Responsibility Organization and Risk Management
The Board of Directors of Bittium Corporation discusses sustainability issues on the basis of the Management Group´s proposals, and the Audit Committee discusses and prepares sustainability-related matters as needed.
The Management Group discusses sustainability issues, monitors the effectiveness of sustainability measures and sets sustainability targets in its twice-yearly management review. The Management Group is also responsible for implementing sustainability plans and actions in day-to-day operations.
Bittium also has a separate sustainability working group that is responsible for monitoring and the impact assessment of sustainability measures and reporting as well as risk management and assessment. The working group has six (6) members: CEO; Chief Legal Officer; Vice President, Communications and Marketing; Director, Human Resources; CFO; and Head of Quality, the Environment and Technology Management. The responsibility working group holds quarterly meetings and prepares the sustainability report. The Bittium management and the Board of Directors review the sustainability report annually.
The sustainability report describes the applicable methods that guarantee a sufficient level of diligence. The management of risks related to operations and the operating environment as well as the relevant processes are described in Bittium´s Corporate Governance Statement.
Bittium´s operations affect many different stakeholders. Understanding their views and expectations is important for our operations and success. Open dialogue with our stakeholders helps us to develop our operations, products and solutions as well as the way in which we, as a company, take a goal-driven approach to finding solutions to social challenges.
Bittium works in cooperation with national as well as international stakeholders. Our stakeholders include our employees, customers, different actors and other third parties, partners, the authorities, shareholders and analysts as well as different communities. Our stakeholder-related activities are guided by good management practice as well as our ethical principles and Code of Conduct.
We arrange several different personnel events each year where our employees get the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. We also collect feedback from our personnel annually through anonymous employee survey. Equal treatment and open interaction are important to our employees. They expect us to offer interesting and meaningful work and opportunities for professional growth.
We get constant feedback from our customers, primarily by continuously staying in touch with them and through various annual surveys. The Scrum and Agile methods we use — along with the real-time systems that support them — enable ongoing monitoring and open dialogue. This enables us to quickly react to potential problems. Our customers value competitive and reliable products and services as well as our sustainable and real-time approach to our operations.
Suppliers and Partners
When it comes to our suppliers and other partners, we have often worked with them in close cooperation for a long time following established rules and ways of working. Constant communication enables open dialogue. Our suppliers and partners expect fair and sustainable operations and long-term cooperation from us. As for us, we expect our suppliers and partners to work in a sustainable way, and we monitor this on a regular basis.
Bittium maintains a regular line of communication with the authorities, for example, with regard to export control and information security issues. We regularly monitor our compliance with the laws and regulations. Applying them to our business operations requires open and ongoing interaction with the authorities.
As part of our sustainable corporate citizenship, Bittium actively collaborates with different communities. We meet the expectations of different communities in a variety of ways. We regularly support educational institutions and schools to introduce young students to working life and not forgetting the teachers. Thanks to this collaboration, we are also able to recruit new and enthusiastic graduates. Research and development cooperation with companies and research institutions broadens our expertise and makes it possible to mutually promote development
Shareholders and Investors
Shareholders, investors and analysts expect Bittium to provide long-term value and act in a sustainable manner. We hold discussions with them at various events and the Annual General Meeting.
Our Value Creation Model
Megatrends that Affect Our Business
A megatrend that has a huge effect on our operations is digitalization, whose different manifestations create both business threats and business opportunities.
Rapid Technological Development as an Enabler of Digitalization
The emergence of embedded software, the management of complex systems and the rapid development of technology create opportunities for us to provide added value to our customers. To maintain our competitive edge, we need to keep intensifying our own technological development.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The growing importance of IoT requires the integration of operating processes and secure IoT solutions to achieve efficiency advantages. The tools and approaches we use in developing our own operations include robot process automation, testing automation and data visualization. For our customers, we develop challenging IoT solutions that require a high level of information security.
