Sustainability report

Materiality & stakeholder engagement

Edwards’ five Aspirations guide us in our work to positively impact patient lives. In 2015, we determined the topics covered in our report through a comprehensive materiality assessment that engaged more than 60 internal and external stakeholders. In 2019, our Sustainability Council completed our second materiality assessment to identify the most important topics for achieving our sustainability commitments. We leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) and big data software and engaged 13 stakeholder groups through nearly 50 interviews. We also conducted surveys for employees and patients and received nearly 1,000 responses. Our analysis combined both AI and human expertise to provide a comprehensive materiality assessment, providing confidence in the results and insight into the areas of importance and emphasis. Our materiality process:

Materiality process

Note: To learn more about our original materiality process, please see our 2017 Sustainability Report.

We had several objectives for the assessment refresh:

  • Update our value chain to reflect the evolution of the business and strategy
  • Further integration of sustainability factors into the strategic planning process to ensure our sustainability goals continue to closely align with our business strategy
  • Collect evidence of Edwards’ value creation through the lens of sustainability
  • Determine sustainability strategy, key indicators and reporting practices

Learn more about the results of our assessment, and our business, by clicking through the tabs and topics in the matrix below.

Materiality matrix

Governance
Patients
Products
Workforce
Environment
Click the points below for details.

Governance

Patients

Products

Workforce

Environment

Governance
Anti-competitive behavior
Definition
Developing appropriate practices and policies to prevent activities such as price fixing, group boycotts and exclusionary contracts
 
Stakeholder groups
Customers, Investors
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Governance
Corporate governance
Definition
Establishing a system of rules, practices and policies by which a company is directed and controlled; promoting ethical, transparent and sustainable corporate governance practices for the benefit of all stakeholders, including proxy access, board diversity, fair executive compensation and accountability; influencing and giving voice to the corporate culture
 
Why this topic is material
Our Board of Directors and leadership drive 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 the company.
 
Stakeholder groups
Investors
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Delivering exceptional shareholder value
Governance
Customer privacy
Definition
Ensuring data privacy for our customers and patients
 
Stakeholder groups
Customers, Patients
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Governance
Cybersecurity
Definition
Implementing policies and procedures to protect customer and employee information as well as intellectual property
 
Why this topic is material
As information storage and sharing continues shifting to digital platforms it is increasingly important for Edwards Lifesciences to implement robust cybersecurity programs. Implementing, maintaining and improving cybersecurity practices will help protect intellectual property, customer data, employee information and company reputation.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Governance
Digitalization
Definition
Investing in the tools and knowledge necessary to participate in the digital age and improve our business to best serve the needs of both physicians and patients
 
Why this topic is material
The world is going through a substantial transition as the creation and storage of documentation, records and files shift from print to digital. This shift allows for more efficient organization, recall and information sharing, particularly in the healthcare industry. To keep up with this change and best serve patients and physicians, Edwards needs to continue investing in digitizing our systems and processes.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers, Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Governance
Ethics & compliance
Definition
Driving a culture of integrity that promotes ethical behavior at Edwards through training, policies and compliance with our code of conduct, as well as relevant laws and regulations; preventing corruption and bribery, by employees or third-party vendors
 
Why this topic is material
At Edwards Lifesciences, we build our success from a foundation of integrity and have long been dedicated to doing the right thing. Edwards has demonstrated leadership in ethical behavior and compliant business practices, and stakeholders stress the importance of maintaining that culture, reputation and legacy. In our work to develop life-saving therapies, our leadership and employees know every decision matters, no matter how small.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Delivering exceptional shareholder value
Governance
Geopolitical events
Definition
Monitoring impacts on business from international political relations and decisions
 
Why this topic is material
As a global business with a diverse workforce it is important that Edwards understand the geopolitical landscape and current events and how they might impact our flow of goods and employee travel.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Delivering exceptional shareholder value
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Patients
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; and working to improve the efficiency, safety and effectiveness of healthcare processes
 
Why this topic is 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 such as access to coverage, geographic barriers, inaccurate physician referrals and policy restrictions. Our focus on improving access to care contributes to a more sustainable healthcare system and the long-term well-being of our company.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Patients
Consumer rights
Definition
Recognizing and respecting the rights of patients and nimbly responding to their needs and preferences
 
Stakeholder groups
Customers, Patients
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Patients
Local communities
Definition
Proactively engaging with communities and supporting health initiatives in the communities that Edwards serves, monitoring Edwards’ impact on local communities
 
