To help define the most important corporate responsibility (CR) issues for Novartis, the company completed a CR materiality analysis in 2013. The term “CR materiality” is a measure of how important CR issues are to the company and our stakeholders.
We interviewed nearly 100 stakeholders inside and outside the company to help us assess a wide range of economic, ethical, social, environmental and governance issues. We use these findings to guide our strategy, track issues of concern, inform and prioritize our corporate responsibility programs, and establish meaningful metrics against which to measure our performance.
In 2015, we conducted a review of our materiality analysis with our external stakeholders. This confirmed the results of our 2013 exercise, encouraging us to further focus on access to healthcare, governance and ethical business practices, and research and development in 2016.
Our research showed that 25 issues, grouped into eight key clusters, consistently stood out as most important. Of these, we decided to follow up on three priority clusters:
Access to healthcare
Governance and ethical business practices
Research and development
In addition, we are working on addressing some of the new trending topics that surfaced during the 2015 analysis:
Access to healthcare: noncommunicable diseases
Governance and ethical business practices: corporate tax disclosure
In late 2016, we kicked off our second full materiality assessment to help us understand the CR issues that matter to key internal and external stakeholders, as well as stakeholders’ needs and expectations.
We began conducting interviews, aiming to reach approximately 400 individuals from all relevant stakeholder groups worldwide. As with our previous materiality assessments, we will use the findings to guide our strategy, track issues of concern, inform and prioritize our CR programs, and establish meaningful metrics against which to measure our CR performance. This assessment will include new elements that will help us gain fresh insights and strengthen the value of the materiality assessment as a management tool.