Sustainability Report 2021
At HiQ, we simplify people's lives by using technology, design and creativity to develop smart solutions, businesses and brands. We operate within the megatrend called digitization, and we believe technology development is the best way to make the world better, more sustainable, simpler, safer – and more fun.
We live in a world with a finite number of natural resources. Our lifestyle is dependent on large amounts of energy. And as humans, we are spread across the globe with various living conditions, structures and rights. As a company, we adhere to the rules, instructions and guidelines that our Nordic countries and the international community set for us. We work to ensure that we take care of our personnel, reduce the burden on society, reduce negative environmental impact – and contribute to a more sustainable world.
HiQ is a consulting group that develops high-tech solutions to simplify people’s lives. At the same time, the increasingly rapid technological development and digitization create great opportunities to make our society more sustainable. In that position, we at HiQ daily help our customers develop solutions that contribute to this. We are convinced that as a company, we make the most significant difference by fully focusing on digitizing our customers’ operations, products and services. Or why not pure social functions that allow us to use resources more efficiently?
Or to use digital methods and means to educate humans to make smarter choices. And we also make sure to do it nicely. With the help of technology, creativity, design and communication, we create solutions that simplify people’s lives. We streamline processes and systems. We speed up flows. We digitize analogue products and services. We create intuitive, fast, fun, secure, and, last but not least, simple solutions. By digitizing and simplifying, we not only contribute to increased efficiency and pure profitability. We also contribute to slowly but surely creating a better world. A safer, more secure, more fun – and perhaps above all – a more sustainable world.
HiQ has a number of governing documents that form the framework in the area of sustainability. These governing documents include, among others, policy for business ethics, work environment policy, environmental policy and equality and diversity policy. In addition to purely measurable goals, the results of our policies can be seen in the values that HiQ has. The practical work with these policies culminates in the personnel handbooks, guidelines and instructions that exist. In addition, they are also used in training that HiQ conducts and in the relationships that HiQ has with customers and suppliers. HiQ’s business ethics policy regulates HiQ’s governance model to prevent human rights violations and how we proceed to counter corruption. For HiQ, fighting corruption means taking responsibility for the projects HiQ carries out and the working methods used. HiQ has zero tolerance for non-compliance with our business ethics policy. No violations of this policy have been reported in 2020 or 2021.
HiQ’s sustainability work consists of four parts
- We create a better world with the help of technology, design and communication – we do this by working with digitization together with our customers.
- We contribute to sustainable social development by generating tax revenue by delivering profitability and growth.
- We contribute to a reduced burden on the welfare systems by actively contributing to a healthy working environment and everyday life for our employees.
- We contribute to a better environment by reducing our burden on the environment by choosing resource-efficient options for purchases, transport and premises.
1. We create a better world with the help of technology, design and communication
We believe that the most crucial sustainability work we can do is to deliver high quality to our customers and be profitable – something we have strived for since HiQ started over 20 years ago. By delivering high quality to our customers, we contribute to new innovative solutions that increase accessibility, simplify and contribute to more efficient resource utilization. Our customer satisfaction index is a quantitative measure of how well we succeed in the customer area. The latest customer survey took place in 2021, and the customer satisfaction index improved to 4.3 (4.1 in 2018) out of a maximum of 5.0.
2. We contribute to sustainable social development by generating tax revenue
Being a profitable company also means contributing to sustainable social development by paying taxes. Through our high profitability, HiQ contributes by paying corporation tax. At the same time, HiQ is a staff-intensive company, meaning that most of our costs are salaries and salary-related costs (such as social security contributions, pension costs, and payroll tax) for jobs we generate. Based on the activities that HiQ conducts, the company has assessed that the risks associated with respect for human rights are low and that those that exist in the area are minimized by following current legislation, policies and routines and by paying taxes and fees.
3. We contribute to a reduced burden on the welfare systems
For HiQ, our employees are our most important resource and, therefore, a natural part of our sustainability work. In addition to respect for human rights, equality and labour law rules, it is therefore of great importance to us as a company that our employees are happy and healthy.
For HiQ, the most significant risk in this area is that staff leave or are absent. In the area of employees, we measure staff turnover and sickness absence. Staff turnover is measured compared to the previous year.
HiQ is a value-driven company that works with proactive measures to ensure that our employees and their families are given the opportunity to live a good everyday life.
4. We contribute to a better environment
As HiQ is a service-producing company, the risks of environmental impact from our production process, seen from a traditional perspective, are limited. The areas we have identified that we can work on are: energy consumption on our premises, transport, and to the extent we can, use environmentally friendly alternatives when purchasing.
