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:
The verification process, carried out from February to April 1996, involved:
SustainAbility is satisfied that:
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
London, May 2, 1996
Copenhagen, May 2, 1996