Interaction with customers

In line with the Model Company Objective, we aim to treat our customers better than most other companies. It is our vision to be perceived as the best in the eyes of our customers.

Our customers range widely from end users to specifiers and distributors to installers, and we take care to support all customer groups before, during and after their purchase of a VELUX product.

In 2015, we launched a new initiative to bring us even closer to the customers’ dreams and demands. We call it “Enhance Customer Focus” and the idea is to involve customers more in our product development. In selected projects, we invite customers to co-develop concepts, practices and products, and the first experiments have confirmed that the customers are more than willing to work closely with us.

The new blackout energy blind is one of the first results of the enhanced customer focus. The development of the new blind took inspiration from focus groups and surveys with end users. The new window for historic buildings that was launched in Denmark in 2015 is another example of increased interaction with customers. This project involved architects and authorities in finding the right concept for a window for installation in historic buildings.

Furthermore, the members of the VELUX Management Group (VMG) went on a tour to visit European installers and homeowners to get a first-hand impression of how our products are perceived and experienced. What stood out from the dialogue with our customers was their trust in VELUX products and in the VELUX Group as a company that delivers high quality.

Sharing knowledge with specifiers

Specifiers (architects, contractors, engineers and developers) are close stakeholders of the VELUX Group.

Specifiers, i.e. architects, contractors, engineers and developers, are important stakeholders. We engage in dialogue and knowledge sharing about daylight, energy and indoor climate. We are also involved in research projects and demonstration houses in many parts of the world.

We seek to promote the importance of daylight quality in buildings by developing relations to specifiers and architects through three core activities aiming at architectural education, architectural practice and the architectural community:

We also share a large number of tools targeted at specifiers, including:

VELUX Daylight Symposium

Every second year, the VELUX Group facilitates and organises the Daylight Symposium, inviting researchers, scientists and building professionals from all over the world to immerse themselves in aspects of daylight and architecture.

Since the first Symposium in 2005, the VELUX Daylight Symposium has grown into the leading international forum for sharing of daylight research, viewpoints and visions in fruitful dialogue between research and practice.

In September 2015, we hosted the sixth VELUX Daylight Symposium in London, where researchers, architects and other building professionals explored how daylight can drive change in today’s 24/7 society. More than 350 participants attended 35 lectures at the two-day Symposium.

The 2015 Symposium took place in the International Year of Light proclaimed by the United Nations and Unesco to promote public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world.

Get impressions and insights from the symposium.

International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture

In November 2015, the seventh International VELUX Award opened for registration. The purpose of the Award is to encourage and challenge students of architecture worldwide to explore the theme of daylight in its widest sense.

The VELUX Group organises the Award every second year to strengthen the role of daylight in building design to support the vision of daylight, fresh air and sustainable living. Over the years, close to 4,000 student teams from more than 60 countries have contributed their bright and innovative ideas to the on-going discussion of the topic “Light of Tomorrow”.

Read more about the International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture.

Daylight & Architecture

The VELUX Group publishes D/A (Daylight & Architecture), an international magazine targeted at architects, designers and other building professionals with an interest in daylight and architecture.

The aim of the magazine is to encourage practicing architects and researchers to explore and work with daylight as one of the most fundamental parameters of architecture. The magazine raises issues ranging from macro trends in a world of rapid urbanisation to topics much closer to the individual, like the health and well-being of people living and working inside buildings.

Since its first publication in 2005, the D/A magazine has been acknowledged as an inspirational source of knowledge by architects and building professionals around the world and has won several awards for its editorial line and design quality.

In 2015, the D/A magazine was awarded silver in the Best of Corporate Publishing 2015 contest in the category “B2B, craftsmanship/building/architecture” and silver in the “Guldbladet 2015” contest for best layout.

So far, 24 issues of D/A have been published in print and for free download as an iPad version in App store.

Visit the Daylight & Architecture site.