Why this topic is material
Edwards Lifesciences believes our work can inspire greater hope and possibilities for our patients, employees and communities. Actively engaging in and giving back to our communities is a strong part of our corporate culture and many employees enthusiastically participate in community engagement events. Many employees cite our community involvement efforts as a reason they are proud to work for Edwards.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Patients
Patient experience & voice
Definition
Continuously improving the patient experience through products developed considering patient feedback while empowering patients to support and aid each other
 
Why this topic is material
Edwards Lifesciences provides 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 can provide develop products that meets their individual needs.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Patients
Public policy
Definition
The enactment of public policies that may affect or be affected by the Edwards' activities and decisions; participating in public policy development and providing contributions towards Edwards’ political interests
 
Why this topic is material
As a manufacturer and provider of medical devices, Edwards Lifesciences may be significantly impacted by public policy decisions related to bringing new products to market and opening access to treatment through insurance coverage. To achieve our mission of improving the lives of patients, it is prudent for Edwards to participate in relevant public policy discussions.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Products
Animal welfare
Definition
Assessing and influencing Edwards’ suppliers’ practices for protecting animal welfare
 
Why this topic is material
Animal tissue is one important input of Edwards’ products and we prioritize animal welfare to ensure dignity for the animal from which the tissue comes as well as the quality of that material. Many patients receiving Edwards’ devices are interested in knowing about where the product came from, including the materials used to make it.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Products
Customer satisfaction
Definition
Monitoring customer (including physician and patient) satisfaction and incorporating customer input
 
Why this topic is material
Central to Edwards Lifesciences’ business is our ability to develop products that meet the needs of physicians and improve the lives of patients. Measuring and tracking customer satisfaction is an important contributor to our product innovation, ability to sell our products and reputation as a trusted partner.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Products
Human rights
Definition
Respecting and protecting the human rights of our employees and those of the people throughout our value chain
 
Stakeholder groups
Suppliers, Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Products
IP infringement
Definition
Implementing safeguards to protect Edwards’ ideas, innovations, and processes
 
Why this topic is material
Edwards Lifesciences ability to innovate unique and high-quality products set us apart from our competition, supports our reputation as a trusted partner and allows us to improve the patient experience. For these reasons, it is integral to the success of our business that we protect Edwards’ intellectual property.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Delivering exceptional shareholder value
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Products
Marketing & labeling
Definition
Labeling products in a responsible, transparent and honest manner and marketing in an ethical manner
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Products
Procurement practices
Definition
Monitoring and assessing product quality, safety, social, and environmental performance of Edwards’ suppliers
 
Why this topic is material
We rely on our suppliers and the quality of their products to create our industry-leading therapies for cardiovascular disease. Supply chain performance can directly impact the quality and innovation of Edwards’ products.
 
Stakeholder groups
Suppliers, Operations
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Products
Product design & innovation
Definition
Designing products to better meet the needs of patients; investing in research and development; employing innovative methods and solutions to improve quality, design, and performance of products
 
Why this topic is material
At Edwards, we constantly innovate to better meet the needs of patients with cardiovascular disease. Our focus on innovation allows us to develop life-saving products and therapies that transform the lives of patients around the world.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Products
Product safety & quality
Definition
Monitoring, managing and reducing negative health and safety impacts of our products; maintaining product quality and ensuring Edwards' products are free from any defects
 
Why this topic is material
Building high quality products is foundational to our business, culture, reputation and our role as a trusted partner. We aim to develop products that enable patients to enjoy long, healthy and happy lives.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Customers
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Workforce
Diversity & inclusion
Definition
Promoting diversity in Edwards’ leadership, employee population, and suppliers by fostering an inclusive culture; evaluating and providing fair pay and equal opportunity for all employees regardless of background
 
Why this topic is material
Diversity is an important contributor to Edwards Lifesciences’ work to innovate life-saving therapies. We encourage our employees to share new ideas, take risks and push boundaries. To accomplish this, diverse talent is critical. We aim to continue to develop a culture which actively values diversity and is inclusive of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees, Board of Directors
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Workforce
Employee compensation & benefits
Definition
Offering competitive compensation and benefits to our employees, and consistently reviewing, benchmarking and updating compensation regularly; aligning incentives to our values and business drivers
 
