With approximately 537 million adults in the world living with diabetes – a figure that is projected to rise to 783 million by 2045 if no action is taken. Diabetes places a great burden on health systems, and we are committed to working with health authorities and other partners to prevent and treat the disease.

The Novo Nordisk social responsibility strategy, Defeat Diabetes, includes long-term ambitions to accelerate prevention to halt the rise of diabetes, provide access to affordable care for vulnerable patients in every country and to continue to drive innovation to improve lives. 

Affordability of medicines is a global challenge and we know that some people in the USA living with diabetes are increasingly finding it hard to pay for their healthcare, including our diabetes medicines. Ensuring access and affordability is a responsibility we share with all involved in healthcare.

For information additional information about our approach to access & affordability, click here.

For information about how we work with prevention of chronic diseases, click here.

The estimated number of full-year patients reached with Novo Nordisk's Diabetes care products increased from 36.3 million in 2022 to 40.5 million in 2023. The 12% increase was primarily driven by the GLP-1 franchise, followed by the new-generation insulin franchise and the human insulin franchise. The increase in number of full-year patients reached with Novo Nordisk's Obesity care products in 2023 was primarily driven by the continued launch of Wegovy® in new markets.

In 2023, the estimated number of full-year patients with diabetes reached with Novo Nordisk's human insulin vials through the Access to Insulin Commitment was 2.4 million, compared to 1.8 million in 2022. The 33% growth through the Access to Insulin Commitment was driven by increased sales through both government and private market channels, sold at or below the USD 3 ceiling price. Novo Nordisk also sold human insulin vials at or below the ceiling price of USD 3 in countries outside the Commitment, reaching an estimated additional 2.6 million patients in 2023. This represents a total of 5 million patients with diabetes reached with human insulin at or below USD 3 per vial globally

For the latest reporting on patients reached with diabetes care products, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.

Type 1 diabetes (often referred to as childhood diabetes) is a lifelong, autoimmune condition which impairs the body’s ability to produce insulin. If left undiagnosed or untreated, excess glucose causes damage to organs which can result in severe health complications and, ultimately, in premature death. There is currently no prevention or cure and the only effective long-term treatment is multiple, daily injections of insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic childhood illnesses. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that globally, more than 1.2 million young people under 20 years have type 1 diabetes and approximately 184,100 new cases are diagnosed each year. However, in low-resource settings, children with type 1 diabetes are often misdiagnosed or lack access to adequate healthcare services to manage their condition.

Changing Diabetes® in Children was established in 2009 as a public-private partnership to bridge these critical gaps in care. The partnership provides comprehensive diabetes care for children and youth living with type 1 in low- and middle-income countries. This includes free life-saving insulin and other medical supplies for persons up to 25 years of age.

Our ambition is clear: no child should die of diabetes. To learn more about Changing Diabetes® in Children, click here.

As part of Novo Nordisk’s Defeat Diabetes social responsibility strategy, Changing Diabetes® in Children aims to reach 100,000 vulnerable children and young people living with type 1 diabetes by 2030.

Through the Changing Diabetes® in Children (CDIC) partnership, 52,249 children and youth were reached in total by the end of 2023, compared to 41,033 by the end of 2022. Almost half of the new enrolled children were reached through expansion in Asian countries, mainly India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam. The children receive access to diabetes care in clinics (e.g. patient education), as well as medical supplies if needed.

For the latest reporting on Children reached through Changing Diabetes® in Children, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.

We provide a safe workplace that promotes both mental and physical health, and overall well-being. Our company culture also plays a strong role in ensuring a diverse, fair and inclusive working environment. Together, this is what determines our ability to attract and develop some of the best talent from all over the world.

Our responsibility to respect labour rights applies to our global operations as a global minimum standard of business conduct. We track labour rights performance for all our employees in the workplace and verify whether labour rights risks are being effectively addressed.

For more information, download our Novo Nordisk Labour code of conduct (PDF)

We employ people in 80 countries globally. Since 2014, we have been a part of the living wage programme with an external global non-profit business network and consultancy. The objective is to ensure that all our employees are paid a living wage, i.e., adequate to purchase basic goods and services necessary to achieve a basic standard of living, based on calculations of living wages in the countries we operate in.

The number of employees increased in most areas with the highest growth in EMEA, notably in Product Supply, Quality and IT. Currently, Novo Nordisk’s HR systems allow employees to select the gender they most identify with. Moving forward, Novo Nordisk is committed to increasing awareness of this self-identification option. The breakdown by age group remained stable in the last three years.

