Sustainability Report 2023

At HiQ, we simplify people's lives by using technology, design and creativity to develop smart solutions, business and brands. We operate within the megatrend called digitisation and we believe that 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 way of life depends on large amounts of energy. And as human beings, we are spread across the world with a variety of 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 staff, take care of us people, reduce the burden on society, reduce negative environmental impact – and contribute to a more sustainable world.

HiQ is a consultancy company that develops high-tech solutions that make life easier for people. At the same time, the accelerating pace of technological development and digitisation create great opportunities to make our society more sustainable. It is in this position that we at HiQ help our clients on a daily basis to develop solutions that contribute to this. We are convinced that we as a company make the most difference by putting full focus on digitizing our customers’ operations, products and services. Or why not pure societal functions that allow us to use resources more efficiently.

Or to use digital methods and tools to educate people to make smarter choices. And we also make sure to do it in a fair way. With the help of technology, creativity, design and communication, we create solutions that simplify people’s lives. We streamline processes and systems. We’re speeding up flows. We digitize analogue products and services. We create solutions that are intuitive, fast, fun and secure. And not least simple. By digitizing and simplifying, we don’t just contribute to increased efficiency or 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 several governing documents that form the framework in the area of sustainability. These governing documents include, among other things; Policy for Business Ethics, Work Environment Policy, Environmental Policy and Gender Equality and Diversity Policy. In addition to purely measurable goals, the results of our policies can be seen in HiQ’s values. The practical work with these policies results in the employee handbooks, guidelines and instructions that are available. In addition, they are also covered in training courses that HiQ conducts and in the relationships that HiQ has with customers and suppliers.

HiQ’s Code of Business Ethics regulates HiQ’s governance model for preventing human rights violations and how we proceed to counteract 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 were reported in 2022 or 2023.

HiQ’s sustainability work consists of four parts

  1. We create a better world with the help of technology, design and communication – we do this by working with digitization together with our customers.
  2. We contribute to sustainable social development by generating tax revenue by delivering profitability and growth.
  3. We contribute to a reduced burden on the welfare systems by actively contributing to a healthy working environment and everyday life for our employees.
  4. 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 are convinced that the most important sustainability work we can do is to deliver high quality to our clients and be profitable – something we have strived for since HiQ was founded over 20 years ago. By delivering high quality to our customers, we contribute to new innovative solutions that increase availability, simplify and contribute to a more efficient use of resources.

A quantitative measure of how well we are doing in the customer area is our customer satisfaction index. The latest customer survey took place in 2023 with a customer satisfaction index of 4.2 (4.2 in 2021) out of a maximum of 5.0. A new survey will be carried out in the spring of 2024.

2. We contribute to sustainable social development by generating tax revenue

Being a profitable company also means contributing to the sustainable development of society by paying taxes. Through our high profitability, HiQ contributes by paying corporate tax. At the same time, HiQ is a labour-intensive company, which means that most of our costs are salaries and non-wage costs (such as social security contributions, pension costs, payroll tax, etc.). for jobs that we generate.

Based on HiQ’s operations, the company has assessed that the risks associated with respect for human rights are low and that the risks that exist in this area are minimised by complying with applicable legislation, policies and procedures and 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, gender 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 biggest risk in this area is that staff leave or are absent. In the area of employees, we measure staff turnover and sickness absence. Employee turnover is measured as a year-on-year change. 

HiQ is a value-driven company that works with proactive measures to ensure that our employees and their families can have a good everyday life.

4. We contribute to a better environment

Since HiQ is a service-producing company, the risks of environmental impact from our production process are limited, seen from a traditional perspective. The areas that we have identified that we can work with are energy consumption in our premises, transport and using environmentally friendly alternatives when purchasing as far as possible.

Whistleblower

As part of HiQ’s sustainability work, in 2022 we introduced a Whistleblower function where employees, clients and partners can anonymously report if they encounter actions or conditions that do not comply with HiQ’s Business Ethics policy. The function is available to all employees at HiQ and on our website.

  • Cases reported in 2022: 2
  • Cases reported in 2023: 2

Ecovadis

HiQ’s long-term work for sustainable business was recognised in March 2024 with the EcoVadis Bronze Medal. According to the award, HiQ is thus positioned among the top 35 per cent in our industry. This is out of all the companies that were evaluated in sustainability by EcoVadis in the last 12 months.

