In its relevance matrix, Swiss Post shows how it identifies, analyses and addresses material topics for sustainable corporate development.
The following relevance matrix shows the relevance of a topic from the stakeholders’ perspective on one axis and its relevance to Swiss Post’s business activities on the other. The importance of the topics to sustainable development is indicated by the size and colour of the relevant dots.
The matrix serves as the basis for the development of the overall strategy and the CR priorities. 13 topics of high relevance were identified in both dimensions. They are important from the stakeholders’ perspective and also have a high degree of relevance to the development of Swiss Post’s business. For this reason, these topics are the focus of the strategy. Medium relevance was determined for eight further topics. Swiss Post regards these topics as the foundation on which the focus topics can be addressed and developed. Nine topics of low relevance have been omitted and will not be examined in closer detail.
Swiss Post’s approach to the individual topic areas is shown below.
Swiss Post adopts a far-sighted approach to the opportunities and challenges presented by digitization. The focus is on the physical-digital merger and use of data, as well as solutions for business customers. Protection of customer, supplier and employee data has been part of the Code of Conduct for all employees and an integral part of Swiss Post’s compliance management system for a number of years. Comprehensive data protection organization aims to minimize violations of the Federal Act on Data Protection and the associated risks. The data protection officer monitors compliance with data protection provisions. The requirements are reviewed regularly and amended if necessary. No fines or non-monetary penalties were imposed and no proceedings concerning data protection violations were instigated against Swiss Post in 2019.
As its owner, the Federal Council expects Swiss Post to pursue sustainable and ethical principles in its strategy and lays down requirements to this end. Swiss Post has set out its efforts in a corporate responsibility strategy containing the following areas of action: responsible procurement, climate and energy, responsible employer, circular economy and corporate citizenship.
The early identification of risks and opportunities and the ability to deal with them in a far-sighted and holistic manner are key factors in successful long-term business practices. Group risk management covers potential effects on the company’s financial situation and impact on non-monetary aspects, such as compliance, reputation, environment and people. The risk situation is reviewed half-yearly, and the results are presented annually to the Board of Directors and Executive Management in a comprehensive risk report. Swiss Post also reviews the current risk situation annually in its Financial Report.
The topic of compliance has a high priority at Swiss Post and falls under the Board of Directors’ remit. The basic principles of respectful, appropriate and ethical cooperation are set out in the Code of Conduct, which is binding for all employees.
Swiss Post has comprehensively analysed the risks arising from the violation of external and internal provisions. This resulted in the creation of the compliance portfolio, which currently covers the topics of data and information protection, anti-corruption, public procurement law, anti-trust law, postal law and subsidy law. Compliance programmes are developed for each topic. At the heart of the defined measures are the applicable substantive directives, clear communication, systematic training and appropriate controls. The compliance programmes are reviewed regularly in terms of their effectiveness and adapted if necessary. Executive Management and the Board of Directors are updated on developments and the current compliance risk situation in a status report every six months. Employees and customers can report violations anonymously.
The principles of security management are governed in a Board of Directors regulation at Swiss Post. The “Swiss Post security management system” directive focuses on three main protection goals: protection of people, protection of the company and protection of tangible and intangible assets. Each unit and subsidiary has its own security management system, draws up a risk analysis and implements appropriate security measures to effectively counteract identified risks. The Swiss Post Corporate Security department issues minimum requirements, monitors the units’ activities, reports on the current situation to Executive Management and makes recommendations on improving the situation.
The Development & Innovation Group unit provides Swiss Post with knowledge, expertise and new partners. It creates networks and provides inspiration, breaks away from conventional thought patterns and looks beyond the obvious. Swiss Post wishes to use technology to identify new business opportunities and to shape the future.
Employees are obliged to adopt a rigorous end-user-oriented approach in the clearly structured innovation process. Swiss Post provides support with resources, such as the BoostCamp or early Label. The early Label allows interested parties to test the products and services before their official launch and contribute to their success by submitting feedback. Through its PostVenture innovation programme, Swiss Post specifically seeks out ideas to develop its range of products and services in its strategic business development areas. It enters into partnerships with young talent and people with an entrepreneurial mindset seeking to conquer the market with new business models. Swiss Post acquires interests in fledgling companies through its corporate venturing programme. In doing so, it focuses on minority interests to ensure that the startups retain their freedom and agility.
Swiss Post is successfully deploying drone logistics on a commercial basis, transporting laboratory samples by drone quickly and securely between the Ospedale Civico and the Ospedale Italiano in Lugano. Swiss Post is also championing a future-oriented digital and autonomous solution for public transport in Sion, where the automated SmartShuttle navigates without a driver through the old town.
