As of 24 March 2022
At NORBIT, we act and conduct business with integrity and transparency. Part of this also includes transparent reporting and disclosure of how the group’s day-to-day operations impact environmental, social and governance factors. NORBIT aims to create value for customers, shareholders, employees, and society; first and foremost, by producing a variety of specialised products and solutions that
support the customers’ sustainability strategies.
NORBIT’s license to operate rests on confidence from its key stakeholders. All employees are therefore committed to comply with the group’s code of conduct to ensure maintenance of high ethical standards in its business concept and relations with customers, suppliers and employees. The ethical guidelines apply to all employees and include, among others, guidelines on personal conduct, conflicts of Interests, anti-corruption and fair competition.
The ambition is to contribute to sustainable development both in terms of acting responsible in the group’s own value chain (internal focus), as well as developing and selling products that contribute to solving sustainability challenges for customers and the society at large (external focus).
COMMITTED TO MAKING UN GLOBAL COMPACT PRINCIPLES A PART OF DAILY OPERATIONS
NORBIT is committed to making the UN Global Compact and its principles part of the group strategy, culture and day-to- day operations.
As part of this commitment, NORBIT reports on practical actions taken or planned by the group to implement the UN Global Compact principles and measurement of outcomes of these actions. NORBIT has submitted a Communication on Progress Report in March 2022, describing undertaken activities and outcomes in 2021. This report can be found on the UN Global Compact’s website www.unglobalcompact.org.
Supporting our customers’ sustainability strategies NORBIT also aims to create value for customers, shareholders, employees and the society at large; first and foremost, by producing a variety of specialised products and solutions that support the customers’ sustainability strategies within two main areas; digital transformation and blue economy.
As part of the progress report to the UN Global Compact, NORBIT has identified four sustainable development goals (SDGs) that the group contributes to today and will continue to work towards in the future:
NORBIT’s ambition is to create environmental value. “Doing more with less” is the group environmental tag, which is reflected in the group’s Code of Conduct. The following information provides examples of the group’s standards and ongoing initiatives relating to environmental considerations. In addition, NORBIT intends to identify and implement additional activities in line with SDG 13 and 14, reducing CO2 emissions from the transportation sector and sustainably using the oceans, both of which are priority areas for the group.
Oceans and the Blue Economy
The oceans are an integral part of the world economy, from harvesting of seafood and extraction of resources such as minerals and energy to maritime commerce and transport.
Today, ocean industries, known as the Blue Economy, have an estimated turnover of between USD 3 and 6 trillion annually, according to the UN, but are expected to become even more important over the next decades. DNV GL forecast a nine-fold increase in demand for ocean space for sustainable aquaculture and energy production towards 2050, made possible by technology innovation.
The Blue Economy brings endless opportunities, but there is also a need to find solutions that protect marine biodiversity and ensures safe operations at sea. Within segment Oceans, there are five main areas where Oceans’ technology and products are well-positioned to support in the Blue Economy: safety of navigation, renewable energy, security, fisheries and environmental monitoring.
Within marine transport, Oceans offers tools for safe underwater navigation and our high-performance sonars are used when conducting maintenance or construction of infrastructure such as quay walls, bridges and pipelines.
For marine renewable energy projects, Oceans has solutions for permitting surveys, planning surveys, construction and maintenance support as well as planning of water resources and reservoirs. Towards 2050, Blue Economy investments in offshore wind will exceed oil and gas according to DNV GL.
Fisheries are expected to have a key role in transforming food systems and eliminating hunger and malnutrition, according to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Oceans provide solutions for habitant detection for planning of asset deployed on seafloor, in addition to technology and services to the aquaculture segment allowing for sustainable growth of ocean related proteins.
Over recent years, Oceans has built up a strong presence within environmental monitoring through its SeaCOP Surveillance System. The purpose of the system is to give the user situational awareness, information and tools to increase efficiency and reduce cost, at the same time ensuring the safety of people, the environment and marine assets. In 2021, sales of such solutions represented approximately 15 per cent of Oceans’ revenues.
