6Creating Value beyond the Business

6.1Responsible supplier standards 

As is typical in the high-tech sector, Cicor’s supply chain is complex, global, and multi-tiered. In 2023, the Group procured a broad variety of goods and services specific to the individual sites of the company (for more information see the chapter “supply chain overview”). This inevitably demands proactive management and presents a major challenge to assess and ensure compliance at all levels. In particular, ethical and social issues in the supply chain, such as child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and environmental exploitation, can have severe legal, financial, and reputational consequences. Additionally, dependence on suppliers that do not meet responsible standards also poses a risk of supply chain disruption, a serious threat to the company’s own productivity. Thus, Cicor makes every effort to uphold responsible supplier standards by taking appropriate precautions at the earliest stage with a supplier assessment form on Cicor level and a supplier self-assessment to mitigate potential risk to stakeholders.

Supplies from authorized sources help Cicor achieve its quality ambitions, with suppliers conducting failure analysis and taking corrective actions should a defect occur. The Group knows that testing, on-time delivery, and good-quality supplies are critical to meet customers’ expectations and to experience fewer product rejections. Cicor also values reliability and openness of its suppliers, with the goal of forging long-term business partnerships. Since finding new sources is a costly process, strengthening relationships with sustainable suppliers is good practice.

Supply chain overview

High-quality production is at the core of the Cicor Group’s products. Across the group’s fifteen sites, responsible standards are imposed on all supply chains. The following table provides a breakdown of each site’s individual supply chain:


Approach / Procured Goods

Number of Suppliers

Supplier Location Distribution

Arad, Romania

The site manages around 20000-part numbers for raw materials for electronic components, PCBs, and metal and plastic mechanical parts. Manufacturers for the electronic components are chosen by the customer from the authorized vendor lists (AVL).

~ 500

Based on purchase volume:

Europe: 85 %

Asia: 10 %

North America: 5 %

Batam, Indonesia

The site purchases directly from suppliers that manufacture and sell the raw materials. All direct material purchases come from outside Indonesia.

> 640

Suppliers are primarily located in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia

Bedford, United Kingdom

The site is a build-to-print manufacturer. Its procurement strongly depends on component decisions of customers who are market leaders in the defence and aerospace industry

~ 150

Europe: 89 %

North America: 10 %

Asia: 1%

Boudry, Switzerland

The site oversees multiple subcontracting steps for surface treatments during the manufacturing process of PCBs. The supply chain consists of inbound and outbound transportation management and requires intense oversight.

~ 100 (including direct and indirect, subcontracted, suppliers)

Direct suppliers are primarily located in Europe and USA

Bronschhofen, Switzerland

The site functions as a contract manufacturer, and as such, buys raw materials to produce, test and deliver semi-finished and finished goods according to customers’ bill of materials (BOM).

~ 400

Europe: 60 %

(70 % CH / 30 % EU)

Asia: 30 %

North America: 10 %

Radeberg and Dresden, Germany

The sites produce electronic components for service-mount devices and chip and wire, PCBs, mechanical parts, thick film inks and ceramic substrates. The sites mainly purchase through distributors. As the sites focus on special technologies, the selection of possible suppliers is limited.

~ 400

Europe: 85 %

North America: 10 %

Asia: 5 %


The site manufactures injection molds. It mainly purchases steel for the injection molds and plastic granulate for mold tests.

< 10

Singapore: 100 %

Suzhou, China

The site provides high-end precision injection parts, molds and assembly products. To ensure a stable quality of raw materials, the site purchases from globally leading plastic particle manufacturers and purchases from distinguished steel suppliers.

> 25 major suppliers

Based on purchase volume:

China: 90 %

Thuan An City, Vietnam

The site buys materials from the customers’ bill of materials. Whenever possible, electronic components are purchased from accredited distributors offering specified brands with competitive pricing. If availability is limited or lead times are too long, the site buys from brokers upon clearance from its customers.

Number of suppliers: > 150

Asia: 60 %

Switzerland: 10 %

Ulm, Germany, and Wangs, Switzerland

The sites source standard raw materials mainly from three suppliers. Other components are purchased from various suppliers.

~ 150


Europe: 80 %

North America: 15 %

Japan: 5 %


Europe: 80 %

North America: 15 %

Japan und Taiwan: 5%

Wutha-Farnroda/Buttlar, Germany and Borj Cedria, Tunisia

The sites function as contract manufacturers, and as such, buy raw materials to produce, test and deliver semi-finished and finished goods according to customers’ bill of materials (BOM).