The employee turnover rate decreased from 8.2% in 2022 to 5.5% in 2023, with decline in almost all business areas.

A global employee survey called "Evolve" supports Novo Nordisk’s ambition to be a sustainable employer, underpinning the broader sustainable business agenda.

The Evolve Index is comprised of 18 questions measuring working conditions that are critical to Novo Nordisk’s ambition of being a Sustainable Employer. The favourable score represents the proportion of employees responding with either a ‘4’ or ‘5’ on a 5-point scale, where ‘1’ represents ‘Strongly Disagree’ and ‘5’ represents ‘Strongly Agree.

This year’s employee survey revealed an increase in the already high overall engagement, bringing it to 86% favourable compared to 85% favourable in 2022. Novo Nordisk continues to score in the top quartile when benchmarked against external organisations when it comes to providing a purpose-driven workplace.

Improvements were seen on most questions, with a large improvement on ‘I understand how my performance is evaluated’, which was a focus area for follow up on the 2022 survey results. Opportunities for further improvement were seen in providing equal career opportunities for all and improving following through on committed actions, based on survey results across the organisation.

We employ more than 50,000 people worldwide, all of which we have a clear commitment to provide a  healthy and safe working environment for. Supporting safety, physical health and mental well-being is fundamental to personal and professional growth. 

We offer a healthy and engaging workplace, supported by a comprehensive Health and Safety programme. To this end, we have implemented our Health and Safety management system across our entire global organisation to ensure such conditions for all employees and contractors.

CEO statement
At Novo Nordisk, we care about the health, safety, and well-being of each other. We provide a working environment that enables our people to perform at their best while maintaining a balanced life. Through our Health & safety policy and strategy we hold each other accountable to high standards. Our approach is holistic and focus on mental well-being, safety, physical well-being, and health promotion. Through our leaders who serve as role models, we aim to inspire, motivate, and support all employees to take responsibility for their own and colleagues’ safety, and develop healthy work- and life-habits.

Corporate policy and governance
Our corporate values, the Novo Nordisk Way, with Essential no. 8 “We have a healthy and engaging working environment”, state clearly that health and safety is a key priority. Our global health and safety policy is based on our focus on prevention and continual improvement.

We strive to uphold a safe working environment and promote the health of our people.

This means that we:

  • Operate by high health and safety standards throughout the world
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Ensure our employees are involved in how we maintain and improve health and safety
  • Hold our people accountable for their actions regarding workplace safety
  • Ensure that the working environment is not compromised for economic or productivity reasons
  • Fulfil applicable legal requirements
  • Follow relevant international conventions

Management system
The health and safety policy is governed and implemented through our global health and safety management system, which is described in a global procedure. The management system defines that health and safety of our employees is a managerial responsibility. The procedure contains specific health and safety requirements regarding e.g., risk assessments and emergency procedures and preparedness. The global procedure is supported by local instructions and dedicated training of all managers and health and safety staff as well as basic training of all employees in research, development and production. All production facilities have health and safety certifications according to ISO45001 and are audited regularly both internally and externally.

Every year, an organisational bottom-up management review is conducted with the Novo Nordisk Executive Management team as the governing body.

Our health and safety strategy sets a clear direction to make continuous improvements. Through our global partnering approach, all business areas commit to specific targets and initiatives for identified health and safety challenges. The strategy is implemented in a partnering approach, with all business areas and aims to involve, inspire, and enable managers and employees to make sure that our people leave work every day as mentally healthy and physically fit as when they arrived. We want everyone in Novo Nordisk to act on the safety, physical and mental health and well-being of themselves and their colleagues.

The health and safety strategy drives improvements on our three focus areas and targets for safety, mental health and well-being and ergonomics, illustrated in the list below.

We continuously improve our safety culture and reduce the frequency of work accidents.
Novo Nordisk target: 10% annual improvement of accidents with absence per million work hours.

We address well-being proactively and the share of employees reporting stress symptoms is continuously reduced.
EVP area target: 10% annual improvement of employees reporting stress symptoms.

We continuously improve workplace ergonomics to increase physical well-being and reduce pain.
EVP area target: 5% annual improvement of employees reporting work-related pain.

Employee health promotion
Our global employee health promotion programme enables employees to act on their health by providing a framework for integrating health promotion into the workday, no matter if they work in a physically demanding or a sedentary work environment.

The programme is adapted locally by novohealth ambassadors, and its content is co-created by employees across the organisation.

The employee health promotion programme offers activities, and encourages employees to act on their own health, within six pillars:

1. Physical activity
All employees are encouraged to be physically active. 
Goal: all employees have opportunities to exercise.

