Bittium has a specific sustainability working group, that develops, monitors and evaluates issues related to sustainability. The working group is responsible for managing and sounding sustainability risks, as well as reporting on the company´s sustainability. 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 sustainability working group holds quarterly meetings and prepares the sustainability report. The Bittium management and the Board of Directors review the sustainability report annually.
The Management Group of Bittium 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.
The Audit Committee of Bittium Corporation´s Board of Directors discusses and prepares sustainability matters regularly and when necessary.
The Board of Directors of Bittium Corporation discusses sustainability issues on the basis of the Management Group´s proposals and approves annually the company´s sustainability report.
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 ethical principles comprise the following areas of sustainability:
The nature of Bittium´s market area and business sector makes corruption one of the main risks related to social sustainability and human rights. Bittium does not condone any forms of bribery or corruption in its operations or those of its partners. Bittium updated its internal and external anti-corruption guidelines in 2017. The employees receive training on the guidelines.
Bittium expects its partners to comply with these guidelines. The company uses a monitoring tool for detecting corruption and other ambiguities in the operations of its partners.
The company provides both our external and internal stakeholders with a channel for reporting violations of anti-corruption rules. There were no cases of corruption reported to Bittium in 2021.
2) Information security and data protection
Bittium´s information security and data protection policies specify the methods employed in the classification, storage and disclosure of information.
3) Fair business, advertising and competition
Bittium follows the rules on fair business, advertising and competition. The company uses various methods to secure the customers´ information in accordance with information security procedures.
4) Corporate citizenship
The company supports community involvement in order to promote social and economic development.
5) Protection of intellectual property rights
Bittium respects intellectual property rights and applies its IPR strategy and guidelines to all of its operations.
Sustainable procurement is also an essential part of our sustainable business operations. The principles of sustainable purchasing have been described in greater detail in section ‘Confidential customer relationships and secure products´.
Bittium´s operations affect many different stakeholders. Understanding their views and expectations is important for our operations and success. Open dialogue with the stakeholders helps to develop Bittium´s operations, products and solutions as well as a goal-driven approach to finding solutions to social challenges.
Bittium works in cooperation with national as well as international stakeholders. Our largest stakeholders include our employees, customers, different actors, partners, the authorities and other controlling actors, shareholders, students and different schools and academies, as well as different communities. The company´s stakeholder-related activities are guided by Corporate Governance and Code of Conduct.
In 2021, the coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the cooperation with stakeholders. The travel restrictions and quarantines have prevented face-to-face meetings, and communication over the internet has become the new norm.
Bittium arranges several different staff events each year where our employees get the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. The management´s physical presence at these events and the opportunity to ask questions have constituted an important part of communication. As the coronavirus pandemic has been prevailing, all personnel events were held online to safeguard the personnel´s health and the continuity of business. The situation was made easier by the fact that Bittium is an international player. Therefore, online meetings have been routine for us for years. Thus, arranging online events for the entire staff did not involve much extra effort or costs. Despite the lack of physical presence, the dialogue between management and personnel on these occasions has remained active.
In addition to staff events, the employees can give feedback through the annual anonymous employee survey. Equal treatment and open interaction are important to the employees. They expect Bittium to offer interesting and meaningful work and opportunities for professional growth. In addition to the annual personnel surveys, the company surveys the well-being of its personnel with a once-a-month Pulse survey. Pulse allows for a faster response to any grievances that have arisen. The results of both surveys are available for personnel to view on the company´s intranet.
Bittium receives constant feedback from the customers, primarily by continuously staying in touch with them and through various annual surveys. The surveys are arranged online. The used Scrum and Agile methods and the supporting online systems (as real-time as possible) allow ongoing monitoring and open dialogue. This enables Bittium to quickly react to potential problems. Bittium´s customers value competitive and reliable products and services as well as sustainable and real-time approach to operations. The company´s major customers are leading international players in their respective fields.
Therefore, the travel restrictions imposed in 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have had some impact on Bittium´s communications with them. The company has had to take care of many matters online that would normally be discussed face to face. These include, for instance, product and project inspections or approvals.
When it comes to our suppliers and other partners, Bittium has often worked with them in close cooperation for a long time following established rules and ways of working. Constant communication enables open dialogue. The company´s suppliers and partners expect fair and sustainable operations and long-term cooperation. Bittium expects suppliers and partners to work in a sustainable way, and monitors this on a regular basis. The coronavirus pandemic did not have a material effect on cooperation with suppliers and partners.
Bittium maintains a regular line of communication with the authorities, for example, with regard to export control and information security issues. The company regularly monitors our compliance with the laws and regulations. Applying them to Bittium´s business operations requires open and ongoing interaction with the authorities. The company has always mainly engaged in virtual communication with the authorities. Therefore, the coronavirus pandemic did not have a material effect on cooperation in 2021.
As part of Bittium´s sustainable corporate citizenship, the company actively collaborates with different communities. Bittium meets the expectations of different communities in a variety of ways. The company regularly supports educational institutions and schools to introduce young students to working life and not forgetting the teachers. Thanks to this collaboration, Bittium is also able to recruit new and enthusiastic graduates. Restrictions on gatherings and meetings caused by the coronavirus pandemic prevented the company from arranging workplace visits or admitting students to practical training during 2021. At the end of 2021, Bittium donated 50,000 euros to the University of Oulu´s technical research.
Research and development cooperation with companies and research institutions broadens Bittium´s expertise and makes it possible to mutually promote development. This cooperation is mainly carried out online, and the coronavirus pandemic had no material effect on the progress of cooperation.
Shareholders, investors and analysts expect Bittium to create long-term value and act responsibly. Bittium meets with analysts following the company on a regular basis and participates in events for various institutional investors. At the annual general meeting, shareholders have the opportunity to meet and discuss with the company´s management and the members of the Board of Directors. Due to travel and gathering restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Annual General Meeting was held again via the Internet instead of a physical opportunity. Similarly, other investor and analyst meetings and events were held online during the past year. In 2021, the company joined a moderated investor forum to improve and increase communication with investors. It is pursued that the open and transparent discussion will provide answers to the questions that concern investors and thus improve the understanding of the company´s business.