Creating positive experiences is the key to long-term and profitable customer relationships. Swiss Post’s customer experience management (CEM) involves the in-depth design of consistent and purposeful customer experiences for all contact with people, technologies or systems. One of the goals of CEM is to increase customer retention and loyalty. To this end, we focus on the main customer experiences and on close, early involvement of customers in the design process. Customer experiences are also systematically surveyed and evaluated to ensure continuous improvement. The aim is to make certain our customers enjoy a consistent Swiss Post experience across all points of contact.
Swiss Post is meeting the challenges in its environment in the years 2017 to 2020 by implementing a transformation strategy. Its aim is to complete a transformation by 2020 that will enable it to offer solutions to meet the customer requirements of the future. Swiss Post’s strategy is based on its statutory mandate, the strategic goals set by the Federal Council and the Swiss Post vision. In order to implement its vision, Swiss Post’s actions are guided by its core values: “reliable”, “value-enhancing” and “sustainable”.
Changing customer requirements are the basis for Swiss Post’s actions. Based on its capacities in the communication, logistics, financial services and passenger transport markets, Swiss Post is increasingly known for its integrated solutions and continues to be synonymous with module-based individual products and services. Swiss Post understands the world as interlinked and builds bridges between physical and digital channels. It wants to win over customers by offering them products that are both easy to access and easy to use, while creating a consistent customer experience across all its points of contact. This will enable it to develop and maintain a high-quality universal service.
Swiss Post’s 2017–2020 strategy is based on our Group vision: “Simple yet systematic – Swiss Post.” Despite the successful implementation of measures, Swiss Post faces several major challenges. The declines in profit are having an increasingly negative impact on the Group, and its financial strength is decreasing. Swiss Post must therefore realign its strategy in the medium to long term in order to achieve its owner’s targets. An important success factor in this will be the achievement of a balance between the requirements of the market and the expectations of the public, employees and politicians.
The climate and energy goals are derived from the strategy, thrusts and goals. Swiss Post’s climate goal of increasing CO2 efficiency by at least 25 percent (base year 2010) is geared to the long term and is in line with the objective of stabilizing global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. By the end of 2019, Swiss Post had already reached and exceeded this objective, which was set for 2020. Swiss Post is pursuing the following priorities in its reduction of CO2 reduction: sufficiency, efficiency and substitution (replacing fossil fuel sources), CO2 compensation. In addition, Swiss Post seeks to anticipate the risks of future climate change and exploit the opportunities in this regard. Furthermore, the funds from the redistribution of the CO2 levy are earmarked for investment in climate protection.
In addition, the management systems of the operating units Real Estate, PostLogistics and Swiss Post Solutions are certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and are thus committed to continuous improvement.
In the Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) – an external rating carried out by the International Post Corporation (IPC) – Swiss Post was awarded the gold rating in the carbon management proficiency score for the fourth consecutive time in 2019. In the CDP Climate Change Rating, Swiss Post achieved the second-highest status of “A–” in 2019, which means that it lies well above the industry average.
Swiss Post offers a wide range of products and services which it constantly develops in an environmentally and socially acceptable manner and to help achieve a circular and resource-efficient economy. Swiss Post aims to increase the recycling rate of resources, thereby ensuring that consumption in Switzerland is more sustainable. It also endeavours to ensure that its products are accessible to all. The swisspost.ch and postfinance.ch websites are designed to ensure accessibility and are certified by the “Access for all” foundation. The new branches have an accessible design, and many are currently being renovated. PostBus is also striving to eliminate obstacles through measures such as improvements to passenger information on screens, wheelchair lifts and ramps and by using low-floor buses where possible.
Swiss Post attaches great importance to energy-efficient and climate-friendly products and is strongly committed to recycling selected reusable materials, repairing and reusing devices and work resources, and encouraging opportunities for sharing (sharing economy).
Responsible procurement is firmly established in Swiss Post’s procurement strategy. Social, ethical and ecological criteria play an important role in all of Swiss Post’s product groups. Suppliers must sign Swiss Post’s Code of Ethics and Social Responsibility or undertake to produce a more far-reaching code of their own.
Since 2017, all public invitations to tender and the procurement criteria catalogue have contained general corporate responsibility criteria and product group-specific criteria for each product group. Swiss Post has also relied on EcoVadis since 2017 to carry out standardized risk analyses and assessments and to continue developing cooperation with its partners. The aim is for the most strategically important suppliers, of which there are around 240, to be assessed by 2020. 190 suppliers had been assessed by the end of 2019. This covers 80 percent of strategic suppliers and more than 30 percent of the procurement volume. Social and ecological criteria have been verified during audits in the transport sector since 2016. At PostBus and PostLogistics, all subcontractors are audited in three-year cycles.
Swiss Post is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, with the aim of counteracting the significant risks in the clothing sector. Since 2014, Swiss Post has been awarded Leader status every year. By the end of 2015, 100 percent of the Swiss Post procurement volume for work clothing had been inspected. This inspection is repeated at least every three years. Swiss Post always performs very well.
