CSR and Sustainability in the News

A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations.
Oct 03, 2012
By PharmTech Editors

Abbott reports that it was included on both the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) and North America Index for the eighth consecutive year. As a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, Abbott ranks among the top 300 of the 2500 largest companies worldwide in corporate sustainability. The DJSI recognize leading companies in each industry sector for responsible economic, environmental and social performance. Abbott was named the industry sector leader in several categories, including environmental reporting and climate strategy. Abbott also led the industry in innovative philanthropy, stakeholder engagement, and risk and crisis management. Abbott also was named one of the top three "Best in Class" companies in its industry sector for financial, environmental and social performance by Storebrand Investments and has been included on the Ethibel Excellence Investment Register since 2005 in recognition of the company's economic, social and environmental performance.

The Bayer Science & Education Foundation is making available approximately EUR 200,000 ($258,331) for 49 students of the natural sciences, engineering, and medicine as well those training to become science teachers or young people from skilled non-academic professions. The scholarships are targeted at students and vocational trainees in natural science and medical disciplines who would like to realize a particular foreign study project and require financial support for this. In addition to German-based applicants who would like to study abroad, the foundation supports scholarship recipients from outside of Germany who wish to realize a comparable project in Germany. 
Academic disciplines receiving support this year include biology, biotechnology, chemistry, molecular biology, and human and veterinary medicine. Seven Kurt Hansen scholarship recipients are also receiving assistance for teacher training in biology and chemistry.

Eli Lilly reports that applications for the 2013–2014 school year are available for the 15th Annual Lilly Reintegration Scholarship. The program provides funding for tuition, books, and laboratory fees to people living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and related schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, so they may pursue and achieve their educational and vocational goals.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) presented several environmental and sustainability programs at sessions at the CleanMed Europe conference, held Sept. 26¬28, in Malmo, Sweden. CleanMed is a conference focused on sustainable healthcare and addresses the environmental impact of the healthcare sector at the local, regional, and global levels. The presentations complement a recently released Johnson & Johnson report, The Growing Importance of Sustainable Products in the Global Health Care Industry, which examines the growing demand for sustainability in global healthcare. Janssen’s environmental sustainability programs include the Earthwards process for greener products and the use of on-site renewable energy sources.

Merck & Co. has issued its 2011 global corporate responsibility report. The report reviews performance and activities within the four key corporate responsibility areas that the company has identified as mission critical: access to health, environmental sustainability, employees and ethics, and transparency. The company estimates it global corporate giving at $1.3 billion and reaching 273 million people through its major responsibility programs and partnerships. Its contributions include $34.7 million for partnerships to address barriers to health. Its employees have volunteered 210,500 hours, and the company has reduced its global water use by 1 billion gallons.

Pfizerand WM Healthcare Solutions, a subsidiary of Waste Management, have jointly launched a new, free-of-charge, online pharmaceutical disposal guide for healthcare providers and facilities called the “Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor.” Pfizer says it is the first pharmaceutical company to make this resource available to healthcare professionals to help guide them through complex waste disposal requirements. Pfizer is using WM’s PharmE Waste Wizard, an online search engine that provides waste categorization and disposal information for healthcare facilities, including physician practices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and walk-in clinics. The information provided in the Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor does not apply to medicines discarded by consumers.

In other news, Pfizer has been recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for actions to reduce emissions and mitigate the risks of climate change. For the first time, CDP named Pfizer to its Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), which highlights those companies within the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (Global 500) and the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index that have demonstrated a strong approach to climate strategy and emissions reduction in their CDP responses. This year, Pfizer is ranked number two in the healthcare sector by the CDP for its carbon performance in the united in the S&P 500, and number three in the healthcare sector in the Global 500. Pfizer met its first greenhouse-gas reduction goal in 2007 and is in the process of designing its third public goal.

Roche has been recognized as the most sustainable healthcare company globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), for the fourth year in a row. The DJSI World and DJSI Europe Indexes track the performance of the leading sustainability companies based on best-in-class approach in environmental, social, and economic performance. This year’s DJSI assessment emphasized a number of Roche’s efforts as a sustainable company. They include Roche’s strategy thath focuses on medical innovation and its personalized healthcare approach, which addresses healthcare efficiency and improves health outcomes. Roche’s program on developing future leaders and respecting human rights were also recognized, together with the company’s pilot program for differential pricing in developing countries that aim to expand the number of people able to access Roche medicines. In 2009 Roche defined a number of five-year corporate goals, including a diversity objective to increase the percentage of women in key positions by at least 50%, an energy efficiency goal of a 10% reduction in energy consumption, and an increase in energy efficiency by end of 2014.

Sanofi and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) have formed a new research collaboration agreement to accelerate the discovery and development of novelcompounds against tuberculosis (TB). Under the agreement, Sanofi and TB Alliance will collaborate to further optimize and develop several novel compounds in Sanofi’s library that have demonstrated activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. This includes in-depth research of lead compounds based upon identified chemical derivatives of natural products, which have promising potential to treat all forms of TB, and the chemical optimization of other series of compounds that have been identified as hits through high-throughput screening.