Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business

Novo Nordisk publishes integrated Annual Report


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Novo Nordisk's Annual Report, which has just been published, confirms the Danish pharmaceutical company's position as a global leader in voluntary corporate reporting.

The annual report brings together material previously contained in three separate publications, presenting for the first time an integrated picture of the company's social, environmental and financial performance. The magazine format features "hot topics" as well as 64 pages of financial and non-financial accounts.

Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, deals frankly with the key issues facing its business and some that are industry specific, including transparency of clinical trial data and industry funding of medical education.

By posing the question, "Can diabetes really be defeated?" the report describes the company's mission - leading the fight against diabetes. Improved access to health is a high priority on the agenda, particularly in the developing world where diabetes is growing fastest.

In 2004 Novo amended its articles of association to specify that the company will 'strive to conduct its activities in a financially, environmentally and socially responsible way'. It also:

- sold insulin at 20% of the average price in the industrialised world to 33 Least Developed Countries (LDC) - compared to 16 in 2003 - as part of a programme to offer more affordably priced insulin to all 49 LDCs
- reached an estimated 21 million people worldwide in 2004 through Novo Nordisk's global health initiatives such as the National Diabetes Programme and DAWN (Diabetes, Attitudes, Wishes and Needs)
- stepped up the company's internationalization via increased investment in new markets, like China, US and Brazil; global scientific partnerships and greater emphasis on a more diverse and mobile talent pool
- introduced a job transfer system to find new work opportunities and training for staff in Denmark affected by the company's rapid international growth
- developed a climate change strategy, entering a partnership with the global environmental group WWF to achieve an absolute reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions by 2014
- began 'roadtesting' the United Nations Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations, with a view to developing human rights standards
- established a bonus scheme for its 26 most senior executives that includes performance on key sustainability-driven projects.

The report, which has been audited in accordance with the IFRS and assured against the principles of the AA1000AS by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is available at with supplementary information on the corporate website. This includes performance in accordance with the international standards for voluntary reporting, Global Reporting Initiative's 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

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