Making our products available through distributors

A large proportion of our products is sold to end users or installers through dealers. We actively support dealers in their dialogue with customers by offering training of sales staff, demo windows, information material and other tools that contribute to an effective and informative sales process.

We operate an extensive distribution network with efficient logistics services to ensure our products are readily available to the customers.

Our Satisfaction Tracking 2015 survey shows that 95% of the distributors we are working with are satisfied or very satisfied with our products and services. 95% of them would recommend VELUX products to colleagues or customers.

Empowering installers

Installers are often the end user’s primary adviser on the choice of roof window solution and brand.

Installers are often the end user’s primary adviser on the choice of roof window solution and brand. Moreover, the perceived quality of VELUX products among homeowners depends very much on the quality of the installation.

We offer training, onsite support, installation instructions and online tools and videos to train installers in the best possible way. In our product development, we invite input from installers to make sure any new products are easy and safe to install.

The VELUX Satisfaction Tracking 2015 survey shows that 96% of installers are satisfied or very satisfied with our cooperation. 94% of them would recommend VELUX products to colleagues and customers.

Installer training centre in Belgium

VELUX Belgium has opened a training centre, where installers can participate in lectures, seminars and practical training sessions.

The training programme comprises five modules for installation of roof windows, automation products and flat-roof windows. In the winter season of 2015, the centre had 30 training days with small groups of installers, 10-15 installers per day.

It’s my first time here at the VELUX training centre but after this BASIC training, I’ll be sure to come back for other training modules and I’ll motivate my team members to follow the trainings as well,” said one of the installers after the training session, while another highlighted how the training had encouraged him to sell more INTEGRA windows: “I was always a bit sceptical about using the INTEGRA products because I thought it would be too technical. But now that I know how easy it is to install them, I will definitely make sure to recommend them to my clients.

The next step in the development of the centre’s training services is to invite other companies in the industry to co-train installers at the VELUX facilities and invite students to use the facilities as part of their training.

Exceeding end-users’ expectations

As one of the strongest brands in the global building materials industry, we aim to give end users a positive experience before, during and after their purchase of a VELUX product.

As one of the strongest brands in the global building materials industry, we aim to give end users a positive experience before, during and after their purchase of a VELUX product. It is our philosophy that our customers should feel they get more than they pay for when they buy our windows.

We offer guidance in the inspiration and decision phase, with architectural showcases and advice, a list of recommended installers to put the products in place, as well as after-sales service and support. If something should go wrong, our service engineers are there to assist, repair and service the products. It is our policy to offer spare parts for roof windows for 25 years.

The VELUX Brand Tracking survey reveals that 62% of European consumers would choose a VELUX window if they were in the market for a roof window.

“Get the most out of your attic” campaign in Austria

In 2015, VELUX Austria launched a campaign to inform people about the opportunities of using the attic to create attractive, extra living space.

Based on the groundwork of the Sustainable Living in Buildings initiative, the campaign elaborated on the opportunities based on the key messages: how children get smarter when they have access to daylight and fresh air and how the health, vitality and well-being of the whole family is enhanced with the extra square metres.

The campaign was not only informative, it also invited homeowners to share their dreams and experiences to provide us with new insights that could improve our product development and marketing initiatives.

Interaction with suppliers

The VELUX Group works with suppliers who share our commitment to responsible business practices. Supporting high standards of labour, environment, human rights and anti-corruption is an integral part of the VELUX way of doing business, founded on the Model Company Objective.

We form long-term partnerships based on the requirements of the VELUX Code of Conduct for Suppliers and our procurement principles. We monitor compliance and develop the partnership through regular audits and assessments.

Fair treatment of suppliers

In accordance with the Model Company Objective, the VELUX Group aims to treat its suppliers better than most other companies.

