CSR and Sustainability in the News

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PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-04-04-2012, Volume 8, Issue 4

A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations

Baxter International and The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter, reported combined charitable giving of more than $80 million in 2011. Key figures include: $47 million from donations of Baxter products through donor partners and the company's US patient-assistance programs; $29 million from Baxter's businesses and facilities to address critical local needs in more than 42 countries; and $4 million from The Baxter International Foundation, including grants to increase access to healthcare worldwide, prize programs that recognize excellence in community service and healthcare research, a scholarship program that contributes to the education of Baxter employees’ children, and support of employees' philanthropic efforts through the Foundation's Dollars for Doers and Matching Gifts programs.

The Dow Chemical Company has launched the fourth annual Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) program and has expanded it to include nine new strategic universities. Developed in conjunction with Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, SISCA drives collaboration and advancement in social and environmental responsibility by asking students to solve significant world challenges through sustainable solutions.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has launched a new multidisciplinary apprenticeship scheme for 16–24 year olds for positions at the company’s UK manufacturing, R&D, and corporate sites. The scheme will begin in August this year, and GSK will take on 40 apprentices in the first intake. The company has historically taken on a number of engineering apprentices; however, this new integrated scheme will offer IT, R&D, laboratory technician, manufacturing, supply-chain management, and artwork-design opportunities. The full list of sites offering apprenticeships is Barnard Castle, GSK House (London), Irvine, Maidenhead, Montrose, Slough, Ulverston, Ware, and Worthing. Apprenticeships will last between two and four years depending on the discipline. All roles will consist of a combination of on-the-job training and study modules.

Merck & Co. and Safe Water Network have launched a three-year, $1.5-million partnership to increase access to safe water and reduce the impact of water-borne disease among impoverished communities in Andhra Pradesh, India. Safe Water Network is a not-for-profit organization committed to developing locally owned and operated water-purification systems that achieve lasting health impact. The initiative will add a dozen sites to Safe Water Network's existing field projects in Andhra Pradesh, which already provide nearly 40,000 people access to clean water. The additional sites will provide safe water access to another 20,000–30,000 people. Each phase of the initiative will be documented, including the data on health outcomes. Key findings will be shared with the water and sanitation sector as well as other organizations to help raise awareness to address the global water crisis. Merck and Safe Water Network are also exploring employee volunteer opportunities as part of the partnership in the areas of health, behavior change, and quality assurance.


Novartis and the Broad Institute have developed a cancer cell-line encyclopedia that catalogues the genetic and molecular profiles of almost 1000 human cancer cell lines used in drug R&D. Results of the collaboration allow scientists to use this information to improve cancer clinical-trial design and further cancer research. The genetic and molecular profiling data from the cell lines is freely available to the scientific community on the Broad Institute’s website

Transnet Foundation and Roche have inaugurated a second Phelophepa Healthcare Train. The Phelophepa train is a clinic on rails with 18 coaches that provides healthcare in remote rural areas of South Africa. With this launch, the two trains will effectively double the capacity of the program to reach people in remote regions of South Africa who otherwise have little access to healthcare.

UL’s Responsible Sourcing group, a global provider of corporate responsibility auditing and consulting services, has launched a Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) System to help manage and track improvements in manufacturing processes and responsible workplace systems throughout the supply chain. The CAPA System is an online workflow-management tool that helps companies communicate workplace improvements to their business partners, educate staff and suppliers about workplace systems, track and document the closure of audit findings, and streamline management of the corrective action process.