~ 200

Europe: 70%

Asia: 20 %

North America: 10%

Supplier commitment

The Group knows that maintaining the highest quality standards requires great attention to establishing a sustainable supply chain in the short-term, and thus actively engages its suppliers on this front. As a conceptual basis, the Group contractually asks its strategic suppliers to adhere to the Group’s Code of Conduct which is shared with suppliers during the on-boarding process. The Code of Conduct is publicly available on the Group’s website for consultation. The Code contains general social, ethical, and environmental criteria for suppliers. In particular, it establishes commitment to several human rights topics according to the United Nations Declaration, implements the core work standards from the International Labor Organization, and stipulates the handling of natural resources in accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration.  Cicor further requests that its suppliers possess and implement their own Codes of Conduct, which many top suppliers already have in place. To the best of the Group’s knowledge, no supplier violated Cicor’s Code of Conduct in 2022 and 2023.

Lastly, the Group works on the development of a supplier code-of-conduct to provide its suppliers with further insights and details about the company’s core values and Cicor’s expectations of its suppliers’ commitments.

Risk assessment and monitoring

As set out in Cicor’s Compliance and ESG Strategy, the group has started to implement a standardized compliance assessment in 2023, which it will continuously expand and improve. This entailed the implementation of IntegrityNext by the end of 2023. The tool builds the basis for assessing supply chain risks according to a standardized three-step compliance screening.

First, Cicor has an established system to categorize suppliers according to the role the supplied goods play within the company. Group A and B suppliers, for example, deliver materials and services that influence the quality of Cicor’s products. Goods that are relevant to the health, safety, or environmental impacts of Cicor’s products are procured from group A members. Suppliers of category C are mostly local to the purchasing site and its supplies are not used in any production processes. In the second step, an abstract analysis of every individual supplier in terms of regional and industry risk potential is conducted for a variation of social, environmental, and ethic topics via IntegrityNext. The Group further collects extensive self-assessment data from suppliers through comprehensive questionnaires. By the end of 2023, information from a total of 1325 suppliers belonging to the categories A and B have been uploaded to the tool and will be updated on an annual basis. Lastly, IntegrityNext offers the possibility to track critical news on different media platforms in a consolidated overview to complement the abstract and subjective views with an outside perspective and giving the company the chance to proactively screen its suppliers and contact them directly in case of a critical news alert. The combination of these three pillars should support Cicor during 2024 to actively identify risk potentials and uncover any cases of conduct against the core values of the company.

Cicor yearly evaluates its suppliers, resulting in more business for the partners that successfully adhere to the Group’s standards and termination or reduced orders for those that do not. Cicor gauges its responsible supply chain performance through indicators such as lead time and payment terms, supplier management, supplier on-time delivery, and supplier rating and ranking.

Due diligence assessment

In the reporting year 2023, Cicor reviewed the due diligence obligations regarding child labor and conflict minerals and metals in accordance with the newly applicable Swiss law pursuant to Art. 964j et seq. CO. For the production sites in Switzerland in particular, it was determined that for the reporting year 2023 Cicor is exempt from the due diligence and reporting obligations regarding conflict minerals. The examination with regard to child labor concluded that there were no reasonable grounds to suspect child labor in the reporting year 2023 and that Cicor is exempt from the due diligence and reporting obligations regarding child labor for the reporting year 2023.

Responsible action

To ensure that Cicor continues to avoid human rights violations, child labor, as well as any other unethical or noncompliant behavior in its supply chain, the Group is training its employees with regular workshops during the year to raise awareness of the relevant environmental and social aspects in procurement. During the on-boarding process, all new suppliers are subjected to a compliance check according to the established risk assessment protocol. This allows critical suppliers to be evaluated at an early stage and measures to be taken to proactively manage compliance in close engagement with the corresponding suppliers. Especially suppliers for Cicor’s medical technology underly a regularly audit from Cicor side to ensure high quality standards in its products.

Furthermore, Cicor has developed a Modern Slavery Statement in 2023, setting out the measures the Group takes to prevent Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in its own operations as well as in its supply chain. In particular, the discovery of any evidence of such human rights violations at directly contracted suppliers shall result in immediate action to engage with the supplier and the relevant authorities to understand the circumstances and implement remedial action to help the affected employees and protect them from further harm. Contracts with non-cooperative suppliers shall be terminated, and the cases must be reported to the responsible law enforcement authority. The Integrity Line introduced in 2023 is an important tool to monitor potential incidents. This whistle-blowing hotline enables all stakeholders to anonymously report unethical incidents to Cicor Compliance.

6.2Fair business practices

The Cicor Group believes that upholding fair business practices is essential to its success. The responsible, law-abiding, and ethical behavior of the Cicor Group and its employees are of critical importance from an internal perspective as well as for business partners, customers, authorities and the public. For instance, uncovered cases of corruption or human rights violations cause direct financial burdens in connection to legal actions, such as fines and penalties. Operating in a toxic environment could also lead to kickback effects such as unethical behavior against the Group and failure to ensure human rights compliance could cause operational disruptions as a consequence of workers strikes, loss of employee morale, and increased employee turnover. Lastly, any ethical misbehavior can cause reputational damage, impairing businesses due to loss of trust among stakeholders and resulting restrictions in market access.

