and our belief that sustainability is essential to long-term growth. This report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Core option). This report covers all global Edwards subsidiaries.

Our Credo and Aspirations help us define our annual strategic priorities and objectives and guide company culture. The Edwards Aspirations represent the relationships and stakeholders that are important to the success of our company as we serve patients fighting cardiovascular disease around the world, and they guide our sustainability efforts. Each Aspiration describes a theme that relates to our business environment and our stakeholders. The table below shows alignment between our Aspirations and our sustainability efforts.

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution establishing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the intent of creating a more sustainable world by 2030. As part of the resolution, the UN identified a formal series of 230 targets and indicators for all nation-states in order to demonstrate progress toward the goals. In 2019, we re-evaluated the connection between our sustainability targets and the SDGs. We assessed the targets and indicators for each of the 17 goals and refocused our efforts on the three SDGs where we believe we can have the most impact:

  • Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth - Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Through our business activities and philanthropic efforts, we believe Edwards can contribute meaningfully to these three goals, as illustrated in the visual depiction below.

Our aspirations

met met    in progress in progress    not met not met
icon aspirations transform Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies Edwards is driven by a passion to help patients, partnering with clinicians to develop innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring. We put patients first, working to produce better technologies that enable better outcomes for patients.
Current sustainability targets
Remove barriers along the patient journey to continuously increase treatment rates for all indicated severe aortic stenosis patients
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Ensure that our therapies are addressing the needs of patients through an increasingly collaborative patient engagement process
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Empower and activate patients by meaningfully increasing awareness of structural heart disease globally by 2024
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Reduce inequality within and among countries
icon aspirations excel Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity Edwards conducts business ethically and with integrity, providing the highest level of care and respect for our partners. We are committed to the quality and safety of our products, driving innovation and promoting resource efficiency.
Current sustainability targets
Drive continuous improvement efforts to ensure no patient safety-related class I product removals
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
100% of managers to complete learning module on ethical decision making by 2020
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
No significant disruption of product availability
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Roll-out Sustainability Program and Review process to strategic suppliers by 2020 and key suppliers by 2021, assessing current plans and improving on any identified opportunities
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Achieve a 35% reduction in recordable injury rates by 2025
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Implement an Occupational Health & Safety Management System consistent with ISO 14001 and 45001 standards at all of our manufacturing locations by 2023
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
New sustainability targets
By 2021, aim to achieve information security and privacy certifications for our digital and connected medical device platforms:
  • UL2900 certification for our new medical devices release, such as next generation HemoSphere monitoring platform
  • HITRUST certification for our upcoming Cloud portal that will process regulated patient health information of our customers
Industry, Inovation and Infrastructure
icon aspirations attract Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive Fulfilling our mission to help patients requires a strong, healthy and talented workforce. Edwards recruits top candidates, offers employee wellness and engagement programs and fosters a diverse and inclusive culture to help employees deliver their best.
Current sustainability targets
By 2022, all global employees to have completed unconscious bias training, and new hires within six months of employment
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Year-over-year positive trending globally of women in leadership positions
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Year-over-year positive trending in U.S. ethnically diverse talent in leadership positions
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Annual top talent retention resulting in voluntary turnover less than high performing benchmarks
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Highly engaged workforce that exceeds industry, region and high performing benchmarks for employee engagement
Industry, Inovation and Infrastructure
By 2020, expand Edwards employee engagement with patients:
  • through interactive opportunities with at least one patient in global offices with >50 employees, increasing year-over-year
  • through exposure to patient stories reaching all employees annually
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
icon aspirations strengthen Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities Edwards is committed to strengthening the health of our global communities. With patients as our top priority, we work to increase access to our innovative therapies, improve efficiency of healthcare processes, improve awareness of and treatment for life-threatening diseases and provide opportunities for our employees to give back.
Current sustainability targets
Drive Edwards aspiration of 100% global employee participation in charitable activity with participation goals of 100% for the SLT and an increase in global participation as measured by the Employee Engagement survey
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Packaging lifecycle assessment and improvement to reduce 15% packaging waste for targeted high volume commercial products by 2020
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
By end of 2021, reduce air miles traveled by 3 million vs 2018 baseline
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Every Heartbeat Matters will improve the lives of 2.5 million more underserved structural heart and critical care patients by the end of 2025
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Reduce inequality within and among countries
New sustainability targets
Electronic instructions-for-use roll-out to all business regions by end of 2022
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Supplier Code of Conduct policy development and implementation by 2021
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
By 2025, reduce our environmental footprint according to Edwards’ EHS plan
  • 10% reduction of total energy usage
  • 35% renewable energy
  • 10% reduction in water intake
  • 10% reduction in total waste generation (solid and hazardous)
  • 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
icon aspirations create Delivering exceptional shareholder value Through all of our sustainability initiatives and delivering on our focused company strategy, Edwards positions our company for long-term profitability that will benefit our stakeholders and also our bottom line.
Current sustainability targets
Integrate sustainability factors in the strategic planning process annually
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Include sustainability targets in the CEO’s performance goals annually
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

To guide our strategy and disclosure, in 2015, we established a Sustainability Council comprising senior leaders from across the organization. Each Council member has a sponsor from the Edwards Leadership Team who oversees the implementation of the sustainability strategy within their part of the company. In 2016, we conducted our first materiality assessment, which allowed us to prioritize our management of environmental, social and governance topics. We then set sustainability targets for each of our most material topics, which align naturally with our Aspirations. Our team continues to assess and report progress on our targets annually.

In 2018, we consolidated several of our material topics to group those with similar management approaches. For instance, Employee Recruitment, Engagement and Retention; Workplace Health and Safety; and Diversity and Inclusion are now grouped into Talent Management.

In 2019, we conducted a refresh materiality assessment using the Six Capitals of Integrated Reporting in prioritization of the identified material topics. More information on our materiality refresh can be found on our Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement section. This report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Core option). We also evaluated the SASB Standards for Medical Equipment and Supplies and have incorporated certain metrics in this year’s report. Please see our Content Index for more details. We annually report our climate and water impacts to CDP and respond to several sustainability rating and ranking surveys, including DJSI. 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 the metrics most used by external stakeholders. This report covers all global Edwards subsidiaries.

We use Governance Maps to outline our accountability process for each material topic in one overarching, interactive graphic. In our 2018 report, we added Supply Chain Management and Talent Management to the map, which now covers seven material topics:

  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Product Safety & Quality
  • Edwards Lifesciences Foundation
  • Corporate Governance
  • Environment, Health & Safety
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Talent Management