As part of HiQ’s sustainability work, in 2022, we will introduce a Whistleblower function where employees, customers and partners can report anonymously if they come across actions or conditions that do not comply with HiQ’s business ethics policy. The function is available to all employees at HiQ.
HiQ har satt upp följande mål inom hållbarhetsarbetet:
- Equal or improved customer satisfaction index compared to the previous measurement.
- No quantitative objectives have been set.
Social conditions and personnel
- Attract more women to the tech industry
- Lower staff turnover in 2022 compared to 2021
- Lower sickness absence in 2022 compared to 2021
- Halve CO2 emissions from company cars by 2025
- Increase the environmental awareness of our employees
- Recycle end-of-life computers and take responsibility for the entire life cycle of computers and other hardware
- Zero tolerance for corruption.
No performance indicators are used within the framework of respect for human rights, apart from HiQ’s compliance with current laws and regulations. From 2022, HiQ has decided to set goals regarding ESG (Environment Social and Governance) work and will make measurements for follow-up at board level.
Review of Policies
HiQ annually reviews compliance with the policies that the company has, both in the area of sustainability and other policies, within the framework of the controller tour that is carried out. The board also revises the adopted policies annually.
The significant risks in the area of sustainability that HiQ has identified are related to our employees, and there is a great deal of focus on the daily work. Several governing documents have been drawn up, and targets have been set. As regards risks within HiQ’s other sustainability areas, none of the other risks has been assessed as significant. The risks within the sustainability work that have been identified are evaluated annually and form an integral part of HiQ’s risk management process. Based on the outcome of the evaluation, the governing documents are updated.
Two examples where HiQ and digitization contribute to a more sustainable world
Today we live in a society where cash is an essential and natural part of everyday life. Or? Hey…are we really doing that? Well, at least that’s how it used to be. Today, many of us can probably agree that you will do just fine without cash in your pocket for quite some time at least. If you didn’t know, Sweden is one of the countries in the world that has come the furthest in moving towards a completely cashless society.
The fact that we are far ahead – or perhaps even at the front – depends on us purposefully developing smart, secure and simple mobile transfer and payment methods. And this makes it easy to make transactions, but it also paved the way for the development of other types of currencies than our old Swedish kronor. And pretty soon, we will reach the level when it costs society nominally more to handle cash than there is cash in the system.
By the way, the Riksbank has already calculated that a cash purchase costs society more than a card purchase. And to be honest, the nominal cost itself is one thing, but the actual cost is much greater. To name a few things. Coin and banknote manufacturing consists of heavy industries, such as mining, pulp, and metal. Cash involves transportation, a lot of transportation. And as if that wasn’t enough, cash handling with the risks of robbery burdens our welfare system. By developing smart, safe and simple digital payment and transfer methods, we have halved the amount of cash in circulation in Sweden over the past ten years. As a result, we can use the industry more efficient, and we reduce a lot of transport. With digitization, we undeniably create a more sustainable world.
Less Flying Time
HiQ’s first project was to build training simulators for the fighter jet JAS 39 Gripen pilots. The JAS 39 Gripen is one of the world’s most advanced combat aircrafts, and a crucial part of our country’s defence. High demands are placed on the pilots. In addition to staying in top condition physically and mentally, they also have to train regularly to fly the fighter jets. Much of their training is performed in a simulator environment.
Since the 1990s, HiQ has developed and refined training simulators for the JAS 39 Gripen for both Swedish pilots and for pilots in the countries where Sweden has exported the combat aircraft. The simulator is a high-tech solution based on advanced simulation technology – something within HiQ’s area of expertise.
With technology and expertise, we make it easier for pilots to train in realistic flight situations. By constantly improving the experience in the simulator, we can gradually switch to reducing the time the plane flies in the air. Planes flying in the air result in emissions from the fighter aircraft’s internal combustion engines. They also wear out faster. It also entails the risk of large costs if the plan breaks down or crashes. And that entails, not least, a risk for the pilots to be injured or, in the worst case, killed. Through technology, creativity, design and communication, we make it easier for fighter pilots to train under controlled situations. And in this way, we create a better world.
The Swedish version of the sustainability report can be downloaded here
There are two kinds of tech.
The good kind, that makes everything work without making a sound. It just works. And then there’s the high maintenance kind. The attention-lover that can make any task take forever. That sucks all the fun out of your day, and everyone else’s too. And if you add all that up, it amounts to a whole lot of useless time.
We decided to dedicate the entire workforce of our company to do something about that waste. But to win the battle, we need more people who wants to join the good fight. Let’s join forces and simply end bad tech. Now.