Bittium has a separate sustainability working group, which develops, monitors, and assesses sustainability-related issues. The working group is tasked with the management and scanning of sustainability risks as well as sustainability reporting in the company.
The working group has six (6) members: CEO; Chief Legal Officer; Vice President, Corporate Communications; 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 on an annual basis (so-called management review).
Bittium´s 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.
The Audit Committee of Bittium Corporation´s Board of Directors discusses sustainability issues on a regular basis and as needed. The Board of Directors of Bittium Corporation discusses sustainability issues on the basis of the Management Group´s proposals and approves the company´s annual sustainability report.
The sustainability report describes the applicable methods that guarantee a sufficient level of diligence. The management of risks related to the company´s 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:
1) Anti-corruption measures
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 irregularities in the operations of its partners.
The company´s external and internal stakeholders have access to a channel for reporting violations of anti-corruption rules. There were no cases of corruption reported to Bittium in 2022.
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 has access to different methods of securing our 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 purchasing is also an essential part of our sustainable business operations. The principles of sustainable purchasing have been described in greater detail in ‘Confidential customer relationships and secure products.
Bittium´s operations affect a wide range of stakeholders. Understanding their views and expectations is important for the company´s 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. The major stakeholders include Bittium´s employees, customers, various suppliers, cooperation partners, authorities and other parties regulating the operations, shareholders and investors, students and educational institutions as well as various communities. The company´s stakeholder-related activities are guided by good governance and the Code of Conduct.
In 2022, it was again possible to organize meetings with the various stakeholders as the pandemic subsided and restrictions were lifted, which significantly affected the quality of cooperation and the amount of contacts.
Bittium arranges several different staff events each year where employees get the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. The opportunity to have open dialog and present questions directly to the management has formed a key part of communication. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all staff events were held online to safeguard the employees´ health and business continuity. In these events, the dialog between the management and employees was even more active than in on-site events, and the possibility to participate regardless of location significantly increased the number of participants. This is why it was decided that the events will be online events even after the COVID-19 pandemic subdued.
In addition to staff events, Bittium´s employees can give feedback through the annual anonymous employee survey. Equal treatment and open interaction are important to our employees. Employees expect us to offer interesting and meaningful work and opportunities for professional growth. In addition to the annual employee surveys, the company obtains information on the well-being of employees through quarterly pulse surveys, which allows for any issues to be addressed more rapidly. The results of all surveys are available to the employees in the company intranet.
Customers feedback is received on a continuous basis, primarily by means of frequent communication and through various annual surveys. In 2022, surveys were conducted as online surveys. In 2023, surveys will also include the interviews of selected customers.
The Scrum and Agile methods we use and the supporting online systems (as real-time as possible) allow ongoing monitoring and open dialog. 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. Our major customers are leading international companies, which is why the lifting of the COVID-19-related travel restrictions in 2022 resulted in customer communication becoming significantly easier, which promoted, among other things, product and project inspections and approvals, which are easier to carry out face-to-face.
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 dialog. Suppliers and partners expect fair and sustainable operations and long-term cooperation from Bittium. For its part, Bittium expects that the business operations of its suppliers and partners are sustainable, and this is monitored 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. The company regularly monitors compliance with laws and regulations. Applying them to the company´s business operations requires open and ongoing interaction with the authorities.
As part of sustainable corporate citizenship, Bittium actively cooperates with various communities. The expectations of different communities are met 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. As the COVID-19 pandemic eased, introductions to working life and visits are again organized for students and educational institutions.
Research and development cooperation with companies and research institutions broadens Bittium´s expertise and makes it possible to mutually promote development.
Shareholders, investors and analysts expect that Bittium provides long-term value and acts in a sustainable manner. Analysts who follow the company are met on a regular basis, and the company participates in events organized for institutional investors. The Annual General Meeting, which takes place once a year, provides the shareholders with the opportunity to meet and discuss with the company´s management and Board of Directors. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, the 2022 Annual General Meeting was again held online in place of a face-to-face meeting. However, investor and analyst meetings were held as face-to-face meetings.
In 2021, the company engaged in discussions taking place in a moderated discussion forum aimed at investors in order to increase and improve communication with investors. In 2022, this work was continued with the aim of improving understanding of the company´s strategy and business through open and transparent discussion.
Our organisation strives to achieve transparency and a high level of business ethics. Our whistleblowing channel offers a possibility to alert the organisation about suspicions of misconduct in a confidential way. It is an important tool for maintaining trust in our operations by enabling us to detect and act on possible misconduct at an early stage. Whistleblowing can be done openly or anonymously.
The whistleblowing channel can be used to alert us about serious risks of wrongdoing affecting people, our organisation, the society or the environment. The service may be used for reporting conduct that may be inconsistent with the Bittium´s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, or laws or regulations.
Also reports under the scope of the Finnish Whistleblower Act may be submitted to the channel. In respect of reporting misconduct in the course of the whistleblower´s work, the Finnish Whistleblower Act implementing the European Union´s Whistleblower Directive includes an obligation to establish internal reporting channel through which such whistleblowers can report misconduct. Whistleblower Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers (for instance laying off the whistleblower due to the report). To receive the whistleblower protection detailed in the Whistleblower Act, at the time of submitting the report, the whistleblower must be reporting a breach they have discovered in the course of their work, the whistleblower must have a legitimate reason to believe that their information about the breach to be reported is true and the information about the breach is included in the material scope of the Whistleblower Act as set out below.
According to the Whistleblower Act, punishable breaches related to, for example, the following EU or national areas of legislation within a work-related context can be reported to the channel:
Please note that employees are asked to contact their supervisor for issues relating to dissatisfaction in the workplace or related human resources matters, as these issues cannot be investigated in the scope of whistleblowing.
Please note that deliberate reporting of false or malicious information is forbidden. Abuse of the whistleblowing service is a serious disciplinary offence.
There are different ways to raise a concern:
The whistleblowing team
Access to messages received through our whistleblowing channel is restricted to appointed individuals with the authority to handle whistleblowing cases. Their actions are logged and handling is confidential. At Bittium, the reports received through the whistleblowing channel are investigated by our whistleblowing team consisting of the Chairman of the Audit Committee and Chief Legal Officer as the admins of the channel, and the selected members of the Bittium´s Sustainability Working Group who oversee or conduct the investigations. If necessary, assistance from corporate or external experts or officials may be needed to conduct an investigation.
Receiving a message
The whistleblower will receive an acknowledgment of receipt of the report within 7 days. Upon receiving a message, the whistleblowing team decides whether to accept or decline the report.
The whistleblowing team may not investigate the reported misconduct if:
If the report is declined, the whistleblower will be provided with the reasons for the decision. If the report is accepted, appropriate measures for investigation will be taken.
All messages are treated seriously and in accordance with these Whistleblowing guidelines.
The whistleblowing team shall inform the whistleblower within three months from the acknowledgment of receipt of the report of the measures to be implemented on the basis of the report.
The whistleblowing channel is administrated by WhistleB, an external service provider. All messages are encrypted. To ensure the anonymity of the person sending a report, WhistleB deletes all meta data, including IP addresses. The person sending the report also remains anonymous in the subsequent dialogue with responsible receivers of the report.