Digitalization and the Ageing Population
The ageing of the population and population growth make the digitalization of health care crucial for maintaining the productivity and coverage of services. Remote monitoring, wireless solutions, new home-based care methods as well as faster and more efficient health data analysis are among the technological solutions we have developed for our customers.
The progress of digitalization and technologies brings with it an increase in information security threats. This has made cyber security one of the most significant threats associated with digitalization. Stricter information security and regulatory requirements are reflected in our operations as well as those of our customers. The requirements are also expanding to cover new sectors and applications and the importance of information security certification is growing. We recognize these rapidly increasing sector-specific requirements and our product development efforts keep us on the leading edge of our industry in responding to them.
For Bittium, economic impact means ensuring the long-term profitability of the company´s business. This enables us to create added value for our various stakeholders and the society around us. Profitable operations create economic benefits for shareholders, employees, partners, subcontractors, distributors, customers, municipalities and the state.
Legal compliance is the basic premise of economic responsibility. However, in many respects, Bittium´s sustainability and impact exceed the legal requirements.
Ensuring Added Value for Stakeholders
When it comes to Bittium´s economic impact, the local dimension is the one that matters most. Local added value is generated especially through Bittium´s direct and indirect employment impact. In addition to the local effects, our impact extends via tax payments, dividends and business impacts from the national level all the way to the countries in which we operate around the world.
Bittium operates in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The majority of our employees work in Finland, more than half of them in the city of Oulu.
Ensuring added value means securing long-term growth and financial stability, comprehensive risk management and a long-term commitment to the development of society and local communities. In addition to financial risks, risk management must take into consideration other risks related to the valuation of the company, such as reputational risks.
Our business must respond to the changes in the operating environment to maintain profitability and future competitiveness. The technological transformation and the resulting technology solutions create both opportunities and threats changes that we must take into account already during the product development stage.
We already make use of robotics, for instance, in our financial administration. As robotics and AI become more routine, they will have a greater effect on the development of our operations in the future. This also involves a change in job descriptions; what kinds of specialists we will require and how we will recruit the best talent in thefuture.
Taxes are part of Bittium´s business process, and tax management supports the company´s strategy. Bittium operates in five different countries and our business profits and the resulting taxes occur locally.
Bittium´s tax strategy is to support business decisions and ensure their proper execution also from the perspective of taxes. Tax planning supports business efficiency and productivity, creating added value for shareholders and ensuring regulatory compliance. Our tax planning is not aggressive and it is not based on artificial arrangements. It is always based on our actual business needs.
Our tax strategy aims at making sure that we calculate, report and pay our taxes correctly to the authorities, conforming to the established regulations. Bittium is committed to complying with the laws of our operating countries as well as lower-level regulations, such as the OECD transfer pricing guidelines. Good corporate citizenship is part of Bittium´s set of values. Accordingly, the quality of our tax processes is an important cornerstone of Bittium´s tax strategy. Our guiding principle is to be open and transparent with the tax authorities in all of the countries in which we operate. For its part, Bittium seeks to influence the development of tax systems to make them clearer, fairer and more consistent.
In Finland, Bittium works in close cooperation with the Large Taxpayers´ Office of the Finnish Tax Administration.
We operate in a sector that creates products and services for the future through continuous development, innovation and cross-sector cooperation. We play an important role at the leading edge of technological development, and active cooperation with academic researchers increases our understanding of significant new technologies and promotes the digitalization of society. Bittium has a close and long-established cooperation relationship with the University of Oulu.
In 2019, we took part in several national projects financed by Business Finland as investors and research partners. On the broader European stage, our cooperation activities included, for instance, the H2020, ITEA and EIT cooperation projects. The focus areas of these cooperation projects included technologies that are critical for Bittium´s future product and service business, such as communications solutions for the public authorities based on LTE and 5G technologies, information security, machine learning and high-quality software development methods.
Our product development investments represented 33.4 percent of our 2019 net sales (34.4 percent in 2018). The investments focused mainly on the development of the tactical communication system and its products targeted to the defense industry, and different authorities´ and special terminal products and their related security software, and medical technology products.