Setting an Example

Global corporate citizenship can go a long way.
Jun 02, 2007


Angie Drakulich
Next month, 1000 leaders will convene in Geneva to discuss progress on the United Nations Global Compact, seven years after it went into effect. More than 3800 entities, including 2900 businesses in 100 countries, have signed the compact, which seeks to promote responsible corporate citizenship in relation to globalization. Companies that join commit to 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.

Pfizer was the first—and is still the only—US pharmaceutical company to sign the Global Compact. Although there have been some claims of "bluewashing" tied to the agreement, which is voluntary and therefore has few enforcement mechanisms, many companies, including Pfizer, are implementing the compact's principles.

The goal behind the compact is for companies to work in partnership with UN agencies, labor and civil society groups, and governments to support universal environmental and social principles. Pfizer, in particular, has incorporated the compact's principles into its official Policies on Business Conduct, applied Green Chemistry practices to reduce waste during production, and was the first multinational pharmaceutical company in China to issue a corporate HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy that protects employees with the disease from from harassment and discrimination.

It's probably no coincidence that Pfizer is a clear leader in this issue's manufacturers' rankings report. Perhaps there is something to be said for stepping out of the box and serving as an example when it comes to supporting global responsibility and standards.

As the new managing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology, I also intend to hold high the standards of this magazine. We will continue to provide the most up-to-date, accurate information you need to work in this ever-evolving, leading global industry.

Angie Drakulich is the managing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology,