Quality Assurance



SGS Headquarters

1 Place des Alpes

P.O. Box 2152

1211 Geneva 1




  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) – SGS named Industry Leader

  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) A List





Paula Ordoñez

Daniel Rüfenacht


  • RobecoSAM Sustainability Gold Class Award 2020
  • Platinum Rating from Ecovadis 2020





SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

SGS’ core services can be divided into four categories:

Inspection: Comprehensive range of world-leading inspection and verification services, such as checking the condition and weight of traded goods at transshipment, help customers to control quantity and quality, and meet all relevant regulatory requirements across different regions and markets

Testing: Global network of testing facilities, staffed by knowledgeable and experienced personnel, enable to reduce risks, shorten time to market and test the quality, safety and performance of products against relevant health, safety and regulatory standards

Certification: Enable to demonstrate that products, processes, systems or services are compliant with either national or international standards and regulations or customer defined standards, through certification

Verification: Ensure that products and services comply with global standards and local regulations. Combining global coverage with local knowledge, unrivalled experience and expertise in virtually every industry, SGS covers the entire supply chain from raw materials to final consumption.

SGS is active in virtually all sectors of the economy. They provide a wide range of inspection, verification, testing and certification services across all stages of the value chain.

  • Oil and Gas – Innovative solutions that add up along the value chain. 
  • Mining – Delivering expert services to improve speed to market, manage risks and maximize returns. 
  • Energy – Powering processes in renewables and conventional energy. 
  • Chemical – Innovation, optimization and efficiency in everything from feedstocks to finished products. 
  • Agriculture and Food – Innovative safety, quality and sustainability solutions for supply chains. 
  • Industrial Manufacturing – Making manufacturing more productive and profitable.
  • Construction – Ensuring safety and performance in the environment where we work and live. Safe, efficient and trusted processes are essential when constructing buildings or infrastructure. 
  • Consumer Goods and Retail – Generating trust throughout the supply chain. Our services enable manufacturers, exporters, importers and retailers to gain a competitive edge. 
  • Transportation – Driving a safer, cleaner and more efficient industry. 
  • Life Sciences – Safeguarding the quality and efficacy of medicines. 
  • Public Sector – Facilitating trade and sustainable development, protecting society against fraud and economic crime.

Company Sustainable Activity

SGS Sustainability Strategy is built on four pillars: Professional Excellence, People, Environment and Community. Each one is supported by Group-wide policies, global programs and local initiatives. This structure guides the Ambitions 2020 with progress measured against key performance indicators and reported through their Sustainability Management System.

Professional Excellence – “Trust lies at the heart of the value we deliver to our customers and to society”. SGS responsibility is to maintain the highest levels of operational excellence, professional integrity and best-in-class quality to strengthen their position as a global market leader and help them evolve as market conditions change.

People – “We empower our employees to succeed in a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace that treats everyone fairly and with respect”. SGS also seeks to employ and develop local talent and offer their employees flexibility, mobility and opportunity within the SGS Group.

Environment – “We are committed to achieving sustainable growth while managing our impact on the environment”. SGS follows a carbon neutrality strategy and seeks to use resources efficiently and work to deliver sustainable value for society. They also recognize their role in supporting their customers to improve their own environmental performance.

Community – “We want to create a positive, measurable and lasting impact on the local communities in which we operate”. SGS welcomes local talent and engenders a company culture of giving back through projects that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and focus on education, empowerment and environmental sustainability.


  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 45001 (OSHAS 18001)

148 sites achieved or maintained one or both of these certifications as of 2019.

Sustainable Development Goals

How company covers SDGs

The Sustainability Ambitions 2020 of SGS are closely linked to the SDGs. 

  • Professional Excellence (SDG 1, SDG 5, SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 10, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 17):

Programs – Value to Society Measurement, Sustainability Training, Human Rights Protection, Human Rights Awareness, Sustainable Procurement Strategy, Sustainability Risk Management.

  • People (SDG 1, SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 8, SDG 10):

Programs – Sustainability Training, Employee Satisfaction: Catalyst, Women in Leadership, Add Value with Lëss Initiative.

  • Environment (SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15, SDG 17):

Programs – Carbon Neutrality, Add Value with Lëss Initiative, Energy Efficiency Program, Sustainability Training, Sustainability Risk Management, Sustainable Mobility Strategy.

  • Community (SDG 1, SDG 4, SDG 10, SDG 13, SDG 15, SDG 17):

Programs – Sustainability Training, Employee Volunteering, Company Giving, Social Projects Through Sgs Academy, Sustainability Risk Management.


Sustainability Ambitions 2020 – 2019 Performance:




2020 Target


Maintain a natural turnover rate of no more than 15%




30% of leadership positions will be held by women




Reduce LTIR by 50%




Reduce TRIR by 50%




Reduce annual CO2 emissions (per FTE) by 20%1 (CO2e tonnes/FTE)




Reduce annual CO2 emissions (by revenue) by 20%1 (CO2e tonnes/M CHF)




Increase investment in communities around the world by 30%1 , with a focus on volunteering (thousands CHF)



Professional Excellence

Deliver measurable sustainable value to society (CHF mio)




Link management incentive plan to sustainability

Not achieved yet



To protect our planet for future generations, SGS follows a carbon neutrality strategy, uses resources efficiently and reduces waste. This helps them deliver sustainable value to society.

