17 goals to transform the world 

In September 2015, world leaders adopted a set of 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, civil society and the private sector.

 

Novo Nordisk sees the SDGs as an opportunity

We see the 17 universal SDGs as an opportunity to align our priorities with those that can support global development. To achieve the 169 targets in the SDGs we aim to work through partnerships with both public and private organisations across multiple goals. We particularly welcome the recognition of the importance of the growing burden of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

See our position on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

“There is a growing acknowledgement of the importance of the private sector in working with institutions, governments and others to solve problems – and Novo Nordisk is ready to forge new partnerships.”

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President and chief executive officer, Novo Nordisk

 

Our approach to the SDGs is three-fold:

 

1. Understanding where we make the most impact

We believe, that we first need to understand where we can maximise our positive impact and minimise our negative impact on the SDGs. We have therefore conducted a materiality assessment of all 169 targets towards the materiality of our operations and license to operate. We have used the SDG Self-Assessment Tool developed by the Earth Security Group together with SAB Miller plc.

The conclusion of the assessment is that we will have the most impact on Goal 3 on Health and Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production. You can read more on what we currently do to maximise our positive impact and minimise our negative impact on Goal 3 and Goal 12.

 

 

2. Partnering with others to do more

Secondly, we want to work in partnership with others on the interrelatedness of the SDGs, as we find this has the best potential for transformative solutions. A good example is our Cities Changing Diabetes partnership programme, where we also touch upon Goal 11, 13 and 17.

Cities Changing Diabetes works with more than 100 local partners to map and analyse root causes of urban diabetes and provide solutions to address systemic issues related to healthy living in cities. For example by collaborating with C40 , the programme promotes actions in cities that provide both climate and health benefits.

 

 

3. Applying the SDGs to achieve greater impact going forward

Finally, we are currently investigating how we can apply the SDGs to achieve greater impact going forward. We are working together with the Future Fit Foundation  to calculate how we contribute to the SDGs by both looking at Future-Fit Break-Even Goals and potential positive pursuits. Initial calculations show that we do really well on some of the Break-Even Goals and not very impressive on others. We look forward to sharing more in 2018.

 

 

What does it take to achieve SDG target 3.4 in China?

As part of our work, we have worked to quantify the impact on clinical outcomes, cost savings for health care payers, and on how to achieve SDG target 3.4 in China. One of the results were that bringing people with type 2 diabetes to treatment targets reduced overall premature mortality to 43.1%. However, improving treatment alone was not sufficient to achieve SDG target 3.4 and diabetes prevention should form a key objective in China to improve outcomes. Read the paper here.

 

If you would like to know more

On an advocacy level, we have been part of a number of initiatives:

  • We were invited to join the group of businesses who prepared the business section in the Report for the Voluntary National Review – Denmark’s Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presented at the High-Level Political Forum in July 2017. 
  • We were co-authors on the report ‘Towards a sustainable economy’  by the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, published in September 2017. One of the findings was that forward-looking companies can demonstrate the case for long-term value creation and play a significant role in ensuring economic development is consistent with the SDGs.
  • Together with the UN Global Compact and other partners, we took part in defining the Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs. It aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take action in support of the achievement of the SDGs. 

 


1. The paper was presented at the ISPOR 20th Annual European Congress, 4–8 November 2017, in Glasgow, the United Kingdom.