Sustainability Goals

Customers

  • The same or higher customer satisfaction index compared to the previous survey. A new customer survey will be conducted in the spring of 2024.

Society:

  • No quantitative objectives have been set.

Social conditions and personnel

  • Attract more women to the tech industry
  • Lower staff turnover in 2023 compared to 2022
  • Lower sickness absence in 2023 compared to 2022
    Conduct group-wide employee surveys during 2023.
    Develop a plan for increased DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) during 2023.

Environment:

  • Reduce our absolute CO₂ emissions from company cars by 60% by 2025. Calculated from the start of the measurement in 2020 until 2023, our CO₂ emissions decreased by 66% per employee and 47% in absolute terms
  • 100% of the share of company cars will be hybrid or electric by 2028. In 2023, the share increased to 77%.
  • Increase environmental awareness among our employees
  • Recycle end-of-life computers and take responsibility for the entire life cycle of computers and other hardware. 80% of the companies in the group will have recycling programs for hardware by 2025. In 2023, the share increased to 45%

Anti-corruption:

  • Zero tolerance for corruption
  • Zero tolerance for money laundering
  • Zero tolerance of sanctions violations
  • No violations of these policies were reported in 2022 or 2023.

Apart from the fact that HiQ must comply with applicable laws and regulations, no separate performance indicators have been used to respect human rights. As of 2022, HiQ will set targets for our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) work and we will continuously measure our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) work.

CSRD

In 2024, HiQ will establish complementary processes, routines and KPIs for compliance with the new EU legislation on non-financial sustainability reporting, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Review of Sustainability Policies

HiQ annually reviews compliance with the company’s policies, both in the area of sustainability and other policies, within the framework of the controller tour that is being conducted. The Board also annually revises the policies that have been adopted.

Risks in Sustainability work

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.

Three examples where HiQ and digitization contribute to a more sustainable world

Safe Traffic / Reduced Road Accidents

Zenseact, a software company specializing in autonomous driving and driver assistance, is striving towards a world without vehicular accidents with their motto: Towards Zero Faster. With a strong connection to Volvo Cars, Zenseact’s system has initially been integrated into the Polestar 3 and several Volvo models. To achieve this vision, the ambition is to take Zenseact’s AI-powered software further and implement it in as many vehicles as possible. 

This is where HiQ comes in. Through a long-term and strategic partnership, HiQ is responsible for making Zenseact’s software offering and main product, OpenPilot, scalable and easy to integrate into other car models. The solution is a supporting software developed by HiQ, IntegrationSuite. A complex product that touches almost every part of Zenseact’s OnePilot.

HiQ’s cross-functional team of consultants handles everything from hardware installation and hands-on testing, software architecture and optimisation. And supports partners in the integration process of the software. Initiatives that make a real difference to increased road safety. 

Flight Simulator

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.

Sustainable Forestry

Metsä Group’s Pro Nemus Innovation Center is designed as a stage for interactive digital experiences, built entirely from organic Finnish wood. Visiting Pro Nemus is all about experiencing the life cycle of a forest. To see how trees are harvested, how they are processed and what eventually becomes of them.

Far, far away, deep in a Finnish forest, lies the world’s first next-generation bioproduct mill, which refines wood and pulp for the products of the future. It uses no fossil fuels, generates surplus bioenergy and uses 100 percent of its wood raw material. It is the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere. At its side is the Pro Nemus Innovation Center, which provides an experiential cross-section of a forest’s life cycle and the impacts and opportunities of the bioeconomy in a world that must increasingly rely on responsible, renewable raw materials.

The centre offers a virtual tour of a sustainable commercial forest. Visitors can enter an immersive forest experience to use various digital tools to understand how the best raw material grows and learn about sustainable forest management now and in the future.

By physically interacting with their surroundings, visitors are confronted with a data warehouse that is ubiquitous. Among other things, HiQ has developed a 3D globe to visualise the path of renewable raw materials throughout the transport cycle. There isn’t a clear path or linear narrative. The user is free to explore the forest however they want. Like in real life. Through interactions such as touching a real pine trunk or standing in specific places, the user can encounter the digital surroundings and explore sustainable forestry. 

The Swedish version of the sustainability report can be downloaded here