SGS employs a three-pronged approach to develop its carbon neutrality strategy:

  • Reducing Energy Consumption – Reducing energy consumption at source through processes such as Energy Efficiency in Buildings program and sustainable transport.
  • Using Renewable Energy – Generating renewable energy on site or purchase renewable energy whenever possible.
  • Offsetting Residual Emissions – Any residual carbon emissions that still occur are compensated for through their offsetting strategy.

SGS has the ambition to reduce their annual CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. 

Initiatives and Achievements:

Energy Efficiency in Buildings Program – The EEB program evaluates and reduces the energy consumption in new and existing buildings across the Group. It achieves this through energy-efficiency action plans for the company’s affiliates. These action plans provide specific guidance on steps that can be taken to become more energy efficient.


  • +670 Buildings in EEB program covering over 80% of consumption.
  • 77% of energy consumption from SGS buildings is covered by the EEB program.
  • +400 Energy conservation measures identified.
  • 16 Countries have rolled out our Add Value with Lëss initiative.
  • 24400 Employees involved in our Add Value with Lëss initiative.
  • 94% Total electricity consumption from renewables.

Sustainable Transport –  The Vehicle Emissions Policy, introduced in 2016, promotes the use of low-emission fleet cars. The policy commits to reducing the Group’s vehicle fleet CO2 emissions every year until 2020. By the end of this period, average CO2 emissions per km for the worldwide fleet shall not exceed 95 grams per km and no vehicle covered by the policy should exceed 105g CO2/km. 

Add Value with Lëss – In 2019, SGS launched the Add Value with Lëss to evolve their previous Spot the Orange Dot campaign. Lëss the bear is still central to the communications, but the aim of the new initiative is to both raise awareness and lead to increased efficiency in different areas, including environmental sustainability.

Green IT Policy – SGS’ Green IT Policy ensures that the Group procure and dispose of equipment responsibly and use IT to make their operations greener. It also optimizes data-center energy efficiency. Rationalizing data centers has had a significant impact on their energy consumption. The Group has committed by 2020 to migrate 80% of the servers they had in 2018. They have already migrated 70% and are on track to reach their target by the end of 2020. The remaining data centers are also being improved.

Using Renewable Energy – SGS is a signatory of the RE100 initiative, pledging to use 100% energy from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this goal, The company uses on-site energy generation and purchases electricity from renewable sources. In 2019, the company invested in 407.3 GWh of renewable energy mechanisms to reduce their CO2 emissions. In several locations where such mechanisms do not exist or are not viable, the company is exploring Power Purchase Agreements as an alternative.


  • 17,000 Less flights as a result of video conferencing technology.
  • 10,754 Cars in SGS global fleet.
  • 75% Fleet cars meet Vehicle Emissions Policy.
  • 85% of new cars meet Vehicle Emissions Policy.
  • 351GWh Vehicle fuels.

Off-Setting Residual Emissions – Carbon off-setting is an important part of SGS’ environmental efforts and bridges the gap between the current reality and a more sustainable future. With the focus on reducing CO2 emissions, any residual emissions are compensated for through our carbon off-setting strategy. The strategy allows the Gruop to assign a clear cost to the carbon that they generate (their internal cost of carbon).

Carbon Reporting – SGS measures and reports their CO2 – including their direct and indirect carbon emissions – across their value chain.


  • 24.2 Carbon intensity by revenue (Metric tonnes CO2e / million CHF).
  • 1.7 Carbon intensity by employee (Metric tonnes CO2e / FTE).
  • 160 Total GHG emissions (Thousand metric tonnes CO2e).

Water Management Programs – While SGS global water consumption is relatively low compared to other industries, managing water resources is a critical issue in some areas where SGS operates. Their water usage is concentrated in their laboratories, with additional usage for drinking, food preparation and sanitation. Where possible, the Group seeks to improve its water efficiency. For example, the SGS Energy Efficiency in Buildings program manages water efficiency – by assessing water consumption and installations and recommending site-specific improvements.

Waste Management Programs – SGS has traditionally produced relatively small amounts of hazardous and non-hazardous waste compared to other industries. This includes chemicals, test samples, paper, plastic and organic waste from their offices and laboratories. The waste is produced in varying proportions, determined by the industry or industries served by each site. The Add Value with Lëss initiative encourages efficiency in their offices and laboratories by promoting environmentally related actions such as minimizing printing, optimizing consumables, recycling office waste, etc.

SGS is an obvious leader in sustainability initiatives. the organisation that verifies and certifies according to ISO Standards and by doing that it helps the other companies in business with SGS to validate and maintain their sustainability practices. The company has received most recognised awards like DJSI, FTSE4GOOD, and CDP that validate their leadership. SGS has a clear track of their sustainability activities, emissions, energy consumption. Has initiatives like Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) program, RE100 initiative, reducing CO2 emission, etc. Therefore, based on their sustainable certifications, and the company’s sustainable actions and initiatives, SGS is given a B rating.



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