Global pharmaceutical company Novartis announced today that it is introducing several new ESG targets, ranging from environmental commitments to increased access to medicines and addressing global health challenges. Novartis will hold an investor event today to discuss the new commitments.

Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said:

“Novartis continues to take bold steps to deepen our impact on major global challenges, like access to medicines and climate change. By establishing targets to measure what matters most for stakeholders, we are further embedding ESG into the core of our business operations and strengthening our commitment to communicating our progress in a transparent way.”

Novartis stated that it focuses on 4 key strategic ESG pillars defined as material by stakeholders; Ethical Standards, Pricing and Access, Global Health Challenges and Corporate Citizenship, and that the new targets are aimed at key elements in each of these areas.

New elements of Novartis’ ESG targets announced today include:

  • Achieving full carbon neutrality across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030
  • Increase patients reached in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with strategic innovative medicines by 200% by 2025
  • Increase patients reached by 50% through Novartis flagship programs in Leprosy, Malaria, Chagas Disease and Sickle Cell Disease by 2025

Novartis estimates that achievement of the access targets will result in a potential reach of over 23 million patients across both initiatives. The new carbon target is in addition to the company’s existing goal of becoming carbon neutral in its own operations by 2025, and replaces the previous goal of a 50% reduction (vs a 2016 baseline) in carbon emissions across the supply chain.

Novartis also announced a collaboration with the African Union initiating an Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) to support the supply of medicines from the Novartis COVID-19 Pandemic Response Portfolio.  This portfolio of 15 medicines, including Dexamethasone, for symptomatic treatment of COVID-19 for LMICs was launched in July 2020 and is provided through Sandoz, the generics and biosimilar division of Novartis. AMSP, a non-profit initiative, provides an online platform that aggregates certified medical equipment, clinical management devices and medicines to supply African governments in need of critical COVID-19 supplies. This new collaboration aims to help alleviate supply and logistical constraints by ensuring efficient and rapid access of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Portfolio medicines to African governments.

Joerg Reinhardt, Chairman of Novartis, said:

“ESG is a key strategic priority for the Novartis Board and Executive Committee and we made progress in all of our key ESG strategic pillars. Moving forward, we are further reinforcing the way we measure our impact with a set of new ESG targets, increasing our ambition to drive more value for society.”