Universal access to quality healthcare and medical innovation remains a global challenge. The Global Access Program for HIV testing has seen a fourfold increase in tests run since its launch in 2014, and has been expanded beyond HIV to include tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C and human papillomavirus (HPV) for low- and lower-middle-income country programmes. Roche continues to partner with national governments, local healthcare facilities, communities and international agencies to stop these dreadful diseases.
Global pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies have issued a joint statement, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to ensure that the world’s population has access to COVID-19 diagnostics, as well as vaccines and medicines. A total of 16 companies, including Roche, emphasised their commitment to ensuring that poorer countries can afford the products they need, including through donations and the distribution of products at cost.
Cervical cancer remains one of the leading causes of death for women. In August 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global strategy to accelerate the effort to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem. With new recommendations and policies in place, Roche has begun working with multiple NGOs and other partners to deliver reliable and clinically validated HPV and cancer screening tools in sub-Saharan Africa, and is working closely with Ministries of Health in Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa to change guidelines and policies.
As a global healthcare company, we are committed to supporting the SDGs in line with our business strategy; in particular SDG3, which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all.
We are committed to carrying the positive elements of the Covid crisis into our own ‘new normal’. We continue to learn what we can do better and build a network of respective experts at all our sites and empower those experts to be even more active in the future. In addition, we are part of local benchmark groups in order to exchange information and share learnings and best practices with other companies.
At Roche, we view diversity and inclusion as an engine of innovation and a key to our success. We strive to achieve representation of global society by employing people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. As part of our commitment to being a great place to work and to driving innovation, we promote equal opportunities and measure how many women reach leadership positions, which is a key step towards equality.
It is very important for Roche to ensure that all its employees have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at the workplace. With this in mind Roche became a signatory to the WASH Pledge (Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Workplace). All Roche Group companies are required to meet the WASH provisions at all premises where Roche employees have permanent workplaces. Roche - together with the World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD) - developed a set of requirements for meeting WASH Pledge Compliance.
Roche is committed to creating a better workplace that benefits both the employee and the environment. To reduce operating energy consumption, the buildings are designed in such a way as to improve their energy performance. This also includes high performance windows and extra insulation in walls, ceilings and doors. In addition, effective window placement can provide more natural light, reduce the need for electric lighting and minimise energy losses via the glass.
At our headquarters, between now and 2023, we are investing CHF 3 billion in a modern research and development infrastructure, attractive offices, and the site’s long-term development. The new buildings are designed to promote dialogue in an attractive, inspiring environment. In all our building projects sustainability is at the core. We employ high-quality, durable materials, reduce our energy consumption and use renewable energy sources.
32 medicines developed by Roche are included in the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines. Thirty of these are patent-free and include many important antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy drugs. The WHO core list contains medicines believed to be required for a basic healthcare system, including the most efficacious, safe and cost effective medicines. The WHO Model List serves as a guide for the development of national and institutional essential medicine lists.
Our main contribution to society is to deliver innovative diagnostic tests and medicines that save and improve lives, but we also do more. We take responsibility, along with other stakeholders, to minimise the impact of our medicines and diagnostic products on safety, security, health and the environment throughout the entire product life cycle.
Since the early 2000s Roche has been working towards a low-carbon future. The company’s long-term goal is to reduce emissions from owned or controlled sources or from the generation of purchased energy to zero by the middle of this century. We have a clear strategy: We put our own business in order first by improving operations and energy intensity while in a second step we substitute the remaining energy with energy generated from sustainable sources.
We are a part of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI). This group of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies is committed to improving the social, health, safety and environmental outcomes in the communities where suppliers are located. Within the framework of the PSCI, Roche was a driving force behind the development of an industry-wide process to better identify and prevent violations of human rights or environmental standards among suppliers.
Roche assembled the Data Science Coalition, a group of like-minded public and private organisations with a common mission and vision to bring actionable COVID-19 intelligence to patients, frontline healthcare providers, institutions, supply chains and governments around the globe. The Coalition can quickly gather and process massive amounts of global information, then deliver it back in formats that are meaningful and useful for stakeholders.