Connectivity’s contribution to lower CO2 emissions
Through Connectivity, NORBIT enables our clients to further digitise and make their operations and logistics more effective, with optimised planning of routes resulting in reduced traffic. Sub-segment Smart Data has systems and software designed to monitor, control and protect vehicles through fleet management, using real-time data to determine the current location of a vehicle or asset and allowing for improved route planning, including identifying more fuel-efficient roads.
NORBIT has three production facilities, of which two are certified according to the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system, ISO 14001. The third production site is in process of being Eco-Lighthouse certified. The three manufacturing sites have different KPIs defined for electricity and water consumption.
In 2020, NORBIT completed the expansion of the production facility at Røros. The new facility was built with energy efficiency in mind, with thermal energy storage as the main energy source.
In 2021, NORBIT completed the development of a new supplier quality management system, expecting the system to be rolled- out during 2022.
At year-end 2021, NORBIT had 391 full-time equivalents across 15 jurisdictions. NORBIT’s main asset is its employees. NORBIT’s core value “Refinement of talents” serves as a guiding principle for continuous development of all employees’ skills and personal attributes. NORBIT strives to protect all its employees’ health, safety, human rights, and labour rights. NORBIT also conducts its work maintaining a high ethical standard in its business concept and relations with customers, suppliers and employees. NORBIT’s Code of Conduct describes the group’s policies and goals related to these standards.
NORBIT complies with established standards and employment legislation. The Code of Conduct is founded on key UN and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and documents. NORBIT employees have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively. Workers’ representative roles are established, and such employees have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace. NORBIT describes employees’ rights, compensation, benefits, and responsibilities through several policy documents.
NORBIT shall promote a working environment characterised by diversity, equality, and mutual respect. This includes providing equal opportunities for all employees in an inclusive work culture. NORBIT appreciates that every individual is unique and valuable and should be respected for his or her individual abilities.
NORBIT is committed to promoting diversity. NORBIT is a global group of companies with offices in 15 countries worldwide, having employees of 22 different nationalities. NORBIT’s employees have a broad and diversified background, both culturally as well as by education and work experience. Different expertise and experience contribute positively to NORBIT’s development.
NORBIT is supportive of gender diversity, strengthening the collaborative foundation between employees. Within the group, the gender balance varies across functions. Of the total 311 FTE’s in the group, 88 are women, giving a female percentage of the workforce of 28 per cent. The board of directors consists of five members, of which two were women, while six out of six members of the management team are men. In 2021, the group had 43 part-time employees, of which 70 per cent were women and 30 per cent were men, and 65 temporary employees of which 74 per cent were men and 26 per cent were women. There were no involuntary part-time engagements in the group in 2021. During 2021, 10 Norwegian employees, divided into 8 men and 2 women, had parental leave. The average parental leave in the Norwegian companies was 15 weeks for men and 23 weeks for women. NORBIT follows applicable laws and regulations governing parental leave.
NORBIT strives to ensure that work of equal value shall receive equal pay, regardless of social differences. Salaries are determined based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, seniority, performance, responsibility and qualifications. Salary adjustments are carried out once a year. Salary levels vary across jurisdictions depending on competition for such resources and the general wage level of the countries NORBIT operates in. As a general guideline, NORBIT shall provide competitive salaries, but not be market leading. In addition to salaries, employees have pension and insurance schemes, which is governed by the employment agreements. All employees with 50 per cent working interest or more are entitled to participate in employee share incentive programs.
In 2021, NORBIT carried out a salary survey for its Norwegian companies in the group. The table below sets out the results of the survey. The salary gap between women and men is found in the administration / other category and is primarily explained by a larger share of men being employed in senior positions.
