Materiality, stakeholder dialogue and responsible entrepreneurship
Sustainability is a corporate responsibility and an integral part of our patient value strategy. In 2016, the five material aspects of UCB’s corporate responsibility and sustainability, determined earlier in 2015, were reviewed and refined following regular and in-depth discussions with various stakeholders worldwide. These material aspects are:
Our material aspects
Creating stakeholder dialogue
It is UCB’s vision to place the patient at the center of its activities of identifying innovative and sustainable solutions through a socially responsible approach. The inspiration and trust of patients are the basis of our motivation in reducing the access gap to quality individualized healthcare and helping them navigate their often life-long disease journey.
During 2016, UCB continued having meetings with various stakeholders that are important to both our business and to society. Meetings were organized at global, regional and country levels and stakeholders engaged without restrictions on the subjects discussed. On average, stakeholder dialogue meetings were organized in the various UCB operations on a monthly basis.
Linking SDG’s to areas of engagement
In addition, UCB’s senior management adopted a comprehensive review of areas of engagement contributing to economic, environmental and societal sustainability. As an organization, we subscribe to various initiatives as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, which set a clear benchmark for progress toward a world in which every person will have the right to a healthy life, development, protection and participation. As a result, 26 areas of engagement have been identified by UCB, in collaboration with various external stakeholders, that are considered important to the company. Nineteen of the 26 areas of engagement, described within the five Material Aspects, are also linked to the seven SDG’s (see below). Seven areas that are not directly linked to the SDG’s are as follows: Animal welfare; Employee engagement; Patient safety; Procurement optimization; Product life-cycle management; Poduct stewardship; and Sustainability governance.
All areas of engagement have a significant relationship to our business success, company’s reputation and sustainability, and UCB is determined to maintain an open dialogue with stakeholders in different geographies to determine the value and the impact of the areas of action. Considering the importance of the aging population; UCB has included demographic changes as an area of engagement.
UCB Societal Responsibility Fund
UCB Societal Responsibility Fund, together with the King Baudouin Foundation, launched a ‘call for action’ to provide funding of € 900 000 for two new epilepsy-focused projects in Africa for a duration of 3 years each. A total of 18 applications were received, which were evaluated based on a variety of criteria, including their estimated impact on patients and society. Four projects were put to employee vote, with a response rate of over 950 employees globally (or ~13% of the total workforce). The two winning initiatives were:
- Duke University (U.S.), for building of an Epilepsy Center of Excellence in Uganda, covering education and epilepsy diagnosis, treatment, and surgical care.
- Handicap International (Belgium), for building capacity in two regional hospitals in Madagascar and to improve the understanding of epilepsy and access to care for persons, especially children, often stigmatized and discriminated. This initiative will also work on incorporating epilepsy into the national integrated primary health program.
The active engagement of UCB employees illustrates their dedication and willingness to create access to care for patients living in resource-poor countries.