Corporate Responsibility at Novartis 2014 Highlights

On January 28, 2015, we published our 2014 Annual Report – including a comprehensive look back at our results and achievements in Corporate Responsibility during the year.

May 07, 2015

On January 28, 2015, we published our 2014 Annual Report – including a comprehensive look back at our results and achievements in Corporate Responsibility during the year.

The number of people in need continues to exceed the capacity of corporate philanthropy by far. That’s why our access to healthcare strategy includes shared value business models that complement philanthropic and zero-profit initiatives, unique fundraising activities, and investment in training and education to strengthen healthcare systems. Some highlights include:

Fighting malaria

In April, we kicked off an internal campaign to support fundraising for Power of One®, a global digital fundraising campaign run by charity Malaria No More. Novartis associates helped raise funds for more than 218 000 treatments. Novartis matched them, resulting in a total donation of 436 000 antimalarial treatments for children in Zambia.

Find out more

We also reached a milestone: since 2001, we have delivered 700 million artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatments without profit.

Serving patients via social business

In Kenya, social business Familia Nawiri modified its portfolio to include low-cost, essential drugs, with the goal of driving enough sales to create a self-sustaining business model. More than 160 000 people attended Familia Nawiri health education meetings in 2014 – and health camps helped diagnose and treat more than 3 200 patients.

Sandoz working to combat childhood pneumonia

Our generics division Sandoz announced a long-term commitment to help prevent the deaths of millions of children worldwide from pneumonia. As part of the United Nations’ Every Newborn Action Plan, Sandoz will provide amoxicillin dispersible tablets, which is the WHO recommended first-line treatment for pneumonia in children under 5, to developing countries. In 2014, Sandoz delivered medicines to UNICEF to treat 500 000 children.

Alcon driving eye care for underprivileged patients

Since 1964, Alcon’s Medical Missions program has supported eye care professionals around the world in their work to bring eye care to those in need. In 2014, Alcon supported 576 medical missions, reaching 438 674 patients with eye conditions, and restoring sight for more than 35 000 patients through surgery. Through the US Patient Assistance program, Alcon helped 9 310 patients get the sight-saving medications they needed.

Read more about Alcon's CR efforts

We take our commitment to do business responsibility very seriously, by driving environmental sustainability and striving to meet high ethical standards. Highlights from 2014 include:

Building a culture of integrity

We are committed to creating a culture of integrity at Novartis and demonstrating ethical leadership. In 2014, we took concrete steps to increase transparency and strengthen our ethical business practices. We named Eric Cornut, formerly Chief Commercial Officer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, as Chief Ethics, Compliance and Policy Officer reporting to the CEO. This change elevated the Compliance function to the highest levels in the company and aims to further ingrain ethics into our culture.

We know there are potential pockets of bad behavior in a global business such as ours, but we work to take swift action when this occurs. Our goal is to prevent issues from recurring, drive personal accountability for behaviors, and generate learnings that can be applied across the organization. We have further strengthened our compliance system by adding country and global compliance risk assessments for marketing and sales. We work to identify and mitigate risk exposure proactively so it can be reviewed and discussed at a management level.

Read more about our Integrity and Compliance efforts

Offsetting greenhouse gas emissions

While our main focus is to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using renewable energy, purchasing energy from renewable sources, and improving the energy efficiency of our operations, we also use voluntary carbon-offset options. We have three well-established carbon-offset forestry projects in Argentina, Mali and China. These are large-scale efforts. About 3 million trees were planted on our land in Argentina between 2007 and 2010. Additionally, an area of 4100 hectares in southwestern Sichuan, China is being planted with 9 million trees. A fourth forestry project kicked off in the Altillanura region of Colombia. Carbon offsets achieved in 2014 from our forestry projects totaled 90.0 kilotons of CO2e, or 5% of our 2008 baseline emissions.

Read more about our efforts to protect the environment

Recognition for our CR efforts

Our efforts to improve access to healthcare and to do business responsibly were recognised in 2014: we ranked fourth in the Access to Medicine Index, improving from seventh in 2012; we were included in the Dow Jones Sustainability WorldFTSE4Good and UN Global Compact 100 indices; and we achieved Silver Class status in the Sustainability Yearbook published by RobecoSAM.

Changing the way we report

Our 2014 Annual Report has changed from previous years, in response to feedback we received from stakeholders. The company’s results are presented in a more integrated manner, organized into three main areas – financial, innovation and social. While Corporate Responsibility (CR) content has been more integrated into the rest of the report, the CR section remains focused on showing the company’s progress during 2014 in our two areas of focus – access to healthcare and responsible business – as well as the Novartis approach to CR governance and management.

These changes are a continuation of our efforts to consolidate our CR reporting, which began in 2014 with the launch of the first Novartis CR Performance Report. By issuing a single report, we aim to meet the needs and expectations of CR professional audiences by offering easy access to key data. The report also enhances our transparency in several key areas, including human resources, supply chain and ethics, fundraising activities, and investment in training and education to strengthen healthcare systems.

We plan to release our 2014 CR Performance Report in May 2015.