2. Healthy eating
All employees are encouraged to have a balanced diet.
Goal: all employees have information and access to healthy food, so the healthy choice is the easy choice.

3. Individual mental well-being
All employees are encouraged to pay attention to their mental health.
Goal: all employees can access knowledge and tools to act on their mental well-being.

4. Health checks
All employees are encouraged to care for their health.
Goal: all employees have access to free health checks and guidance on how to act on their health.

5. Smoke free
Employees that smoke are encouraged to become smoke free.
Goal: all employees have access to help to stop smoking

6. Weight management
Employees at risk are encouraged to start and sustain healthy weight.
Goal: employees have access to weight management programmes and obesity prevention.

Below are some of the good health and safety practices and actions Novo Nordisk has taken globally:

  • A global anti-harassment framework has been implemented to prevent workplace harassment. Trainings on respectful tone and anti-harassment is offered to human resources experts and managers globally.
  • Global leadership guidelines have been developed, to promote mental well-being and support managers in taking responsibility for creating healthy workplaces.
  • We train and educate our human resources experts and managers to have open dialogues with teams, so that issues in the psycho-social working environment and mental health are identified and addressed.
  • Transport and traffic accidents are identified as a major risk area for medical representatives working in countries with unsafe public infrastructure. Preventive measures have been initiated in the organisation.
  • Heavy manual lifting has been an ongoing challenge in production facilities and so we have limited this to a 15 kg maximum load.

We maintain workplace health promotion addressing physical and mental health and well-being by offering our novohealth programme.

In 2023, Novo Nordisk had 153 accidents with reported absence compared to 128 in 2022, which is in line with the increase in number of employees. The average lost time accident frequency was 1.5 in 2023, in line with 2022.

Novo Nordisk had one work-related fatality in 2023 compared to two in 2022, due to a car accident. Novo Nordisk will continue to train and motivate employees on good road safety behaviour to reduce the risk of recurrences.

In 2023, Novo Nordisk has harmonised incident reporting into one global reporting system to ensure standardised reporting and systematic prevention, specifically with focus on prevention of high-risk incidents.

We offer a healthy and engaging workplace, supported by a comprehensive health and safety programme based on continuous improvements within safety, physical health, mental well-being and employee health promotion. To this end, we have implemented our Health & Safety management system across our entire global organisation. Performance is overseen by Executive management and the Board of Directors.

In 2023, 13.8% of Novo Nordisk employees reported symptoms of stress, in line with 2022, and 7.1% reported symptoms of work-related physical pain, compared to 7.8% in 2022.

Being a sustainable employer offering an inclusive and diverse working environment is an integrated part of being a sustainable business. 

To underline Novo Nordisk’s commitment, accelerate progress and ensure leadership accountability, Novo Nordisk has defined the following global aspirational targets:

  • Create an inclusive culture where all employees have a sense of belonging and equitable opportunities to realise
    their potential
  • Achieve a balanced gender representation across all managerial levels
  • Achieve a minimum of 45% women and a minimum of 45% men in senior leadership positions by the end of 2025

Balanced is defined as the range between 45%-55% to leave up to 10% flexibility for women and men and also allow for non-binary gender recognising that some employees may not wish to be categorised.

While gender is one dimension of diversity, Novo Nordisk fully recognises that diversity is any dimension that differentiates people and enables a diverse line of thought.

Since we launched the D&I Aspirational Targets at the end of the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021) we can see the following progress:

  • The share of women in leadership positions has increased from 42% to 46% as of 2023.
  • The percentage of women in senior leadership positions (defined in Novo Nordisk to include Vice Presidents, Corporate Vice Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents and Executive Presidents) has grown from 35% to 41% during the same period.
  • The Inclusion Index increased +4%-p from 2021 to 2023. Of the more than 47,000 employees who completed the survey in 2023, 82% rated the inclusion statements favorable, compared to 78% in 2021 and 82% in 2022. The global “Inclusion Index” is a part of our annual employee engagement survey; it is a numerical indicator of how our employees rate the state of inclusion at Novo Nordisk based on four questions.

The gender diversity in leadership positions overall at Novo Nordisk meets the Danish gender diversity requirements. At the end of 2023, 46% of leadership positions were filled by women, compared to 44% at the end of 2022. Within senior leadership, 41% positions were filled by women at the end of 2023, compared to 39% at the end of 2022.

All management teams, from entry level upwards, are encouraged to focus on enhanced diversity, with the aim of ensuring a robust pipeline of talent for leadership positions. In 2021, Novo Nordisk introduced a global aspirational target of achieving a balanced gender representation across all managerial levels with a minimum of 45% for both women and men in senior leadership positions by the end of 2025..

