A woman with the C-Brace leg orthosis is standing on a ladder and trimming branches on a tree
Areas of activity

Management of our sustainability activities

Eight areas of activity are of paramount importance for Ottobock and our internal as well as external stakeholders. These areas of activity form the basis for managing our sustainability activities.

Our key areas of activity and objectives

In developing our sustainability strategy, we used a materiality analysis to identify our key environmental, social and economic areas of activity for the first time in 2019. In doing so, we analysed and prioritised numerous topics that are relevant for us according to their significance for our stakeholders, the effects we have and their relevance for our business. In 2020, we established clear objectives and responsibilities for these topics in the company.

An Ottobock employee is sitting in front of a woman who is touching her right hand with her left arm prosthesis
With more than 280 supply centers, we are close to people all over the world.

Patients and users

We work hard every day to improve the quality of life of our patients and users, and to boost their self-confidence. We attach great importance to developing new solutions through innovations in order to master the complex challenges of everyday life together. In our Patient Care clinics around the world, we work to provide the best possible treatment for our users and patients and make necessary adjustments as efficiently as possible. Subsequently, we maintain close contact with them so we can learn about their needs and concerns. This creates a basis of mutual trust, which is essential for the time we share during treatment and often continues beyond that.

Category Objectives
Treatment success We make the success of our users’ treatment measureable and implement standardised clinical methods of measuring results.
Satisfaction and loyalty We are measuring the satisfaction of Ottobock users until the end of 2021. We will then set concrete targets for the user satisfaction rate.

Product quality

Our single-minded determination to improve quality of life has made us a global technology leader for wearable human bionics, which enhance or replace parts of the human body. In doing so, we place great emphasis on responsible business practices as we produce high-quality, sustainable products. Our focus is on the reliability of our products and the trust of our users. According to the motto "Quality for Life" our quality management standards meet the highest requirements. Intensive test procedures ensure that our products are safe.

Category Objectives
Avoid product recalls We do not have to recall any products from our customers due to quality and/or safety problems.
User safety We minimise the number of corrective actions required in the field to rectify functional and in part safety-related failures of our products.
Complaint rate We reduce the complaint rate for mechatronic prostheses and orthoses by 20 per cent by the year 2025 compared to 2020.
Ottobock O&P professional adapting a man’s C-Brace orthosis. Both people are sitting in a room on chairs.
We take care of individual situations and specific needs.

Medical personnel

The success of treatment largely depends on its quality. We adopt an integrated approach, providing orthopaedic fitting solutions of high quality in combination with personalised support by the entire rehabilitation team. At our Patient Care sites around the world, certified O&P professionals and therapists provide the best possible care for users’ medical needs. They keep their relevant skills up to date through continuing education and qualification programmes, especially in the digital field.

Category Objectives
Digitalisation of orthopaedic technology We drive the digitalisation of orthopaedic technology and increase the utilisation of digital methods such as 3D scans of patients’ residual limbs and the digital fabrication of devices (iFab).
Qualification of O&P professionals We provide our own and external O&P professionals with qualifications for Ottobock products and relevant treatment techniques.
Training and jobs in developing countries We train personnel who are qualified in orthopaedic technology for developing countries and create new jobs by expanding our Patient Care organisation.
Close-up of a smartphone with an open app that is connected to the wearer’s hand prosthesis.
We create innovations for more mobility and quality of life.

Innovations

As the technology leader in our industry, we stand for development activities and innovations, continuously setting standards in the treatment of people with disabilities. This is what pushes us to continue moving our company and products forwards. We believe the success of the Ottobock brand still relies on research and development and make long-term investments in projects coming out of these departments. In our development centres located in Duderstadt, Vienna, Berlin and elsewhere, employees research intelligent solutions for various product segments such as prosthetics for the upper and lower limbs, orthotics and wheelchairs. We have expanded our product portfolio to include cutting-edge exoskeletons. They are increasingly providing support for people in physically demanding jobs today.

Category Objectives
Research & Development With our innovations, we help people maintain or regain their freedom of movement.

