During 2020, we continued our focus on environmental, social and governance issues. I am proud to say that we have maintained our constituency in the FTSE4Good and remain members of the United Nations Global Compact where we are committed to upholding their ten principles centered around human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
In 2020, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we continued to deliver on our promise to put better health within reach of patients across our markets. First and foremost, we focused on the safety and wellbeing of our 8,600 employees around the world. This enabled us to maintain supply of our medicines and respond to the changing needs of patients.
We also responded to the needs of the communities in which we operate. As the COVID-19 pandemic put additional pressure on vulnerable populations globally, we strengthened our community engagement programmes, particularly those in support of healthcare, education and providing relief to those in most need.
Over the last year we strengthened our medicine donation programme – more than doubling the value of donations since the programme’s inception two years ago. We extended critical medicine donations to respond to relief efforts such as for the Beirut explosion, and continued to support low-income groups, displaced people and the uninsured globally.
We continued to measure our impact on the environment and made progress in developing our strategy to operate more sustainably. We are taking steps to align our assessment of climate-related issues with the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
We also focused on promoting diversity across our business. During the year, we established a Diversity, Equity and Belonging Task Force, as well as an employee-led Black Employees Advisory Board in the US, to facilitate greater inclusivity in how we recruit, retain and promote our people.
While we are proud of what we have achieved, we are determined to build upon the work to date in ensuring we are conducting our business ethically and sustainably. Through these efforts we can continue to strengthen our promise of putting better health within reach, every day.
Chief Executive Office