Corporate responsibility (CR) is endorsed and ingrained at the highest level in our company. It is central to how we run our business.
Because of the importance of corporate responsibility for Novartis and our stakeholders, we recently made some changes to how it is governed and managed.
The Board of Directors approved the expansion of the mandate of the former Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee to include Corporate Responsibility, effective January 1, 2014. The new “Governance, Nomination and Corporate Responsibilities Committee” will oversee our company’s strategy and governance on corporate responsibility and key issues related to corporate responsibility that may affect the Company’s business and reputation.
In October 2013, we created a new, full-time position to lead our CR efforts. Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger, formerly Global Head of Human Resources and a member of the Executive Committee, took on the role of Global Head of Corporate Responsibility effective February 26, 2014. Juergen is fully dedicated to supporting our companywide CR efforts and better coordinating and leading our many ongoing activities.
In May 2014, we established a dedicated Access to Medicine Committee. The Access Committee’s role is to specifically assess opportunities to expand access to medicines and treatments, especially in underserved communities; set and monitor targets related to access; and share best practices from across the company. The Access to Medicine Committee is chaired by the CEO and includes high level commercial representatives from each of our major businesses, and meets three times per year.
Our broader CR efforts continue to be driven by a team of senior leaders. Led by Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger, a newly-formed Corporate Responsibility Board will replace the Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee as of May 2014. The CR Board has a focused mandate to advance strategy and programs in two key areas of CR at Novartis: expanding access to healthcare and doing business responsibly. The CR Board is responsible for making recommendations to the Executive Committee of Novartis on strategy, targets, policies, materiality and stakeholder engagement in these two areas. The CR Board is also tasked with facilitating information-sharing between other CR-related governance bodies, such as the HSE Steering Committee, the Compliance Steering Committee and the Access to Medicine Committee. The CR Board includes representatives from key businesses and functions related to CR, and will meet three times annually.
Our company’s shared commitment to CR rests with every Novartis associate. Across Novartis, we aim for transparent reporting of annual targets and long-term objectives, as well as to incentivize management and associates to create sustainable value for Novartis in all areas of our business, including corporate responsibility.