To mitigate such risks, Cicor has implemented fair, honest, and transparent business principles, with processes and products that reflect exemplary levels of quality, safety, and environmental impact. By avoiding unethical business practices, the Cicor Group strives to promote the population's trust in the integrity of the company and the economy overall and believes to contribute to the wellbeing of the society as a whole. The group has made and continues to make considerable efforts to minimize the risk of any form of slavery and to promote fair working conditions within its own business and its value chain and acknowledges that this work is an ongoing commitment.

Current corporate practice

The Group’s employees are expected to act in accordance with the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, especially in matters of ethics and governance. To ensure that the values of Cicor are upheld by all associated persona, the Group’s Code of Conduct, among others, includes statements on topics connected to fair business practices. The Code is deployed to all persons who represent or are associated to the Group, communicated to all employees by the Human Resources department of the respective sites, and is required to be signed in acknowledgement of the applicable rules and guidelines. Apart from the Code of Conduct, Cicor’s employees must also follow local working laws and regulations. Additionally, all employees’ work contracts contain confidentiality and fidelity clauses to avert potential conflicts of interest. Especially supplier- and customer- contracts contain clauses on anti-bribery, UK modern slavery or similar clauses. Furthermore, the Group has a clear rule on avoiding politics or officially supporting a political party.

The implementation of the Integrity Line, which is an integral part of Cicor’s Compliance and ESG Strategy in 2023, enables the Group’s employees as well as any other stakeholder to anonymously report incidents of misconduct to the Group Compliance. A guideline and process description was created and deployed to all sites. In 2023, one notification was received. During further investigations, purchasing processes at the Cicor site in Suzhou were improved and documented clearly to cover the potential weak spot identified. Additionally, the previously existing suggestion boxes can continuously be accessed to submit complaints, suggestions, or desired improvements.

Compliance with tax regulations

Cicor carries out internal and external audits, such as the financial audit, to monitor its management of its business practices. In particular, legal tax requirements are also rigorously respected by Cicor and its personnel, both in terms of taxation based on the profitability of the Group and revenue at staff level. Cicor does its duty in paying the correct taxes on time and adheres to tax law in the application of company taxes and taxes paid for employees and customers. The Group furthermore complies with local regulations according to transfer pricing, disallowing any profit sharing abroad. To ensure compliance, Cicor has established robust and effective implementation of its tax governance, control, and risk management system. Processes exist within the finance and human resources departments to track and comply with tax values and deadlines. The Group has additionally implemented a “tax-wiki”, where all applicable law is explained, due dates outlined, and responsibilities defined. The tax-wiki is reviewed frequently and updated if tax regulations change or are newly put into effect. KPIs are in place to track the management of Cicor’s tax obligations. These include the tax rate and tax refund rate. The internal control system is overseen by the company controller, finance manager and managing director. Advice is sought from the tax consultant on difficult topics, who is also responsible for preparing the Group’s tax declaration. Accountants are regularly trained regarding changes in tax law, and Cicor ensures relevant employees are also made aware of the latest regulations through open communication.

Safeguarding fair business practices

Cicor is in the process of further developing its Compliance and ESG Strategy to implement uniform, reliable and compliant business practices at Group level. An important pillar of the Compliance Strategy, the implementation of the standardized risk assessment approach involving IntegrityNext as a monitoring platform for suppliers, is in the process of being applied to all sites of the Group until the end of 2024. A risk matrix shall provide a suitable overview to support Cicor’s corporate management to identify potential concept and measure gaps in combatting corruption, violation of human rights, and any other kind of unethical business practices. Furthermore, the Group protects itself from questionable business relationships by regular comparisons of its customer base with sanctions lists and by subjecting all new customers to a compliance check during the onboarding process. Cicor plans to apply these measures even more strictly and precisely as part of the strategy development in 2024.

In 2022 and 2023, Cicor did not detect any situation of unfair business practices or confirmed cases of corruption. There were also no reported cases of legal proceedings against anti-competitive behavior with regard to antitrust and monopoly law. Lastly, no breaches of environmental protection, economic or social laws or regulations were identified.

6.3Local engagement

The Cicor Group considers local engagement an asset to the company and aspires to be seen by local communities as a supportive partner. In return Cicor's appeal as an attractive employer is increasing.  A positive perception of the company within local populations is key to attract local professionals who are essential to the Group’s business success. Accordingly, the Group endeavors to create awareness of the benefits of working for Cicor and its contributions to the communities in which it operates.

To attain visibility, our sites organize and contribute to charitable events to support the well-being of their local communities. In 2023, more than 30 000 Swiss francs have been raised by four sites. Almost half of Cicor’s sites donated an additional amount of around 40 000 Swiss francs in total to local as well as international charity organizations. For example, Cicor Vietnam supported local children suffering and struggling with HIV and the site in Bronschhofen annually supports the local organization OHO (Ostschweiz hilft Ostschweiz). The sites receive feedback on engagement activities from local employees, customers, authorities, and municipalities, among others.

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