As an overall principle, we aim to treat our suppliers better than most other companies. Our procurement principles define our interaction with suppliers in this way:

  • We cooperate with suppliers in a way that will be beneficial to both parties in the short and long term
  • We work with our suppliers to ensure continuous improvement in terms of products, competiveness and sustainability
  • We deal fairly and honestly with all suppliers, providing equal opportunities to all suppliers in a bidding process
  • We keep negotiations between the parties strictly confidential
  • We make requests for information and quotations as clear and precise as possible
  • We respond promptly to supplier correspondence and inquiries
  • We seek suppliers who can deliver consistently high-quality goods and services in accordance with VELUX Group standards in terms of environment, sustainability, competitiveness and safe production methods.

Mutual development through close collaboration

RBB Stal is one of the biggest steel companies in Poland and a supplier of high-quality steel to the VELUX Group. For a number of years, the two companies have worked closely together to raise environmental, safety and quality standards at the RBB Stal plant.

Our plants process about 120,000 tons of steel every year, and close cooperation with customers like the VELUX Group allows us to constantly develop our company. We appreciate the good communication we have with the VELUX Group, solving any problems on a day-to-day basis. Thanks to the high environmental and safety requirements demanded by the VELUX Group, we can improve our business. The collaboration motivates us to keep high-quality standards, which in turn increases the competitiveness of our company,” says Agnieszka Borusiak-Biesiada from RBB Stal.

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

The Code of Conduct for Suppliers concerns three main issues:

The Code of Conduct for Suppliers concerns three main issues:

  • Employee conditions: specific requirements such as standards for healthy working environment and treatment of workers within applicable legal and non-discrimination policies
  • Environment: all suppliers must have a written environmental policy or statement
  • Monitoring: the VELUX Group reserves the right to monitor our suppliers to assess their compliance with the Code of Conduct.

Our Code of Conduct requires tier-one suppliers to communicate and use the Code of Conduct with their own suppliers of materials and components delivered to the VELUX Group. We reserve the right to audit sub-suppliers to assess compliance with the Code of Conduct.

98% of our direct suppliers signed the code of conduct in 2015.

Monitoring compliance with the Code of Conduct policy

An audit programme monitors supplier compliance with the VELUX Code of Conduct policy.

We use an audit programme to monitor supplier compliance with the VELUX Code of Conduct. Onsite audits are performed at least once every two years by the VELUX Group or third-party auditors. The focus is on countries and suppliers where the risk of social or environmental non-compliance is assumed to be high in manufacturing units.

Looking at our global purchase of materials in relation to high-risk countries, our major spend is with suppliers in China. In 2015, the audit programme in China was therefore continued and we followed up on previous audits and conducted new audits. A total of 18 audits in China were carried out in the course of the year.

If non-compliance is discovered, a corrective action plan is launched with deadlines and required improvements. In the event of serious non-compliance cases, immediate action will be required. A successful completion of all corrective actions will be checked through an unannounced follow-up audit.

10 of the 18 audits in China in 2015 have revealed non-compliance with our Code of Conduct policy. The suppliers did not comply for various reasons:

  • Working-hour attendance records were unavailable
  • Wages and benefits did not include overtime payment
  • Juvenile workers (16-17 years) working in the factory were not registered
  • Health and safety regulations were not in place (no fire alarm or emergency exits)
  • Environmental rules not followed (wastewater, noise and waste gas not monitored according to regulations).

All non-compliances are followed up within six months from the date the original report is issued. All non-compliances are registered in a database and during the follow-up visit, the corrective actions are also registered. One example is missing records of work time attendance, which was implemented before our follow-up visit so that the non-compliance point could be closed. It will still be part of the audit plan and will therefore be checked again during the next audit.

In all the above cases, the VELUX Group has offered support and advice to help suppliers improve their performance and achieve full Code of Conduct compliance. We have helped prepare and approve action plans to correct the non-compliance issues, but in the end, of course, it is the sole responsibility of the supplier to comply with our Code of Conduct.

If, for some reason, a supplier fails to implement the required corrective actions, the VELUX Group will terminate the contract. Since the launch of the Code of Conduct in 2001, we have not yet terminated a relationship with a supplier due to Code of Conduct non-compliance issues.

