SustainAbility was commissioned by Novo Nordisk to verify the company's third annual environmental report. The objectives were to validate the collation of the data (but not to verify the data itself), to verify the statements made in the report, and to comment on the company's environmental performance in 1995.
The benchmarks for our verification were:
  • Novo Nordisk's own policies.
  • The company's 1994 Environmental Report.
  • SustainAbility's verification statements for Novo Nordisk's 1993 and 1994 reports.
  • SustainAbility's revised fifty-point checklist of reporting ingredients (originally described in Company Environmental Reporting UNEP Technical Report No. 24).
  • Emerging best practice in corporate environmental reporting.

The verification process, carried out from February to April 1996, involved:

  • A series of interviews with key personnel at Novo Nordisk in Denmark.
  • Examination of Novo Nordisk's policies, objectives, monitoring and reporting procedures, background documentation, the data to be included in the report and how they were compiled, and the performance indicators used.
  • Site visits and on-site interviews at Kalundborg and Bagsvaerd.
  • Review and amendment of drafts of the report.

SustainAbility is satisfied that:

  1. The written statements presented in this report present a fair and honest reflection of Novo Nordisk's policies, management systems and practices.
  2. The description of progress achieved during 1995 is valid and is substantiated by the company's environmental performance data.
  3. Overall, the report is a reasonable and balanced presentation of Novo Nordisk's environmental performance during 1995.

Once again Novo Nordisk has expanded the scope of its environmental report and provides sufficient detail in key areas to enable performance to be tracked over time. The company continues to make progress in key areas and to develop a more systematic approach to environmental management. However, further work is still needed to establish a consistent, certifiable, company-wide environmental management system.

Although the reliability of the data continues to improve through the involvement of the internal audit department, we strongly recommend the establishment of a formal environmental auditing program to cover Novo Nordisk's activities worldwide. We would also like to see the tightening of the company's targets in a few areas so that they are all quantified and, therefore, more measurable.

Two areas highlighted in our 1994 verification statement were transport and distribution, and education and training. Progress in these areas will need to be re-assessed in 1996.

Although Novo Nordisk has experienced little demand for life-cycle information from its customers, we recommend the continuation of the LCA program so that continuous improvement is achieved and the environmental impacts and benefits of Novo Nordisk's products can be fully quantified and clearly demonstrated.

Other priorities include the publication of individual site reports for the major production plants to address local stakeholder needs, which will be required under the new Danish green accounting regulations. We would also like to see further discussion of global operating standards and biosafety issues in relation to Novo Nordisk's operations and products, since these areas are of interest to many of the company's external stakeholders.

Dr. J. Vernon Jennings
Director, SustainAbility
London, May 2, 1996

Auditors' Report
At the request of the management, we have reviewed the Environmental Report for 1995 prepared by Novo Nordisk A/S. Our review covered:

  • On a trial basis reconciling the data relating to the Danish sites with fermentation plants to the Company's internal records, measurements and other documentation.
  • Verifying that the consolidated information provided in the Environmental Report is based on the data reported by the Novo Nordisk Group sites.
  • Interviews and discussions with management and relevant staff.
The Company's control systems have not yet been sufficiently developed to ensure the completeness of all data. We did not, however, during our review note any omissions in the company's specifications. We confirm that the data in the Environmental Report relating to the reviewed Danish sites with fermentation plants is in agreement with the underlying documentation submitted to us. We also confirm that the consolidated information contained in the Environmental Report is based on the information reported by the Novo Nordisk Group sites.

Copenhagen, May 2, 1996
Price Waterhouse/Seier-Petersen

Morten Iversen
State-Authorized Public Accountant

Lars Holtug
State-Authorized Public Accountant

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