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People development and diversity

Striving to be the best medical device company in the world requires that our leaders and people constantly grow and develop their skills and competencies. Coloplast believes that personal development should be respectful to individual motivational drivers and without the hindrance of culturally related barriers. Read more

On-boarding for success

Coloplast expects to expand the organisation up to 3,000 new positions before 2020, of which a large number will be in production. It is important for Coloplast to set new employees up for success, which is why Coloplast has implemented a Global On-boarding Programme targeted at sales representatives and consumer specialists.

We believe in respecting and fostering diversity

We base our diversity work on the principle that it is a pre-requisite for success when competing at a global level, that we treat all our employees with respect and dignity and that we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.

We believe that inclusion and diversity is a pre-requisite for success when competing at a global level. Our People Review- and People Development-processes reflect our commitment and obligation to ensure equal opportunities for employees, irrespective of gender, age, nationality, etc.

Increased focus on women in management

With 42% of Coloplast managers being female, we maintain an equal distribution between men and women in management. However, we want to have a balanced gender representation at all management levels, and when it comes to top management, the share of female leaders account for 21%. Our ambition is to have a balanced gender, so we strive to make year on year improvements until we reach it.

For more information og progress, see our Corporate Responsibility Report.


Health and safety

Providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees is a core value for Coloplast. In general, operations work in Coloplast is relatively low-risk compared to other industries, and Coloplast has never had a fatal workplace injury. Read more

Same standards globally

Health and safety standards apply to all our people, no matter what part of the world they work in. We use the international standard OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety as a way to make sure our production sites adhere to the same rules globally.

Reducing occupational injuries

Although we’ve never had a fatality in our operations, we have too many accidents. That's why, we have set a target to reduce the loss time injury rate to 3.0 by 2020 compared to the 2016/17-level. This corresponds to a 33% reduction.

The most common injuries for both white- and blue-collar employees are behaviour based, such as stumbling and falling. Safety is everybody responsibility in Coloplast, both manager and employees. 

To support the reduction target, Coloplast is therefore strengthening the safety culture by enforcing three safety behaviours across all production sites:

  • You see it, you own it
  • Think twice
  • Dare to care

In addition, special attention is given to all minor and ‘near-miss accidents’ to help identify and solve problems early and minimise potential future risks. Other initiatives to reduce occupational injuries include sharing best practices between sites, and increasing focus on safety specifications before new machine orders are finalised.

Reducing repetitive work

A typical production process relies mostly on manual labour during the initial stages of product development. Later on, machines are adapted and processes become more automatic.

In our own production, we have decided to focus on providing an ergonomically correct workplace layout whenever manual labour is required. We do this by reducing repetitive work for example. This is when employees spend a lot of time doing the same repetitive movements at their work stations, which can be strenuous on the body. We have developed our own innovative system for measuring repetitive work, which enables us to improve our workplaces and to track our progress.

Coloplast Life Programme

The attention to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in society stands in direct contrast to the amount of unhealthy options all around us. This can result in poor health and in some cases obesity. Through Coloplast Life we provide a variety of initiatives to make the healthy choice as easy as possible. This could be local activities such as “Bike to Work” and running clubs after work.

Coloplast Life also focuses on mental health on a local basis. For example, Coloplast has a stress policy including professional stress-counselling in Denmark.


Supply chain responsibility

We engage in dialogue with our suppliers and help to improve working conditions. Read more

Through our Supply Chain Responsibility programme, we extend our human rights standards onto our suppliers and monitor the risks of non-compliance. This way, we know that our raw material suppliers are being cautious about their social impact and providing healthy and safe working conditions for their employees.

Screening potential suppliers

For new suppliers, we explain our standards on human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, as well as corruption. This information is also included in the final contract with the supplier. In high-risk countries, all potential raw material suppliers are audited by external partners’ according to local regulations, Coloplast’s code of conduct, the United Nations Global Compact Principles,

If an issue is identified, we work together with the supplier on any necessary improvements, which form the basis for an action plan and provides the means for dialogue. Depending on the level of any non-compliance found, the Decision Board considers whether or not to go ahead and do business with the supplier and help to improve the supplier’s standards.The Decision Board reviews the audit report according to local regulations, Coloplast’s code of conduct, the United Nations Global Compact Principles, and considers factors such as the nature of the relationship with the supplier and history of cooperation.

Through this approval process, we map relevant risks and ensure on-boarding suppliers that are willing to improve local conditions together if necessary. 100% of our raw materials suppliers have been approved through this process. So far, we've made improvement together with more than 25 suppliers. 

Monitoring existing suppliers

We monitor existing suppliers for compliance through adverse feedback, i.e. change in ownership or expansion of site, and site visits. This process usually takes place with the Coloplast procurement team in the markets where the supplier operates. If the Coloplast procurement teams identify a supplier that is in non-compliance with Coloplast’s code of conduct or a corrective action plan, the Decision Board is contacted to review whether or not to continue to do business with the supplier and help to improve the supplier’s standards. 

Our programme does not include giving out financial support to help suppliers implement changes. We help on a consulting basis where our local teams share cost efficient best practices that comply with local regulations. We do this since it is often the case that suppliers are unaware of how to implement improvements. Usually, the suppliers respond positively and implement the action plan discussed. However, in a few cases we may have to terminate the cooperation.


Improving conditions in Pakistan

In 2010, concerns were raised over one of our suppliers in Pakistan. We responded immediately after an external auditing service had reviewed the site and labelled the company a ‘high risk supplier’. One of our Coloplast employees with a Pakistani background working at our corporate headquarters visited the site twice within a six month period... Read the results of this case

Along with our Corporate Procurement team, he worked with the supplier to make sure they understood the importance of following our standards. During the first visit, we found violations such as inadequate fire exit routes and a lack of protective equipment. However, it was also clear that the supplier was very willing to cooporate, enabling us to work with them to fix the issues. After our second visit to the Pakistan site, the standards improved significantly. This was followed by a close inspection from our Decision Board who ultimately upgraded the supplier to ‘medium risk’ status.

The Decision Board is made up of senior representatives from our Corporate Responsibility, Global Operations, Corporate Procurement and Quality and Environment departments. Together they assess the willingness and progress of improvements of all questionable suppliers and make final decisions on their status. We will continue to closely monitor this supplier to ensure they meet our standards.


Improving conditions in China

In 2007, we were approached by a supplier in China, who wanted to do business with us. As a standard procedure, we checked to see if they could meet our human rights and ethical business practices standards. Unfortunately, we found significant problems, so we decided not to do business with them at that stage... Read the results of this case

The Chinese supplier asked for recommendations and guidance on how to make improvements to the health and safety standards in the site, as well as improvements to their employees’ benefits. Three years later, a revision of a supplier contract gave the company an opportunity to approach Coloplast again. Through inspections of their site,we concluded that they had indeed taken the guidance from Coloplast seriously. Since 2007, all operations had been moved to a new production site with better health and safety standards, and the company now offered the necessary employee benefits. This was not only good news for their employees, but also for us, since they offer high quality products at a competitive rate. In the end the company was approved by our Decision Board as a ‘medium risk’ supplier and we decided to work with them.

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