Corporate Social Responsibility

The AO is proud to be a good corporate citizen in all geographies where it has a presence.
From energy-saving initiatives at its headquarters in Davos, Switzerland, to projects in Malawi and targeted initiatives in key locations across the world, the AO remains driven by its founders' passion for improving lives. AO surgeon faculty and board members are able to donate a percentage of their per diems in support of the AO's CSR activities. In 2018, AO CSR projects benefited from 31,500 CHF in donated per diems.

The AO Alliance Foundation was established in December 2014 to strengthen the AO's engagement in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where health care professionals face  challenges such as lack of equipment (C-arms, surgical instruments, and implants), patients who reach hospitals after the golden hour for optimum treatment, insufficient time in the operating room, and lack of continuing education opportunities. AO Alliance is the AO's largest CSR project, and works to address these needs. Since its establishment, AO Alliance has organized 304 courses, trained 13,452 surgeons and operating room personnel, and sponsored 170 fellowships in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Read more about what AO Alliance achieved in 2018 in the AO annual report.

The AO is proud to cooperate with the WHO

In 2018, as part of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the AO Foundation, the AO and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced their cooperation on a new initiative that aims to save millions of lives and substantially reduce injury-related disability.

This agreement, which involves a contribution of CHF 10 million from the AO Foundation's Jubilee Fund, seeks to transform emergency and trauma care over the next five years.

More than half of all deaths in low-and-middle-income countries result from conditions that can be addressed by emergency care. The Global Emergency and Trauma Care Initiative will make simple, affordable, life-saving interventions available to ensure timely care for all people in need.

A contract-signing ceremony featuring AO President Robert McGuire and WHO's Etienne Krug (pictured)  was held during the 2018 AO Davos Courses to mark this significant agreement.

More about CSR at the AO

The AO has, for a number of years, offset a portion of the carbon footprint created by the travel of its surgeons and staff by supporting work in Malawi to renovate old boreholes. This means that people (mainly women and children) who had to walk for hours to get dirty and unsafe water now benefit from clean water supplies closer to where they live. It also delivers carbon saving, as they no longer need to boil the water before they use it, thus reducing deforestation and the production of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The AO has worked with local partners in a three phased approach covering three clinics in three years (2017-2019). In 2018, the AO supported First Climate and its Malawi-based partner United Purpose, completing renovation work on Dowa District Hospital, which serves 850,000 people.



The AO values its historic connection to Davos and the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland. Here, at its headquarters, the AO center, the AO is leading the way in energy efficiency. We have adopted extensive measures in heating, lighting, server virtualization, and heat pump optimization in its quest to reduce energy use. This puts the AO ahead of its peers, and delivers a saving of CHF 25,000 per year.

The AO is a significant contributor to the economy and research hub status of the Canton of Grisons. We have long-standing social programs supporting ARGO, an assisted living facility offering pathways to work for people with different abilities, and we enable comprehensive sports medical care for the HCD Juniors.

Read more in the AO Annual Report 2018

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