NORBIT does not accept any form of harassment or discrimination based on gender, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, cultural background, social group, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or political opinion. This is governed by NORBIT’s Code of Conduct, which all employees are obliged to follow according to the employment agreement. Whistleblowing is an important channel for receiving information about negative issues so that they can be properly corrected and followed up. NORBIT encourages its employees to report suspected or actual occurrences of inappropriate, unethical, or illegal events or breaches of the Code of Conduct. NORBIT has therefore drawn specific guidelines for whistleblowing, including whom to report to, how to report and how the group is required to act on the report. There were no such incidents reported in 2021.
As a growing group, NORBIT is in continuous search of new skilled employees. Recruiting is generally carried out through open channels, and in certain cases with support from recruitment agencies. The recruitment agencies are well familiar with NORBIT’s values and Code of Conduct. NORBIT welcomes all relevant applications to its open positions, and we treat applications with strict confidentiality.
Employee relationships and satisfaction
NORBIT gives each employee considerable scope in making decisions regarding their work. This implies a significant degree of freedom and places a substantial responsibility on employees. The organisational culture shall be characterised by openness and good internal communication so that any misconduct or problems can be addressed, discussed, and resolved in a timely manner. All NORBIT employees are encouraged to report any incident of discrimination. According to an employee satisfaction survey conducted during 2021, the working environment in the group is perceived as very good.
Health, safety and security
A safe, secure, and healthy working environment is a key priority in the group, and this applies wherever the group operates. The specific business units have defined safety routines and work instructions for the use of potentially harmful tools. NORBIT has defined specific KPIs for HSS related injuries and sick leave. NORBIT strives for zero injuries, and in 2021 no significant injuries or accidents were recorded. NORBIT is working proactively to maintain a low sick leave. The group had 3.3 per cent sick leave in 2021, compared to 3.5 per cent in 2020. Sick leave within the Norwegian workforce is lower than the country average of approximately 6.5 per cent (as of Q3 2021), according to Statistics Norway.
NORBIT maintains a high ethical standard in its business concept and relations with customers, suppliers and employees. The following ethical guidelines are practised in the group and apply to all employees:
1. Personal conduct: All employees and representatives of the group shall behave with respect and integrity towards business relations and partners, customers and colleagues. The executive management team has a particular responsibility to promote openness, loyalty and respect.
2. Conflict of Interests: Employees or representatives shall avoid situations in which a conflict between their own personal and/or financial interests and the group’s interests may occur.
3. Confidential Information: Employees or representatives of the group possessing confidential information related to the group shall conduct themselves and safeguard such information with great care and loyalty and comply with any and all signed confidentiality statements.
4. Competition: The group supports fair and open competition. Employees and representatives shall never take part in any activities that may constitute a breach of competition legislation.
5. Influence: Employees and representatives shall neither directly nor indirectly offer, promise, request, demand, or accept illegal or unjust gifts of money or any other remuneration in order to achieve a commercial benefit.
NORBIT has zero-tolerance for any form of corruption, bribery, fraud, or dishonesty. This means that NORBIT has no tolerance for paying, facilitating, or receiving any bribes or facilitation, payments, extortion, kickbacks or any other improper private or professional benefits to customers, agents, contractors, suppliers or employees of any such party or government officials.
Supporting the engineers of the future
NORBIT’s recruiting strategy includes offering internships to students. As part of the internship programmes, the students learn and experience how technology can innovate and be applied in various contexts. During 2021, the group had 20 internship positions within R&D across Oceans, Connectivity and PIR. NORBIT also contributes with both monetary support and nonfinancial initiatives to various student organisations in order to stimulate the engineers of the future to become interested in innovation and development. In close collaboration with educational institutions, NORBIT inspires a new generation of engineers to explore the technology area in search of new knowledge.
NORBIT aspires to be a positive contributor in the societies where the group has operations. This covers various activities, ranging from providing reflective vests to children in kindergartens, to being a proud sponsor of several local sports associations. In 2021, NORBIT provided monetary support to over 10 local sport associations.