Wood certification

The VELUX Group recognises the importance of sustainable forest management as part of our efforts to protect the environment.

The VELUX Group recognises the importance of sustainable forest management as part of our efforts to protect the environment, ensure biodiversity, tackle climate change and protect the rights of local communities in forested areas.

All wood suppliers of the VELUX Group are certified according to PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or both. No tropical hardwood is used. It is the policy of the VELUX Group to comply fully with the EUTR regulation at all times.

The aim for 2015 was to continue sourcing a minimum of 95% of the wood required in our European factories from forests certified according to the PEFC or FSC international standards. We met the 2015 goal by sourcing 96% from certified sources. The remaining 4% is from wood defined as “controlled” by the FSC or PEFC international standards. This means that the origin of the wood is known and that it comes from non-controversial and legal sources. The goal for 2016 is to maintain the high level of certified wood in our supply chain so that a minimum of 96% of the wood comes from certified sources.

All VELUX windows are manufactured at our own factories, and all VELUX factories in Europe are FSC and/or PEFC certified. Our factories in the USA and China are not PEFC or FSC certified, but wood used there originates from controlled sources.

In Europe, where the vast majority of the wood is used, the VELUX Group maintains close cooperation with the PEFC and FSC organisations, as well as third-party verification bodies and other stakeholders. This ensures effective, sustainable and well-documented sourcing of wood throughout the complete chain of custody.

The wood used in VELUX windows is primarily Pinus sylvestris, also known as Scots Pine or Redwood. The majority of wood is sourced from Sweden, Finland, Poland and Russia and, to a lesser extent, the US, France, Norway, Estonia, Ukraine, Denmark and Germany.

In 2015, we completed a wood certification strategy process. The result is a certification strategy, defining key areas for further development and visions for the future. As a result, the target for sourcing of certified sustainable wood for our European factories is increased to 99% in 2020. The strategy includes alternative scenarios for increasing the sales of certified windows in more markets and gradually increasing the percentage of certified wood in sourcing and manufacturing over the coming years.

Interaction with indirect suppliers

The indirect supplier base is primarily local and the source of supply of a large number of goods ranging from production equipment to office supplies.

The indirect supplier base is primarily local and the source of supply of a large number of goods ranging from production equipment to office supplies.

A new professional contract structure for indirect suppliers has been developed in order to ensure the commercial rights of both parties. The contract process includes a visit to the supplier in order to inspect the supplier facilities and to ensure business conduct that matches the VELUX Values.

The contract process is being implemented at all VELUX sites. A more thorough and standardised supplier audit process will be developed for indirect suppliers in the future.

In the near future, we will add focus on energy efficiency and component energy consumption to the contract and RFQ process, aligning our global CO2 efforts with our indirect supplier base for areas such as manufacturing equipment.

Respecting
human rights

The VELUX Group is committed to respecting human rights as defined by the International Bill of Human Rights, and the core labour rights set out by the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We fully acknowledge our independent responsibility to respect human rights, i.e. to avoid infringing the rights of individuals, groups and communities through our business activities and relationships.

Respect for the individual runs like a red thread through the VELUX culture, based on our wish for exemplary behaviour towards employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Human rights compliance among suppliers to the VELUX Group is monitored through the VELUX Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

Anti-corruption

Striving for the highest standards in the way we do business is a key part of our efforts to be a Model Company. We take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and have a long history of commitment to responsible business practice and continuous focus on maintaining the trust of our business partners.

The VELUX anti-corruption policy provides guidance to employees about what is considered appropriate in various business situations. The policy requires management to ensure that bribery does not occur and to formulate local guidelines to avoid facilitation payments and for restrictions on gifts and entertainment.

Anti-corruption training

We train managers and employees in the VELUX anti-corruption policy and guidelines

We train managers and employees in the VELUX anti-corruption policy and guidelines. In 2015, 99% of our senior managers completed the anti-corruption e-learning course.

The objective of the course is to ensure that the policy is understood and to facilitate reflection on how the policy relates to day-to-day situations.