Roche Gains Top Spot in Sustainability Among Pharmaceutical Companies

Published on: 

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-10-12-2010, Volume 6, Issue 10

An annual analysis rates the performance of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in corporate sustainability.

Sustainability, defined to include corporate economic, environmental, and social performance, is the root of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and activities. Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), a boutique investment firm focused on sustainability investing, and Dow Jones Indexes, a provider of global indexes recently released the results of their annual global analysis of corporate sustainability leadership, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). The evaluation involved multiple market sectors, including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

The DJSI is based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental, and social performance by assessing factors such as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate-change mitigation, supply-chain standards, and labor practices. It accounts for general as well as industry-specific sustainability criteria for each of the 57 sectors defined according to the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB). ICB is a classification system of the Dow Jones Indexes and the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE). The system is supported by the ICB Universe Database, which contains more than 60,000 companies and 65,000 securities worldwide from the FTSE and Dow Jones Indexes.

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) was name the sector leader in the pharmaceutical industry according to the 2010 results of the DJSI, which were released in September 2010. The DJSI evaluated 56 companies. Roche has been included in the DJSI (world index) since 2004 and was named the sector leader also in 2009. According to a Roche press release, Roche’s activities in the area of sustainability include decreasing its carbon footprint by reduction of energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. Other activities include involvement in local community charitable initiatives, remuneration, and benefit programs to recognize the value of its employees as well as to bring medically valuable and sustainable healthcare products and services to patients on a global basis


Also, named to the sustainability index were Abbott (Abbott Park, IL), AstraZeneca (London), CSL (Melbourne, Australia), Daiichi Sanyko (Tokyo), Eisai (Tokyo), GlaxoSmithKline (London), Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ), Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ), Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), sanofi-aventis (Paris), and Takeda (Osaka, Japan). Each of these companies was recognized in the DJSI on a worldwide basis and in the respective region in which the company is headquartered (i.e. United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific).

The DJSI evaluated 22 companies in the biotechnology industry and named Novozymes (Copenhagen, Denmark), a provider of enzymes and related technology. Novozymes led the biotechnology between 2000 and 2007 and again in 2009, according to a company press release. Novozymes earned an overall score of  84%, measured across 23 performance criteria, according to the company. Novozymes scored 100% for the company’s record in three out of four categories measuring environmental performance. It also scored well in stakeholder engagement and human capital development (both 100%) and customer relationship management (89%). Novozymes was recognized globally and in the European rankings.

Other biotechnology companies recognized in the DJSI were Biogen Idec (Cambridge, MA), Genzyme (Cambridge, MA), and Life Technologies (Carlsbad, CA), which provides tools and services for the biotechnology industry. These companies were recognized globally and respectively in their regional markets. Crucell (Leiden, The Netherlands) was recognized in European rankings.