Our corporate social responsibility is based on the Company´s strategy and values. Responsibility covers our products and services as well as our ways of creating value for the surrounding society and interest groups. Information security and reliability are important elements for Bittium´s business.
Values have been extremely important for Bittium since the beginning. Last year, we updated our values with our personnel in order to highlight their role as guiding principles. Bittium´s new values can be summarized into three keywords:
- Courage, and
In 2017, we defined three focus areas for the Company´s responsibility work: innovative and developing people; confidential customer relationships and secure products; corporate citizenship and responsible business practices.
Customers and Employees at the Core
Talented people are our most important resource. We want to offer them challenging and motivating tasks that correspond to their expertise. Innovation as a Company value means that we have a continuous passion for learning and development.
Personnel and customer satisfaction are important for us, and we monitor these areas through annual surveys. We were happy to note that, in 2017, the results of both the employee survey and the customer satisfaction survey were excellent, both had slight improvement from the previous year. Responses to the employee survey revealed a strong commitment to the Company and a firm belief in its success. An important detail in the customer satisfaction survey was the upward trend of our Net Promoter Score.
Financially, the year 2017 was a challenging year for us, which was mainly due to losing a major service customer. The freeing of talented resources from the large-scale customer project in question enabled the growth of our R&D investments in 2018. At the end of 2017, the number of customer service projects had started to increase again, and we are also recruiting new experts.
It is important for us that our customers can depend on the information security and reliability of our products and services. This is how we promote responsibility in our customers´ operations. The responsibility of our products and services is guided, for example, by international standards, quality and environmental certificates, supplier and partner election, material analyses during product development and eventual material choices.
Information security is at the heart of our strategy. Last year, we received a crypto approval from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) at the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) for our Bittium Tough Mobile and the Bittium Secure Suite back-end system that supports it. This was the first official crypto approval for a smartphone solution in the world for the Confidential level.
We follow the requirements set out in over 400 standards regarding our operations. Our products and services are also governed by a large number of national and international laws and regulations. The ISO 13485:2016 approval for our medical products is a good indication of the responsibility of our product development. It covers the design, development and production of medical devices as well as the related services throughout the product´s lifecycle. In 2017, we became one of the first Finnish companies to receive an approval for our defense and security business under the AQAP2110 (version D) quality system; the certification covers the product design, development, manufacture and related maintenance services.
Our New Headquarters Was Designed with the Environment and Our Experts in Mind
Bittium moved to its new headquarters in Oulu, Finland, last year. The construction project was completed in October 2017 after almost two years. The starting point in the design of the new premises was to centralize different functions in order to improve efficiency and maximize savings. Our new, pleasant facilities were built using the efficient multipurpose office model, which improves well-being at work. We chose materials and energy solutions that made the building qualify for the LEED Gold energy efficiency criterias. For example, eight percent of our annual energy is generated by solar panels that are mounted on the roof of the head office. The new premises also satisfy high information security requirements, enabling us to manage classified projects in our premises. I believe that all our employees can be proud of our new headquarters.
This sustainability report is the first of its kind for Bittium. Sustainability is an investment in Bittium´s future. We will report on our sustainability performance annually from now on, developing our metrics and including the non-financial effects of our operations in the report. We decided to base our sustainability report on the GRI 4 framework, and the areas covered by this report are product liability, social responsibility, environmental responsibility and financial responsibility.