Sustainability is an integral part of Galenica’s corporate governance. We firmly believe that we can achieve long-term commercial success only if we bear social responsibility and use natural resources efficiently and respectfully.
Important contribution to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is posing major challenges for us all. At the same time, it has highlighted the central role held by the Galenica Group in the Swiss healthcare market as the first point of contact for advice on health matters and for supplying the population with medicines. Since November 2020, the first few Galenica pharmacies have been offering coronavirus rapid antigen tests as well as PCR tests, thus making an important contribution to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic. As well as this, coronavirus self-tests have been available at pharmacies since April 2021 and COVID-19 vaccinations are planned. In additional shifts, the Bichsel Group ramped up its own production capacities for infusion and rinsing solutions as well as disinfectants and was classified by the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES) as a systemically important company. At the same time, the logistics companies Alloga, Galexis and Unione Farmaceutica Distribuzione (UFD) have been doing everything in their power to maximise deliveries of medicines and to keep delays at a minimum.
Patient and employee protection has top priority. We have implemented comprehensive COVID-19 protection measures across all Galenica companies. In addition, the pharmacies have installed protective plexiglass shields at their cash registers and are providing disinfectants and regulating the flow of customers.
Employee motivation is satisfactory
The opinion of our employees is important to us. Since 2020, we have been conducting the “Opinio” employee survey on an annual basis rather than in three-yearly intervals as before. The focus of the online questionnaire is on the motivation of our employees. With a group-wide score of 72 out of a possible maximum of 100, employee motivation is satisfactory. High scores were awarded for employees’ satisfaction with their work (76 out of 100 points), confidence in line management (78 out of 100 points) and interest in the company’s future (80 out of 100 points).
Renovation and modernisation of the Galexis distribution centre
Reducing the carbon footprint and boosting energy efficiency are important goals in renovating and modernising the Galexis distribution centre in Lausanne-Ecublens. The first phase of the conversion work entailing the renovation of all buildings and roofs commenced in 2020. We also plan to put a photovoltaic system into operation. The renovations form part of the targets agreed with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). By complying with the agreements with FOEN we can apply for a refund of the CO2 levy on fossil fuels or request subsidies for the implementation of the measures.
New sustainability aspects identified
In 2020, we reviewed the relevance matrix and the sustainability goals, identifying three new key topics: retention of qualified employees, IT security and cybercrime, procurement and supply-chain reliability. Galenica’s relevance matrix now encompasses thirteen topics, twelve of which we consider to be material. These topics form the core of our sustainability report for 2020.
Outlook for 2021
Under the Galenica Group’s new organisational and management structure, which came into effect in January 2021, the Sustainability Committee was also given a new composition. The Committee will be developing internal goals and parameters for all relevant aspects of sustainability. In addition, talks are planned with representatives of external stakeholders such as suppliers, customers and partners in 2021 in order to review the relevance of the main aspects. In addition, we will be evaluating the positive and negative impact that Galenica has on the economy, the environment and society for each aspect of sustainability.
Bern, May 2021
CFO and member of the Sustainability Committee of the Galenica Group