Sustainability is enshrined in our strategy
Humankind is being confronted with global societal challenges. Issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, a growing global population, demographic change, and insufficient access to healthcare in low- and middle-income countries are becoming increasingly relevant.
Our businesses create long-term value. Our aim is to reconcile ecological, social, and societal aspects for our company, for our stakeholders, and for society as a whole. Our company has been guided by strong values for more than 350 years and across many generations. Sustainability has always been a high priority in all our business activities.
We believe that sustainable business and profitable growth go hand in hand: The only way for us to secure our future competitiveness is by creating sustainable added value for society.
Our sustainability strategy centers on a commitment to using science and technology to achieve sustainable progress for humankind. With this we help to solve the problems described in the United Nations’ 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Another key objective is to make our business model resistant to challenges and sudden changes. For example, this includes protecting our supply chains against continued resource scarcity in order to ensure that we can reliably provide our customers and patients with our products and medicines.
Our new strategic sustainability goals build on what we have achieved in recent years. The rapidly growing challenges in society and the environment demand a clear perspective for the years ahead. This is why we have enshrined sustainability as an essential component of our company’s overall strategy. Through our business activities, we want to be economically successful and create value for society. At the same time, we endeavor to avoid generating subsequent costs for society.
New sustainability goals
We have defined three new goals with our sustainability strategy:
- In 2030, we will achieve progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology.
- By 2030, we will integrate sustainability into all our value chains.
- By 2040, we will be climate-neutral and reduce our resource consumption.
In order to achieve our sustainability goals, we are concentrating on seven focus areas:
- Sustainable innovations and technologies for our customers
- Impact of our technologies and products on health and well-being
- Sustainability culture and values
- Sustainability and transparency in the supply chain
- Securing our social license to operate in all regions
- Climate change and emissions
- Water and resource intensity
Today and in the future, we are pursuing numerous initiatives and projects in these focus areas and measuring our progress. These efforts ensure that sustainability will become a key indicator of our success across all our business sectors. We are also planning to also link the long-term variable compensation of the Executive Board from 2022 onward with the progress made toward achieving the company’s sustainability goals.
The goals we have set ourselves to 2030 and beyond will contribute to the attainment of the United Nations SDGs. Our business activities contribute to the following five SDGs in particular:
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.