Materials and environment

As a company that makes products, we bear responsibility for protecting our planet, in particular with respect to our use of natural resources and the emission of carbon dioxide. We are continuously working on making our production processes sustainable. This includes the responsible use of natural resources and the development of new procedures to reduce our consumption of materials – particularly plastic, wood and paper – and the associated waste. Other elements of our activities include avoiding hazardous substances, recycling reusable materials and expanding digitalisation processes. In logistics, we focus on protecting the climate when choosing the means of transportation, despite decreasing delivery times.

Category Objectives
Material in production and logistics We reduce scrap in production and thereby lower the relative use of materials in proportion to the output. We reduce the amount of packaging (carton and fillers) in proportion to the output (products in tonnes).
Environmentally friendly materials We continuously review the environmental compatibility of the materials we use and sell and systematically evaluate alternatives that consume less resources and are more environmentally friendly.
Environmental and energy management We implement an environmental management system according to ISO 14001 and an energy management system according to ISO 50001 by the end of 2022 to systematically improve our environmental and energy balance.
CO2 We make our carbon footprint transparent by the end of 2023 (especially in production and logistics) and lay the foundation for the continuous reduction of our CO₂ emissions.

Partnerships

We see ourselves as part of a social structure and want to do our part to ensure sustainable development. In order to fulfil our responsibility, it’s important to know the expectations that those outside the company place on our actions. For this reason, we place great emphasis on regular, open dialogue, transparency and long-term cooperation and partnerships with all our local and global stakeholders. These include employees, business partners, our shareholders and customers as well as society as a whole.

Category Objectives
Partnership projects in developing countries We work with partners to promote the public supply of devices (reimbursement systems) in developing countries and emerging markets.
Education and research We maintain ongoing cooperation with between five and ten partner universities in Germany and Austria to support practice-oriented education, boost interest in medical and orthopaedic technology and attract specialists/managers to Ottobock.
Sports We promote disability sport through our long-term partnership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and by expanding our Running Clinics to motivate amputees to participate in sports.
Two O&P professionals work together on a prosthetic socket in a workshop.
Our employees guarantee our current and future success.

Employees

Employees are our key success factor. We put great commitment and passion into recruiting employees, supporting their continuing education and inspiring a lasting commitment to our company philosophy. We ensure safe working conditions and provide preventive healthcare. For Ottobock as a family business, balancing work and family life is just as much a part of our philosophy as lifelong and interdisciplinary learning. At Ottobock, developing people as individuals – including both professional and personal development – is closely linked to the company’s development.

Category Objectives
Employer attractiveness/employee recruitment We improve our position in established employer rankings and our recommendation rate on the Kununu and Glassdoor rating platforms. We double the number of website visitors in the career section on ottobock.com by 2025, reaching the target of 750 visits and an average of 15 applications per advertisement by that year. We shorten the application process from around 103 days (2019) to 60 days (2025).
Employee satisfaction and outlook We implement a system to regularly measure employee satisfaction by the end of 2022 and improve satisfaction over the long term. We fill 50 per cent of all vacant management positions internally.
Women in management We increase the proportion of women in management positions at the two levels below the Executive Board to 30 per cent by 2025.
Participation in the company (inclusion) We support the employment of people with disabilities and ensure accessibility within the company. As part of “The Valuable 500” initiative, we found an international Inclusion Council comprised of employees from several Ottobock locations.

Fair business practices/compliance

As a company on the international stage, we are proud of our different cultures, traditions and unique local characteristics. Our company culture is likewise defined by numerous different players and business activities with a high degree of freedom. The resulting complex challenges and continuously changing legal and normative frameworks demand clear standards and rules as part of our management approach.

Category Objectives
Compliance training All employees worldwide are trained in the Ottobock Code of Conduct and fighting corruption.
Supply chain We improve sustainability in our supply chain by systematically integrating CSR aspects in the course of supplier approval and supplier management, and by boosting awareness within the purchasing organisation.

Contact for key areas of activity

Maren Harloff

Manager Sustainability

+49 5527 848 1865
Maren.Harloff@ottobock.de

Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA
Max-Näder-Str. 15
37115 Duderstadt