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Our Society

We are committed to sustainability as part of our day-to-day business. Sustainability is at the heart of our growth strategy and drives the way we interact with our stakeholders. We strive to make a difference in many lives, businesses, and communities. By helping our customers optimize the way they do business – using our products to provide better healthcare, navigate change, and build better judicial and regulatory systems - Wolters Kluwer has a positive impact on society.

Sustainability strategy

By attempting to maximize social contribution and financial results, while minimizing our environmental impact and contributing to a circular society, sustainability remains an important driver of long-term value creation for all our stakeholders. Wolters Kluwer has implemented several initiatives in this regard.

Wolters Kluwer Sustainability strategy

Sustainable development goals

Wolters Kluwer is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the United Nations in 2016. The goals establish a coherent framework to boost global sustainable development by engaging stakeholders. In line with the Wolters Kluwer value creation model, we are contributing to the following goals:

  • 3 Good health and well-being
  • 4 Quality education
  • 5 Gender equality
  • 8 Decent work and economic growth
  • 9 Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • 10 Reduced inequalities
  • 12 Responsible consumption and production
  • 13 Climate action
  • 16 Peace, justice, and strong institutions
  • 17 Partnerships for the goals

Our product impact portfolio contributes to goals 3, 4, 9, and 16. The continuous investment in new and enhanced products in the range of 8 to 10% of total revenues and the digital & services revenues representing 87% of total revenues show our dedication to goals 9 and 12. By fostering diversity and assuring good governance, we ensure that in our organization goals 5 and 8 are supported. We acknowledge our responsibility with respect to goals 10, 13, and 17 by minimizing our environmental impact and engaging with our stakeholders for effective community involvement.

Product impact portfolio

We provide information, software solutions, and services that help customers deliver better outcomes, analytics, and productivity benefits. In 2015, Wolters Kluwer introduced the product impact portfolio as a framework for inspiring sustainable innovation. This portfolio helps us to identify the sustainable impact our expert solutions make on our customers, which extends to society. Arranged around economic, social, and environmental impacts, our portfolio directly contributes to people, planet, and profit.

To increase the efficiency of the sustainability data management process and improve the accuracy of the data, we started using Enablon, a global provider of environmental, health, and safety (EHS), and operational risk management software, which was acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2016. It supports our innovation-driven sustainability strategy and allows us to expand our product impact portfolio.

Wolters Kluwer product improvement portfolio

Resource efficient operations

Our Environmental Policy demonstrates our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact. Our digital business is a circular business, as the multiplication of digital products results in a more efficient use of resources. In addition, we reduce our environmental footprint and monitor the use of natural resources in our operations. With these initiatives we contribute to agreements reached in Paris at the COP21 in December 2015.

Our efforts are reflected in the different cases globally. For example, in all German offices 100% renewable energy is used in electricity consumption. In our Riverwoods location in the U.S., a 5-year plan has been rolled out to make a positive contribution to the environment. We support a rare assembly of plant and animal species – including 200-year old American oak trees and wetlands that are home to the blue-spotted salamander – and contributes significantly to the protection of the area’s water resources, air quality and carbon sequestration. The land also includes buckthorn, a non-native plant species, which is known to change the chemical composition of the soil and remove light from the canopy trees.

Responsible Supply Chain

We work together with our suppliers because we acknowledge our responsibility in the supply chain. We review our procurement process critically and are striving to achieve an environmentally and socially sustainable supply chain.

The Supplier Management Program includes initial due diligence and ongoing review of third-party relationships. This helps ensure the supplier provides products and services consistent with our requirements and those of our clients.

Suppliers are requested to sign the Wolters Kluwer Supplier Code of Conduct and to confirm whether they operate in one or more of the listed countries and industries.  The countries and industries in scope for the evaluation are published here. If (i) the product is manufactured in or service is directly delivered from one of the countries listed and (ii) the supplier is active in one of the industries listed, we require the vendor to present relevant sustainability certifications for which the supplier is certified. These may include at least one of the following social certifications (or equivalent):

  • OHSAS 18001, ICTI, Smeta (Sedex), UL (PGA), SA8000, BSCI, ETI, ISO 37001

We recommend that the supplier is also certified for at least one of the following environmental certifications (or equivalent):

  • ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001, EMAS, China Environmental Label, QC 080000, UL Environment, LEED, BREEAM

Suppliers for printed media and office paper products need to be certified by at least one of the following certifications:

  • FSCPEFCSFIEU EcolabelNordic SwanBlauer Engel

Case Study: Community Involvement

Wolters Kluwer has been a corporate team partner with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Program since 2010 and has raised over $293,000 to help fund cancer research, patient support programs, and prevention information and education. Numerous fundraising events have been organized in which our employees from around the country form teams and walk (or run) around a track with others from their work and community during the day-long events. The positive side-effect: Our employees become healthier.

In addition, we set up the Emergency Relief program, which is centrally organized and complemented by local employee-driven initiatives. Donations are invested in essential needs such as food, water, health, and housing. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes require a separate approach. In September 2017, colleagues, customers, communities and businesses in Houston and Florida were severely impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. To support the critical recovery and rebuilding efforts by the American Red Cross, Wolters Kluwer employees donated generously, showing that their hearts and minds were with those affected. In total, $131.585 was collected through the employee matching gift program and additional donations made by the Executive Board.

More information in the Sustainability Data document.