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Sustainability Report

Supply Chain Management

Management approach

New suppliers screening for human rights

New suppliers screening for labor practices


Edwards Lifesciences’ Supply Chain Management practices support our Aspiration to Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies.

Monitoring and assessing product quality, safety, social and environmental performance of Edwards’ suppliers.


Management Approach

To create industry-leading therapies for cardiovascular disease, we rely on our suppliers. We know supply chain performance can directly impact the quality and innovation of Edwards’ products. With just over 400 direct material suppliers, Edwards is highly selective when evaluating and adding new suppliers to our portfolio. These include suppliers of the following materials and services:

  • Extruded tubing and extrusions
  • Packaging materials
  • Electronic assemblies and cables
  • Chemicals
  • Contract manufacturing
  • Bovine pericardial tissue
  • Precision machining components
  • Guidewires
  • Injection molded components

Localizing Supply and Distribution

Edwards protects both the environment and our bottom line by sourcing materials close to our manufacturing sites. Where possible, we strategically align distribution facilities with the global markets we serve, reducing the costs and environmental impacts of transportation. Our supply base is primarily located in North America.

Supply Base by Region

  • North America
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America/Caribbean

Supplier Sustainability

Edwards requires all suppliers to employ ethical and responsible business practices. We adhere to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 by disclosing our actions to prevent human trafficking and slavery. Our Responsible Supply Chain Policy outlines our approach and expectations for suppliers, which include:

  • Fair labor practices
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Ethical practices
  • Protection of human rights
  • Socially responsible behavior
  • Legal compliance

Our future goal is to connect with our top 10 suppliers to provide additional training and patient interactions. Through this, we aim to provide our suppliers with enhanced awareness of quality issues and engagement with our mission to serve patients. We’ve also developed supplier metrics, which include quality levels and expectations that each of our preferred suppliers must meet. These include:

  • ISO Certification where applicable
  • Completion of comprehensive quality audit with no critical findings
  • Minimum lot acceptance rate
  • Minimum scar-free rate
  • Minimum performance on good delivery and service levels

Assessing and Monitoring Supply Chain Risk

Before partnering with suppliers, Edwards conducts a comprehensive risk evaluation. Certain suppliers require on-site assessment of facilities and quality control systems. Once approved, we periodically conduct supplier audits and performance reviews to promote continual adherence to our standards. For every new part established for use, the supplier completes a form through which they must disclose the material inputs to their products. Edwards evaluates potential risks due to location and country regulations. We prefer doing business in countries with higher ethical standards and protection for information technology and intellectual property. This reduces the chance of sustainability violations that could impact our stakeholders and business. Edwards also uses a risk monitoring tool that provides updates on our suppliers’ business developments, acquisitions and credit performance. Our team sets automatic alerts so important information is forwarded immediately to the right employee at Edwards.

Annual Performance

Edwards continually works to localize our supply base and distribution centers. Freight is the largest component of our distribution costs. We have reduced these costs by shifting freight from air to ocean, eliminating warehouses, consolidating shipments and increasing our direct shipments to regions. Over 90 percent of Edwards’ global freight is with our strategic partners, who have sustainability programs in place and monitor their impact.

Our Aspirations

Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies

Material Topics

Sustainability Targets
Connect with top 10 suppliers to provide additional training and patient interactions.
Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies
Highlight Story
INSPIRIS RESILIA Aortic Valve Received CE Mark in 2016
Built on our proven PERIMOUNT Magna Ease valve platform, a key innovation of the INSPIRIS valve is RESILIA tissue, a new class of resilient bovine pericardial tissue that has been in development for more than a decade and builds on Edwards’ 40 years of leadership in tissue technology.

RESILIA tissue utilizes Edwards’ integrity preservation technology, which preserves the tissue and provides improved anti-calcification properties and sustained hemodynamic performance.

Receiving CE Mark in 2016, the INSPIRIS RESILIA valve, also utilizes our proprietary VFit technology, which is designed for potential future valve-in-valve procedures, and is stored dry and ready to use.