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Risk management

At Sulzer, risks are assessed regularly as part of the company’s integrated risk management process. The results are discussed with the management and the Audit Committee.


Risk exposure

Main loss controls

External and markets



Market assessment

Market developments that are assessed ­inappropriately could lead to missed business opportunities or losses.

— Continuous monitoring and assessment of market developments

— Systematic midrange planning based on market developments and expectations

Geopolitical shocks

A geopolitical shock event could have an impact on operations and travel. Also, it ­could imply currency risks and default risks of countries and banks.

— Monitoring of exposure in critical countries

— Monitoring of debt situation of countries and banks

— Continuous monitoring of raw material prices and inflation indicators

— Sulzer’s global presence mitigates the effect of geopolitical shocks





Failure in R&D and innovation activities could negatively impact the ability to operate and to grow the business. Insufficient investments in innovation to maintain technology leadership and develop innovative products.

— A phased process, technical risk manageability assessments and key performance indicators to ensure quality of the development

— Product Development Council with strong focus on strategic plans and digitalization

— Prototypes and own test beds to test and validate products before market release

— Core Technology Council for research of basic technology

— Focus on innovation with strategic customers

— Innovation and ideation projects

— Implementation of an expert development program for key critical resources




Attraction and retention

Failure to attract, retain and develop people could lead to a lack of critical skills and knowledge, which hinders both daily operations and growth potential.

— Ensuring that Sulzer’s people and performance efforts are anchored to the company’s values and behaviors

— Ongoing feedback through employee opinion survey “Voice of Sulzer”

— Robust internal communications strategy

— Ongoing engagement in workshops and collaborative activities

— Visibility and access to creating development experiences and opportunities

— Consistent approach to salary grading and benchmarking

Health and safety

An unsafe working environment could lead to harm to people, reputational damage, fines as well as liability claims and could have a serious economic impact.

— Health and safety directives, guidelines, programs (e.g. Safe Behavior Program) and training

— OHSAS 18001 certifications

— Monthly health and safety controlling and regular audits

— Global network of health and safety officers


Environmental damage could lead to harm to people and nature, reputational damage, fines as well as liability claims and could have a serious economic impact.

— Mitigation in comprehensive environmental due diligence (EDD) projects for acquisitions and divestitures

— Elimination of environmentally damaging substances through Prohibited Substances List


Non-compliant or unethical behavior could lead to reputational damage, fines and liability claims.

— Active fostering of high ethical standards by tone from the top and middle management

— Continuous monitoring and assessment of potential exposures

— Sulzer Code of Business Conduct and a number of supporting regulations (e.g. anticorruption, antitrust, trade control)

— Third-party due diligence process

— Global network of compliance and trade compliance officers

— Compliance training (incl. e-learning) and audits

— Speak-up culture, compliance hotline and sanction checks

Quality of products and services

Failure of high-quality products and services could lead to repeated work, reputational damage or liability claims.

— Quality management and assurance systems tailored to specific businesses

— Third-party accreditation

— Competence development programs and training of employees

— Test centers

Business interruptions

Business interruption, such as a fire, could cause damage to people, property and equipment. It could have a negative effect on the ability to operate at the affected site. Security incidents could impact the IT infrastructure or systems, which could result in a business interruption.

— Crisis and emergency management systems (at global and local level)

— Risk management policy and guidelines

— Global manufacturing footprint and global procurement

— IT security standards, measures and incident response team

— Disaster recovery plans in IT




Financial markets

The unpredictability of financial markets may have a negative effect on Sulzer’s financial performance and its ability to raise or access capital.

— Group financial policy

— Foreign exchange risk policy

— Trading loss limits for financial instruments


Credit risks arising from financial institutions and from customers could have a negative effect on Sulzer’s financial performance and ability to operate.

— For financial institutions, only parties with a strong credit quality are accepted (third-party rated)

— Individual risk assessment of customers with large order volumes

— Continuous monitoring of country risks


Failure in liquidity risk management may have a negative effect on Sulzer’s financial performance and its ability to operate.

— Continuous liquidity monitoring

— Management of liquidity reserves at group level

— Cash flow program to optimize liquidity and cash flow management

— Efficient use of available cash through cash pooling