Swiss Post’s HR policy defines the rules for fair interaction in a spirit of partnership and lays down HR policy guidelines. All employees have received the completely revised Swiss Post Code of Conduct.
Swiss Post offers attractive employment conditions. Flexible and location-independent models – such as part-time, mobile working and job sharing – are used by over half of employees. Swiss Post promotes a good work-life balance and contributes around 1.5 million francs – distributed across 1,000 applications – towards external childcare. Swiss Post consistently advertises management positions with an employment level of 80 to 100 percent, with the particular intention of promoting part-time work and the percentage of women in management roles. With over 2,500 vacancies, apprenticeships or temporary job changes available each year, Swiss Post offers a wide range of career opportunities. In November 2019, Swiss Post signed the Charter for equal pay in the public sector. By signing, Swiss Post wants to make a stand on equal pay between women and men. In order to further reduce the unexplained salary difference of –2.2 percent, it wants to familiarize its managers with the topic and offers a reporting platform in conjunction with its social partners.
In terms of training and education, the FutureSkills programme supports the development of skills in the digital transformation sphere and improves employees’ skills in line with future requirements. Swiss Post’s internal Job Center supports employees with retraining if required. There are also many different training and education opportunities available to maintain and improve the employability of the workforce. Almost 7 million francs in co-funding was provided for individual training opportunities in the year under review. A new management course was offered in all business units in 2019 and has already been completed by over 460 employees. The ”reverse mentoring” initiative, launched in the year under review, aims to improve digital skills. A younger mentor and an experienced mentee over the age of 40 engage in dialogue across units, generations and hierarchies. In cooperation with the social partners, a prevention programme for long-term future careers has been initiated. Swiss Post’s aim is to support staff and their life-long learning with organized team workshops, career counselling and promotion of digital skills.
Through its talent management, Swiss Post aims to secure the succession and appointment of key functions and to support employees with potential in a targeted manner. Promoting diversity is a key element in this. For example, Swiss Post is endeavouring to increase the proportion of women and French- and Italian-speaking employees in senior management roles. Swiss Post supports equal opportunity and promotes mixed teams and accessibility for all.
Ensuring the health and safety of employees is a key concern at Swiss Post. Establishing a healthy management and working culture based on appreciation, respect and transparency is a vital part of workplace health management. Swiss Post focuses on relevant management training and the prevention of absences and rapid reintegration after illness. These measures are supplemented by health circles and ambassadors, retraining opportunities and an in-house social counselling service. The number of long-term absences has been reduced through standardized presence management.
Swiss Post runs an operating group solution for all employees to ensure safety at the workplace. This makes certain that the comprehensive legal provisions on occupational health and safety are adhered to. The operating group solution has been agreed with the trade unions and certified by the relevant authorities. The effectiveness of the operating group solution is verified by means of annual system audits. The units regularly carry out safety audits and training at their locations. Accident and illness figures are evaluated monthly, as well as being included in annual consolidated Group reporting. Tripping and falling is the most common cause of accidents, but targeted awareness-raising measures are having an effect.
In accordance with the provisions set out in the Postal Services Organization Act, Swiss Post negotiates the framework conditions for the relationship between company and employees with the contracting trade unions syndicom and transfair. The labour law principles governing Swiss Post staff are based on the Swiss Code of Obligations. Most employees are subject to one of the current nine collective employment contracts (CECs). Two additional CECs are currently being negotiated. In conjunction with its social partners, Swiss Post seeks forward-looking solutions in the interests of customers, employees and the company. With regard to recruitment, Swiss Post focuses on positive customer experiences as a critical success factor in order to ensure a high degree of quality and an optimal fit between applicants and job profile. Swiss Post advertises vacancies in gender-neutral language and provides flexible working models as far as possible.
The Federal Council expects Swiss Post to provide a high-quality universal service comprising postal services and payment transaction services throughout Switzerland. Swiss Post is required to offer a high standard of marketable, innovative products, services and solutions in both physical and electronic form in its core business. In addition, Swiss Post must involve any community affected by the relocation or closure of a branch.
As a government-owned company with a long social tradition, Swiss Post promotes charitable and social projects and institutions. Swiss Post supports charitable and social initiatives, such as the “Santa Claus campaign” and the “2 x Christmas” distribution project run by the Swiss Red Cross by providing human resources and free logistics services. Work clothing that is no longer used is collected and donated to the SRC to be given a new lease of life. Some items of clothing that can no longer be worn are made into bags or laptop covers by the social organization BEWO. Swiss Post also has a cultural commitment, supporting Swiss artists with its own art collection. Moreover, Swiss Post supports the “Climate School” project, in which school pupils help install solar panels on Swiss rooftops.