What are the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and are they important?
For the sixth consecutive year Roche has been recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) as the leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry group. For Roche, we take this seriously. Producing innovative medicines and diagnostic products that improve the lives of millions of people around the world is our core contribution. However, we can only be successful in the long term if we create value for all stakeholders: for employees, governments, payers, healthcare professionals and other partners in the healthcare system, for shareholders, communities and ultimately for patients.
So is this important?
“Yes, it is,” says Karl Mahler, Head of Investor Relations. "The DJSI are considered the most rationale and widely accepted measure of the long-term sustainability of a company’s business and have become the key reference for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios.”
Stephan Feldhaus, Head Group Communications says: “The DJSI are also important from the general public’s point of view. Our employees, the media, and the general public are increasingly recognizing the importance of corporate sustainability and are looking at companies to see how they are contributing to addressing societal challenges.”
He continues: “Inclusion in the DJSI places Roche amongst the top 10 percent of companies that lead in sustainable performance across all surveyed industries. This delivers a strong statement on our ability to generate long-term value, as assessed by an external organization.”
But what does sustainability mean to Roche?
“Sustainability means different things to different people. It is often used interchangeably with ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR), or ‘shared value’, or as a mixture of them both,” says Dianne Young, Sustainability Communications Manager. “Sustainability is really about incorporating long-term thinking into all parts of our business. It means doing business in a way that is responsible and ethical but, more importantly, it is about doing business in a way where both industry and society benefit, and in a sustainable manner. In essence, our ability to create value for Roche is linked to the value we create for others.”
“This means innovating medical solutions and ensuring broad access to them, providing a rewarding workplace, being a responsible and compliant partner and engaging in the communities where we operate. In fact, through doing good business we create considerable value. In the end, helping people live longer, better lives is our greatest contribution to the sustainability of society,” she adds.
How do we track our performance?
It is imperative that we integrate sustainable and long-term thinking at the core of our business model. The business case for sustainability is clear as it enables growth, improves efficiency and flexibility, strengthens employee engagement, builds trust with partners and drives reputation,” states Urs Jaisli, Head of Roche’s Corporate Sustainability Committee.
“In 2009, Roche introduced an energy-efficiency goal of reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency by 10 percent and a diversity objective to increase the percentage of women in key positions by at least 50 percent by the end of 2014. Roche met the energy goal already in 2012 two years ahead of time and the diversity goal in 2013, one year ahead of time. We are working on new Sustainability goals for inclusion into Roche’s next five year Corporate Goals.”