Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

In the face of a global crisis, the AO responded by ensuring that both locally and globally we continue with our dedication to positively impacting patients, the health sector, and communities.

Good corporate citizenship is interwoven in the AO’s identity, where we continue to give back to our local community of Davos (Switzerland) and on a global scale, we commit to activities related to carbon compensation. From energy-saving initiatives at its headquarters in Davos, to projects in India, and targeted initiatives in key locations across the world, the AO remains driven by its founders' passion for improving patient lives.

Our international faculty from the different clinical divisions and board members demonstrated their commitment to CSR by donating a percentage of their per diems to support the AO’s CSR activities. With COVID-19 restrictions and event cancellations affecting donations which were significantly reduced compared to previous years, the AO received a total of CHF 12,192 in renounced per diems.

With continued dedication to improving fracture care in low- and middle-income countries, 50 percent of the funds were allocated to AO Alliance, 25 percent to our new initiative to support renewable energy projects in India and focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and 25 percent to our long-standing social programs supporting our local charity, ARGO, an assisted living facility for people with different abilities.

AO Alliance

The estimated 40 million people worldwide who survive trauma suffer preventable disabilities due to a lack of access to timely and appropriate care. Since 2015, the AO Alliance has trained 20,042 health care workers (HCWs) through 486 education events across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and eight countries in Asia, trained 229 HCWs as faculty, and sponsored 276 fellowships.

In 2020, the pandemic forced the AO Alliance to pivot many of its activities to online learning and keep our faculty network safe through personal protective equipment donations, and inspired a systems change project to improve the supply chain of orthopedic equipment through the OrthoAccess platform.

Local engagement

In a year when COVID-19 did not allow for much local engagement, we ensured that we keep giving back to our local community of Davos. We continued our long-standing social programs supporting ARGO, an assisted living facility offering pathways to work for people with different abilities, and sponsorship of sports medical care for Hockey Club Davos (HCD) Juniors.

In 2020, we continued to reduce our energy consumption by more than 11 percent compared to the previous year and are proud that all the measures we put in place throughout the years to reduce our energy consumption have had a significant result this year. It was, of course, a year out of the ordinary due to the pandemic, with reduced operations on-site positively affecting the energy consumption results in 2020. However, the 15 percent decline in energy consumption compared to the previous year was also due to measures such as LED lighting replacement and implementing a new ventilation system in the AO center auditorium.

India organic waste project

In 2020, the AO continued its commitment to sustainable development and renewable energy. Together with First Climate and local partners, we are supporting projects in India aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fuelwood, grid electricity, and other fossil fuels with clean biogas, and in so doing, we are also benefiting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.