Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2019


Technology for global challenges

Sustainability strategy and priority

Sustainable innovation is an integral part of KONGSBERG’s business strategy. We make active use of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in order to identify risks and opportunities and establish where we can make the biggest and most effective contribution. Our most significant contribution to achieving the sustainability goals is the supply of high-tech products and services, which reduce our customers’ emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.

Our sustainability strategy

Our sustainability strategy “Technology for Global Challenges” is an integral and fundamental part of our business approach, and includes sustainable innovation and business opportunities and sustainable internal operations. Based on our broad portfolio of products and services, our growth ambitions and current global challenges, we need to be ambitious and adapt to a rapidly changing world.

We develop innovative products and solutions for our customers, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We develop innovative products and solutions for our customers, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is particularly relevant in the field of Green Shipping, through the development of autonomous vessels, hybrid systems and electric ferries. Through our unique position, which makes use of crossover technology and collaboration between our business areas, we facilitate innovation in both technology and sustainability. We work with private and public parties to reduce harmful effects on the oceans, through control systems for aquaculture facilities, monitoring marine areas for illegal fishing and fishing quotas, plastic trawler management, marine surveillance, etc. Applying more sustainable thinking in our innovation also strengthened our global competitiveness.

Although our internal operations have a relatively low emissions level, we are actively working on measures to achieve our target to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 per cent in the 2015 to 2020 period. Read more about this in the chapter on climate and environment.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are intended to help ensure that the overall goal for a sustainable planet will be achieved by 2030. These Sustainable Development Goals can only be achieved through the efforts of businesses.

We have selected the Sustainable Development Goals to which we believe we can make the biggest contribution, while remaining fully aware that all the goals are important. We strive to support all the goals through our operations, both in terms of reducing any negative impact and by seizing any business opportunities which may be presented by the goals. 

Goals 7, 9 and 14 are the goals we believe we can make the largest contribution to, through innovation and by developing technology for sustainable solutions. Examples are autonomous and electric ferries, control systems for use in aquaculture, on fishing trawlers, monitoring of marine areas for illegal fishing and controls of fishing quotas and plastic in the oceans. Technological development in the defence part of the business is enabling many of the innovative sustainable solutions, known as “cross-over” technology. Together, these support goal number 13, ‘Stop climate change’.

We support goal number 4 by working extensively with universities and colleges, setting up student programmes and hosting summer students in order to motivate those studying natural sciences to complete their education. We support the science centre Vitensenteret in Kongsberg and Horten science centre and work with natural science teaching in primary and secondary schools. We strive to continue a corresponding engagement in our international operations.

We support goal number 5 by working actively to improve the gender ratio and ensure that the genders have equal rights, thereby helping to improve equality in a traditionally male-dominated working environment.

We support goal number 8 by using Norwegian standards and ILO Conventions as a basis for our activities in every country, and impose the same requirements on our suppliers. We thereby help to protect employee rights and promote a safe and secure working environment for all employees.

We support goal number 16 by having comprehensive and robust internal controls and sanctions in place for exports, in particular to eliminate the risk that our military products could be used in contravention of international rules and humanitarian law. We also have a comprehensive anti-corruption programme across all our international operations.

We support goal number 17 by working closely with our business partners. Examples are technology development, projects for monitoring plastic in the oceans and collaboration for ethical business conduct, anti-corruption and export.

UN initiative for the sustainable use and management of oceans

Technology companies such as KONGSBERG are very important for sustainable ocean resource utilisation. Here we see significant opportunities and have ambitions for KONGSBERG as the “ocean expert” to play an important role in exploiting this potential. In 2018, we signed up to the UN initiative for sustainable ocean use and management. You can read more about this in the sustainable innovation focus area in this report, and on the UN website

We are contributing to a partnership to help reduce the negative impact on the ocean through management systems for plastic in the ocean, amongst other things.

Materiality assessment

During the last quarter of 2019, we performed an extensive materiality assessment in order to learn more about what our owners, staff, business partners, finance institutions and the society expect of us in terms of sustainability, financial, environmental and social matters, and what they consider most important, seen in context with our own assessments. This will form the basis of our strategic work and prioritisations for the future. Our biggest shareholder, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Oslo Stock Exchange and others also emphasise that the use of materiality assessments forms a fundamental part of work with and reporting of sustainability issues. In the past, we have also performed materiality assessments at periodic intervals.

We found that external and internal stakeholders alike showed a high degree of engagement throughout the process of the materiality assessment.

The topics are presented in the figure, aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals to which we believe we can make the biggest contribution. The topics that appear at the upper right of the figure are considered by external stakeholders and internally in KONGSBERG to be highly important, and will be given the most attention and reported in the most detail in future.

The materiality assessment was performed by a third party organisation in order to ensure the independence and integrity of the process.

GRI Standards and which of the indicators we report on

For 2019, we have strived to report in accordance with the materiality analysis conducted during the final quarter of 2019. The materiality analysis that was used as a basis from the start of the year had the following five main themes:

  • Responsible business conduct
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Health, Safety and the environment & People
  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the supply chain
  • Corporate social responsibility

The themes considered to be more significant from the materiality analysis conducted in 2019 are cyber and information security, human rights and artificial intelligence and technological development.

The relationship between the five main topics in our materiality assessment and GRI Standards is described in more detail on our website. Which of the GRI standards and disclosures we report on is described there.

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