Being a responsible citizen
We aim to conduct business responsibly, wherever we operate. This includes minimizing our environmental impact, helping ensure patient health and safety, and managing risk in our supply chain. In 2019, we established an internal Trust & Reputation Committee, chaired by our CEO, to oversee progress and speed up decision-making in key areas related to the fifth pillar of our corporate strategy: building trust with society. We introduced new management targets covering environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics such as the environment, access to medicines, global health, human rights and third-party risk.
We are investing in renewable energy, such as our wind farm developed with Invenergy, which went online in Texas in the US in 2019. The carbon-free energy it produces entirely covers the electricity
currently used at Novartis offices and R&D facilities in the US. We are exploring similar opportunities in Europe.
In addition, we launched a program to phase out single-use plastics at all Novartis sites by 2021, starting with plastic bottles. The majority of our sites around the world have already replaced plastic straws and stirrers, cups, garbage bags and styrofoam with biodegradable alternatives.
The health and safety of the patients our medicines treat is an utmost priority. We are actively combating falsified and counterfeit medicines, which pose a significant threat to public health, and are scaling up efforts to address their root causes. Through our actions, we estimate that we’ve prevented falsified and counterfeit medicines from reaching and harming more than 1.2 million patients since 2017. In 2019, we launched a mobile solution to empower low- and middle-income countries to detect falsified medicines. We deployed 50 smart sensor devices, primarily in Africa, to test medicines in the Novartis Access portfolio, as well as treatments for malaria, heart failure and sickle cell disease. In 2020, we aim to deploy another 200 sensors worldwide, covering the most at risk products in our portfolio.