Stakeholder Engagement

Working in partnerships is crucial in delivering on our vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. A number of our partnerships are described below.

Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum engages business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas in an informal, action focused way. Philips is now entering its third year as Strategic Partner.

2014 was the year Philips substantially strengthened its position in Digital Innovation, Internet of Things and Emerging Technologies. Moreover, health care gained a more prominent place on the global economic agenda at WEF creating many opportunities for Philips in building new relationships and strengthening our business in a transformational industry. The Sustainable Development Agenda was discussed at WEF as well, Philips welcomes the opportunity to contribute to these discussions and shape the global agenda.

Despite the impact of geo-politics on the global economic agenda, our engagements contributed substantially to our objectives of positioning Philips as technology leader in Health & Sustainability, gaining new insights that are relevant for future business, and creating new business opportunities.

Cross-sector collaboration to drive the Circular Economy transformation

For a sustainable world, Philips sees the transition from a linear to a circular economy (CE) as a necessary boundary condition. A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. To promote cross-industry and cross-sector collaboration, Philips joins forces with thought leaders and conveners. One such initiative is Project Mainstream, driven by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the WEF and McKinsey. Frans van Houten is in the Steering Board and leads the work stream Asset-tracking. This project addresses the outer circle of the circular economy concept, the material streams where significantly more traction is needed to scale up to mainstream business and improve material quality. A Research team has developed a white paper to describe innovation opportunities to address CE challenges. The paper has been widely distributed internally to all of Philips businesses to stimulate innovation activities across the company.

Every Woman Every Child pledge

In 2014, Philips has pledged its support to the United Nations global initiative “Every Woman Every Child”. With a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, we aim to improve the lives of at least 100 million women and children by 2025 in these regions by committing to the following:

  • Deliver the next generation of care for mothers and their children by improving healthcare infrastructures, transformation and revitalization, clinical education and skills training.
  • Provide better access to health care and create solutions which enable healthier and safer living. Examples include clean cooking stoves, automated respiration monitors, eHealth and mHealth solutions.
  • Promote healthy and nutritious diets for mothers and children, understanding barriers to breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding in the workplace.

Collaborating on locally relevant innovation in Africa 

The Philips Africa Innovation Hub in Nairobi, Kenya, is our base for creating locally relevant innovations and business models. The Innovation Hub employs African talents and operates on the concept of open innovation, working in close collaboration with the R&D ecosystem of Kenya and Africa.

In order to strengthen primary care in communities, it developed the concept of Community Life Centers (CLCs), a community hub where technology is bundled with services: solar power, indoor and outdoor LED-lighting, health care equipment, laboratory equipment, refrigeration, IT-solutions and water supply and purification. In 2014, the first center was opened in Kenya, which now delivers two babies per day, and receives 13 times more patients than before. Key for success was close co-creation with the local government and involvement of community members. CLC was realized in close public-private partnership with the County Government of Kiambu in Kenya. We also involved community members in the assessment and design in order to create ownership. Health care workers at the site were empowered through clinical coaching and education.

Philips entered a partnership with the South-Africa based non-profit organization PET (PowerFree Education Technology) to further develop, test and commercialize a Wind-Up Doppler Ultrasound Fetal Heart Monitor, a unique, power-independent clinical innovation aimed at addressing the high rates of preventable infant mortality across Africa, designed specifically for low resource settings. Further developed by the Philips Africa Innovation Hub, the Wind-up Fetal Doppler is a device to detect a slowing of the fetal heart rate while the mother is in labor, an important indicator that the fetus is not receiving enough oxygen and may suffer brain damage or die. If this is detected early enough, a midwife or delivering nurse can take the necessary actions to save the child.

Philips and the Medical Credit Fund, part of the PharmAccess Group, started a partnership to improve access to quality health care in Africa. Through the partnership small and medium-sized private clinics in Africa will have access to financing for innovative medical technologies and services from Philips, which is often difficult to obtain from banks due to the high investment risks. The Medical Credit Fund works with African banks to provide these clinics with affordable loans, combined with management training and a quality improvement program, which enhances trust in the clinics among both patients and financial institutions.

Working on global issues

In 2014, Philips continued its engagement in a number of international conferences, events and partnerships that are focused on sustainable development and climate change. The events and conferences include the UN Climate Summit organized by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York, the World Summit of Regions organized by Regions20 in Paris, as well as the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. Most notably we were a co-founder of the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform that was announced at the UN Climate Summit.

The Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the UN (Sustainable Energy for All - SE4All), (sub)national governments and progressive companies. The objective is to double the rate of Energy Efficiency improvement from the current bandwidth of 1 to 1.5% towards 2.5 to 3% per year. Such doubling of the rate of energy efficiency improvement is a potent driver of economic development (creating jobs in the renovation of city infrastructure and reducing budget deficits), as well as in significantly reducing carbon emissions.

On partnerships the UNEP En.lighten initiative continues to gain traction. Philips is one of the founders of this public private partnership where now 66 emerging and developing countries have committed to phase out incandescent lamps by 2016. This program as well as the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator will further develop towards COP21 in Paris in December 2015.

With The Climate Group a global ‘LED city consultation program’ was launched at WEF in Davos in January. This is a follow-through of The Climate Group’s ‘Light Savers’ program that has piloted LED street lighting in 12 cities in all regions (including Sydney, Kolkata, London, NYC, Toronto, and Rio de Janeiro) which results were published in partnership with Philips Lighting at Rio+20. The LED City consultation process is identifying and addressing the (remaining) hurdles in the accelerated transition to LED street lighting. Workshops held in 2014 included London, Dubai, Singapore, Austin (Texas), Sao Paulo, and Beijing.

Innovation Experience

Philips organized Innovation Experiences in 2014 in Eindhoven, Dubai and Zurich which were attended by over 2,000 journalists, customers, scientists, partners and employees.

At the event Philips explored how technology can make our homes healthier and more tailored to our lifestyles, how cloud-based solutions can provide care across the health continuum and connect the patient from the hospital to their home, and how personalized digital solutions can help people living with disabilities or chronic diseases manage their condition from the comfort of their own home.

We firmly believe that these challenges can only be addressed through Open Innovation and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders involved.


A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. By definition it is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, as well as new business models such as solutions and services. In a Circular Economy, the more effective use of materials enables to create more value, both by cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones.

CO2-equivalent or carbon dioxide equivalent is a quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP), when measured over a specified timescale (generally 100 years).