Why this topic is material
To ensure Edwards Lifesciences is able to attract and retain the top talent needed to develop and manufacture the highest quality products, it is important that the company provide competitive compensation and benefits.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Workforce
Employee recruitment, engagement & retention
Definition
Developing strategies for attracting, developing, and retaining employees; providing training opportunities for employees; and attracting new talent to enable Edwards’ strategic growth
 
Why this topic is material
Edwards Lifesciences’ employees unite around a 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 our company grows, maintaining our culture and business depends on our ability to attract, engage, and retain top talent.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Workforce
Freedom of association
Definition
Managing impacts of Edwards’ labor practices, including impacts on employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Workforce
Volunteerism & giving
Definition
Dedicating time, talent and resources to communities where Edwards’ employees live and work, and supporting community health and well-being
 
Why this topic is 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, and many employees identify this commitment as a key reason why they are proud to work at Edwards.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Workforce
Workplace health & safety
Definition
Providing Edwards employees with safety education, health resources, and safe working conditions as well as promoting employee well-being
 
Why this topic is material
Our mission to help patients begins with ensuring the well-being of our employees. Maintaining a strong and healthy workforce enables us to achieve our goals and dedicate energy toward the development of life-saving therapies.
 
Stakeholder groups
Employees
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive
Environment
Climate risk
Definition
Evaluating risks posed by climate change and potential impacts on Edwards’ facilities and operations
 
Why this topic is material
A changing climate brings a range of potential risks and opportunities to Edwards Lifesciences. We have facilities around the world which face different potential climate-related risks such as hurricanes, droughts and wildfires that could possibly impact our ability to manufacture and transport our products.
 
Stakeholder groups
All Stakeholders
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Delivering exceptional shareholder value
Environment
Energy & emissions
Definition
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated throughout our value chain, including fine particulate matter released into the air and toxic air emissions as well as decreasing energy usage, improving energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy
 
Why this topic is 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 contribute to a future where all patients can live healthier and more productive lives. Alternatively, the increasing availability of more energy efficient technology and/or renewable energy supplies opens the opportunity for Edwards to save money and resources.
 
Stakeholder groups
Operations, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Environment
Environmental compliance
Definition
Acting in accordance with environmental laws and regulations
 
Stakeholder groups
Operations, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Environment
Product lifecycle
Definition
Reducing environmental impacts of Edwards’ products throughout their lifecycle and designing packaging and products to reduce environmental impacts; reducing use of harmful materials and chemicals in Edwards’ products or operations
 
Why this topic is material
Edwards Lifesciences aims to reduce our environmental footprint throughout our value chain while also improving the lives of the patients we serve. To do this, we must consider the safety and environmental impact of the material product inputs as well as end-of-life solutions.
 
Stakeholder groups
Patients, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Environment
Waste
Definition
Reducing the amount of waste to landfill generated by Edwards, through initiatives including recycling and responsible waste disposal
 
Why this topic is 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, contributing to our efforts to manufacture responsibly.
 
Stakeholder groups
Operations, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Environment
Water
Definition
Increasing water use efficiency and reducing total water withdrawn through Edwards’ operations and responsibly managing Edwards’ impact on water sources
 
Why this topic is material
Even though Edwards is a relatively low water use manufacturer we recognize the importance to use this shared resource efficiently, especially as climate change may cause shifts in water availability.
 
Stakeholder groups
Operations, Communities
 
Alignment to Edwards Aspiration
Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities
Anti-competitive behavior
Corporate governance
Customer privacy
Cybersecurity
Digitalization
Ethics & compliance
Geopolitical events
Access to healthcare
Consumer rights
Local communities
Patient experience & voice
Public policy
Animal welfare
Customer satisfaction
Human rights
IP infringement
Marketing & labeling
Procurement practices
Product design & innovation
Product safety & quality
Diversity & inclusion
Employee compensation & benefits
Employee recruitment, engagement & retention
Freedom of association
Volunteerism & giving
Workplace health & safety
Climate risk
Energy & emissions
Environmental compliance
Product lifecycle
Waste
Water
Significance to Edwards Lifesciences
Significance to External Stakeholders
Materiality matrix

 

Value Chain

Edwards Lifesciences’ Credo reinforces our dedication to providing innovative solutions for people fighting cardiovascular disease. We believe that the management of our material topics supports this mission through our aspiration to Create Exceptional Shareholder Value. For each topic, Edwards also considers where impacts directly occur throughout our manufacturing processes, geographic footprint and stakeholder relationships. The map demonstrating our understanding of our impacts across our value chain can be found on pages 18 and 19 in our 2017 Sustainability Report.

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