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Novartis Releases 2020 Novartis in Society Report to Share Progress on Key Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Topics

Published 01-26-21

Issued by Novartis


At Novartis, we work to build trust with society and deliver long-term value to our stakeholders by embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics into the core of our business strategy and operations.

Report Highlights

At Novartis, we work to build trust with society and deliver long-term value to our stakeholders by embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics into the core of our business strategy and operations. As a global company, we have a great responsibility and an even greater opportunity to lead the world in creating positive social change. We can help catalyze a global response to complex challenges, such as the current pandemic or climate change, by embracing societal impact as a core business objective.

For the eighth consecutive year, Novartis is publishing an annual Novartis in Society ESG report. The report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.  It supplements the “Build trust with society” section in the 2020 Novartis Annual Review and the 2020 Novartis Annual Report.

The report is divided into four chapters based on our material clusters and the corporate priorities for building trust with society: holding ourselves to high ethical standards; being part of the solution on pricing and access; addressing global health challenges; and being a responsible citizen. In each chapter, readers will find more focused and contextual information about the priority topics arising from our materiality assessment.


COVID-19 response

  • Clinical trials: Collaborating with Molecular Partners to develop two potential antiviral treatments for COVID-19 based on a new class of protein therapeutics known as DARPin®
  • Access: Making 15 drugs that treat key symptoms of COVID-19 available to low-income and lower-middle-income countries at zero profit until a vaccine or curative treatment is available
  • Collaboration: Partnering with multi-stakeholder external consortia, including the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, coordinated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and Mastercard, as well as a COVID-19-directed partnership supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Community support: Committed to donating up to USD 40 million to support communities around the world impacted by the pandemic, including through our COVID-19 Response Fund and the US COVID-19 Community Response Fund


  • 66 million patients reached with products through our access activities
  • 8 million people with reached health education at awareness events
  • #2 position in the 2021 Access to Medicine Index
  • Launched new access targets and issued a sustainability bond linked to those targets

Global health

  • 3,400+ patients treated for sickle cell disease with hydroxyurea through the Novartis Africa Sickle Cell Disease program in Ghana
  • Expanded the Novartis Africa Sickle Cell Disease program to Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania
  • 980 million treatment courses of our antimalarial delivered in the past two decades to endemic countries
  • Discovered another novel malaria therapy with an entirely new mechanism of action, expected to begin clinical trials in 2021
  • Initiated recruitment for PARACHUTE-HF, our Phase IV clinical trial in people with heart failure due to chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy

Ethics and compliance

  • 22 ethical commitments included in our new Code of Ethics, co-created with more than 3000 associates
  • 8,400+ suppliers risk assessed through our Third-party Risk Management program
  • Signed the CEO Guide to Human Rights, calling on businesses to contribute to the realization of universal human rights

Responsible citizenship

  • 19% reduction of carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) versus 2016 and announced a new target to achieve full carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2030
  • Signed the CEO Water Mandate
  • 45% women in management
  • Announced a new global policy giving most office-based associates the right to choose how, when and where they work within their country of employment
  • 60,000 hours of learning on topics such as innovation, digital skills and access to medicines during Curiosity Month in September

Explore the 2020 Novartis in Society ESG Report

For more information on our activities, visit our website.

Novartis Media Relations
Central media line: +41 61 324 2200



Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 129,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit


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