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Supporting our communities and employees in a challenging year

The year 2020 was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, the effects of which significantly disrupted our lives and global industries. Sulzer was quick to react, putting measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees, while working hard to ensure that essential infrastructure like medical, power and water facilities remained operational during this critical time. Demonstrating the spirit of “together we win”, our employees came together to support local communities around the world.

Maintaining critical infrastructure during lockdowns

As the first wave of the pandemic struck in early 2020, our first priority was to take quick and decisive action to ensure the safety of our employees. In addition, we also had a responsibility to help ensure that essential services could keep running. With stringent health and safety measures in place, our committed employees worked through the lockdowns to maintain vital services in power, water, hospitals, shipping, refineries and essential manufacturing around the world. These activities included emergency repairs for two US navy hospital ships that were hosting thousands of coronavirus patients in the US, as well as offering pro bono services for critical equipment in hospitals – ensuring that operations could continue without risk of breakdowns.

Sulzer united against COVID-19

Demonstrating our rich heritage of social responsibility and engagement, our employees rapidly mobilized to support local communities as they struggled to deal with the effects of the pandemic. With a mix of company-organized initiatives and individual efforts from employees, we donated hundreds of thousands of PPE items to those most in need, including hospitals and medical staff, care homes for the elderly and children’s homes. Coordinated efforts throughout the company enabled us to donate money, food and even computers to schools that have helped support our local communities.

We are proud of the role that Sulzer played, and continues to play, in supporting people and infrastructure in this critical time. In small ways, these efforts contribute to the ongoing recovery of our communities.

From good to great with our employee-centric workplace

While much of the year has been focused on the pandemic, we have not lost sight of our annual employee survey, the Voice of Sulzer. In 2020 we continued to implement concrete actions based on the feedback that we received from employees in our last survey – when we had a resounding 85% participation rate. We have made significant advances in the areas identified by employees, and we look forward to learning more when we conduct the next edition of our survey – anticipated in the first half of 2021.

Learning and development

Sulzer invests in on-the-job learning and in targeted development programs aimed at increasing management effectiveness, improving customer partnership, building awareness of digital technologies and more.

After its successful launch in 2019, we continued to structure offers under the Sulzer Learning Pathways – a global learning and development framework to increase visibility of and access to different learning opportunities. In 2020, nearly 500 people participated in virtual and in-person programs offered as part of this framework. 2020 also saw the launch of the Sulzer Finance Academy, an internal program aimed at helping finance employees to continue to develop their skills and knowledge through targeted training with in-house experts.

Supporting gender diversity in our industry

Sulzer has a long and continuing tradition of providing internship, apprenticeship and university support programs for students in many countries. In 2019, we launched the Sulzer Scholarship for Women in Science and Engineering, aimed at increasing the participation of women in the science and engineering professions. Reflecting Sulzer’s presence and the unique requirements of the countries, we have awarded 15 scholarships to deserving candidates in South Africa, Indonesia, China and India. We maintain close contact with all the beneficiaries and continue to support them along their journey.

A new age of transparency and communication

As part of our efforts to respond to feedback from the Voice of Sulzer survey and to encourage open and transparent communication within our company, we launched our new global intranet platform in the first quarter of 2020. This new platform provides an easy-to-use, modern interface for our employees to collaborate with greater efficiency, easily access tools and information, and stay up to date with the latest news from around the company. With its seamless integration of Microsoft applications Yammer and Teams, the new intranet is a turning point in enabling dynamic communication and collaboration across the diverse divisions and functions within Sulzer.

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Please find further sustainability data at www.sulzer.com/sustainability.