For the latest reporting on gender diversity, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.

Novo Nordisk has a long history of making products accessible and affordable through responsible pricing practices and industry-leading patient access programmes

In 2023, the average net price of both the US product portfolio and the US insulin portfolio decreased by 8.2% and 24.4%, respectively, compared to 10.5% and 19.5% in 2022, as a result of enhancements to secure formulary access for insured patients, as well as the evolution of channel and payer mix.

Novo Nordisk has provided sales discounts and rebates amounting to 74% of US gross sales in 2023, resulting in the average annual list price across US product portfolio increasing by 2.8% and the US insulin portfolio by 0.1%.

Our overall guiding principle within taxation is to have a 'sustainable tax approach', emphasising our business anchored approach to managing the impact of taxes while remaining true to the Novo Nordisk values of operating our business in a responsible and transparent manner. This means that we pay tax where value is generated and always respect international and domestic tax rules.

As a global business, we conduct cross-border trading, which is subject to transfer pricing regulations. We apply a 'Principal structure' in line with OECD principles, meaning all legal entities perform their functions under contract on behalf of the principals and are allocated an activity-based profit according to a benchmarked profit margin. The tax outcome of this operational model is reflected in the overview above, which shows our corporate income taxes by region. To ensure alignment between taxing authorities about the allocation of profit between our entities, we have Advance Pricing Agreements in place for geographies representing around 65% of our revenue worldwide. 

Our tax policy has been approved by the Board of Directors. Read more about our Tax Policy here.

In 2023, the total tax contribution amounted to DKK 51,247 million, split across 64% of taxes borne and 36% of taxes collected. In 2022, the split was 55% of taxes borne and 45% of taxes collected.

The overall increase in total tax contribution from 2022 to 2023 is primarily related to higher corporate income taxes paid in Denmark due to an increase in the profit before tax. In addition, the corporate income tax in 2022 reflects the partial refund of tax prepayment made in 2021. Expansion of production and sales worldwide have required more employees which has increased the payment of employment taxes including social security contributions.

Novo Nordisk makes annual donations to the company’s philanthropic arms, the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation (NNHF).

Every year, Novo Nordisk also provides humanitarian donations in emergencies and protracted crisis situations around the world. Humanitarian emergencies can be caused by health emergencies like global pandemics, natural disasters and conflicts like war and other hostilities. Based on a set of guidelines, Novo Nordisk assesses requests for donations on a case-by-case basis, and collaborates with international organisations specialised in handling medicines donations in emergencies.

While the key purpose of the company’s humanitarian donations is to safeguard the supply of essential medicines to the people in urgent need, Novo Nordisk can, in addition to product donations, provide in-kind and monetary donations in case of major crisis situations of international concern. Novo Nordisk handles humanitarian donations at country, regional and global HQ-level, and always adheres to the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Medicine Donations.

The WDF, an independent trust, supports sustainable partnerships and acts as a catalyst to help others do more. The amount granted to WDF has increased to DKK 119 million in 2023 in accordance with the donation agreement. For more information, visit: www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org.

The NNHF supports programmes in low- and middle-income countries. Initiatives focus on capacity-building, diagnosis and registry, awareness and advocacy. The residual payment for the agreed donation to the NNHF for the year 2022 was made in 2023, amounting to DKK 13 million. Additionally, in 2023 Novo Nordisk paid DKK 6 million. Since 2005, the NNHF has provided funding for 311 programmes (237 projects and 74 fellowships) in 87 countries. See nnhf.org for additional information.

We are committed to meeting our responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. That means we recognise our responsibility to respect all internationally recognised human rights across our own activities and business relationships. 

Read Novo Nordisk Human Rights Commitment and Novo Nordisk Human Rights Report.

We have translated our human rights commitment into actions, developing and continuously improving management systems, including:

  • governance and accountability for human rights risks
  • setting human rights expectations to all employees through the corporate human right requirements
  • development of global systems to identify, assess, mitigate, prevent, track and internally report risks of potential and actual adverse human rights impacts every six months
  • integration of human rights into the global Ethics Compliance Programme, Responsible Sourcing and other corporate processes
  • awareness building and training on respect of human rights
  • awareness building on reporting human rights concerns to the Compliance Hotline as our corporate grievance mechanism
  • engagement with stakeholders to advance respect for human rights

Read more in our Novo Nordisk Human Rights Report.

Modern Slavery Statement
Read our latest and previous statements on the UK and Australia Modern Slavery Acts

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