CSR and Sustainability Forum

A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations.
Oct 11, 2010
By PharmTech Editors

Janssen, a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ) company, opened a solar installation at its site in Titusville, New Jersey. The 4.1-megawatt solar photovoltaic array of 13,496 ground-mounted panels is estimated to generate enough energy to provide 70% of the site’s annual electricity needs, or roughly the amount needed to power 600 homes annually. The Titusville site, which hosts multiple Johnson & Johnson companies, broke ground on the array in April 2010.

In addition to the Titusville site, Johnson & Johnson has solar-power systems planned or completed at 20 sites worldwide, which together represent an installed capacity of about 13 megawatts. The Titusville campus is one of several Johnson & Johnson sites that are certified as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) sites. LEED is a green-certification system aimed at improving performance across key metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, carbon-dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

In other news, Johnson & Johnson launched Every Mother, Every Child, a five-year, private-sector effort to improve the health of women and children in developing countries. The initiative supports the United Nations’ April 2010 call for a renewed effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing mortality in women and children by 2015. Every Mother, Every Child aims to help as many as 120 million women and children each year during the next five years. The effort includes treatments for intestinal worms, health information for pregnant women over existing mobile phones, research and development of new medicines for HIV and tuberculosis, and efforts focused on enhancing birth safety and improving health.

Merck & Co.’s (Whitehouse Station, NJ) Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) was recognized by President Barack Obama as a model science education at an event held in September 2010 at the White House. Merck was recognized as part of the President's "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort focused on excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Recognizing teachers as key to the learning process, MISE focuses on professional development programs that provide educators with research-based tools and strategies so they can improve all students' performance in science. A non-profit organization founded by Merck in 1993, MISE supports the capacity-building of partner school districts and the creation and sustainability of innovative classroom practices in science education.

Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) reported that scientists at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD), in collaboration with researchers from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a novel compound that shows promise as a next generation treatment for drug-resistant malaria. Major support for the project was provided by the Wellcome Trust, the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), A*STAR, Singapore and the US government. The antimalarial candidate, spiroindolone NITD609, is effective against both strains of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium (P.) falciparum and P. vivax. NITD609 cleared plasmodium in a malaria mouse model and showed pharmacological properties compatible with a once-daily dosing regimen.

Pfizer (New York) was recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for its approach to addressing climate change by being named to the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. CDP is a not-for-profit coalition of 534 institutional investors with $64 trillion in assets under management.  This index, a key component of CDP's annual Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 report, highlights the constituent companies within the S&P 500 Index that have displayed the most professional approach to corporate governance with regard to climate-change disclosure practices. Companies are scored on their climate-change disclosure, and high scores indicate good internal data management and understanding of climate-change related issues affecting the company. Pfizer was ranked highest among the S&P 500 healthcare companies on the index — the third consecutive year that Pfizer made the S&P list—and ranked fourth on CDP's Global 500 healthcare-companies list. Pfizer exceeded its initial goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by achieving a 43% reduction relative to revenue between 2000 and 2007. The company's second goal, to be achieved between 2007 and the end of 2012, is to cut greenhouse gases by 20% on an absolute basis.