Triple Bottom Line
Novo Nordisk is committed to sustainable development and balanced growth. The principles of sustainable development – to preserve the planet while improving the quality of life for its current and future inhabitants – resonate well with the philosophy upon which the company was founded and how it does business today: constantly striving to improve performance as measured by the Triple Bottom Line principle.
In Novo Nordisk’s Articles of Association it is stated as the objectives that the company ‘strives to conduct its activities in a financially, environmentally and socially responsible way’. This implies that any decision should always seek to balance three considerations: Is it economically viable? Is it socially responsible? And is it environmentally sound? This is the Triple Bottom Line business principle, which ensures that decision-making balances financial growth with corporate responsibility, short-term gains with long-term profitability and shareholder return with other stakeholder interests.
The Triple Bottom Line is how Novo Nordisk has chosen to interpret its commitment to sustainable development. It is built into the corporate governance structures, management tools, individual performance assessments and reward schemes.
In today’s interconnected economy the ability to manage the complexity of business and societal challenges helps ensure sustained growth. The Triple Bottom Line principle enables Novo Nordisk to balance corporate profitability with corporate responsibility, stay attuned to stakeholder concerns and exploit opportunities for innovative collaboration.
From one perspective, the financial downturn is likely to slow economic wealth creation and hamper equitable social development. From another, the current challenges may offer opportunities for alternative solutions that generate longterm value. Energy efficiency supports operational excellence and helps mitigate climate change, healthier lifestyles reduce costs for public healthcare systems and enhance people’s quality of life, and cost consciousness sharpens focus on valueadding activities. The implications of the current global economic situation are yet to be seen, but history presents ample evidence that businesses that operate with a long-term view and a broad approach are more likely to be risk resilient and adaptable to change.
Novo Nordisk’s values-based approach to doing business drives performance and enhances shareholder value. The Triple Bottom Line principle expresses Novo Nordisk’s commitment to sustainable deve lopment and balanced growth and is consistent with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Through this approach, the company seeks to build its business in a way that is financially, environmentally and socially responsible. Decision-making seeks to balance short-term gains with long-term profitability and shareholder return with other stakeholder interests.
In the current business environment there is more focus than ever on accountability and transparency. Renewed attention is given to risk management, and for the pharmaceutical industry reputational risk is of particular importance. Regulatory authorities, policymakers, payers, patients and other stakeholder groups seek assurance that companies act with integrity and can demonstrate consistency of words and deeds.
The Triple Bottom Line plays a key role in earning and maintaining Novo Nordisk’s licence to operate and innovate. It helps build reputation and earn trust among stakeholders, attract talent and engage people, build customer loyalty and drive innovation. Ultimately, the commitment to pursue ambitious long-term targets for socially, environmentally and ethically responsible conduct strengthens the company’s competitive position in its markets.