About this report

For the eighth consecutive year, Novartis is publishing an annual Novartis in Society ESG Report (formerly our Corporate Responsibility Report). This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option. The report supplements the “Build trust with society” section in the 2020 Novartis Annual Review and the 2020 Novartis Annual Report. The previous report was published on January 28, 2020.

As an original signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), we are committed to sharing our progress in implementing the 10 principles of the compact. We published a Communication on Progress in the first quarter of 2020, and will do so again in 2021. In the section "Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals", we discuss our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, both the UNGC principles and the SDGs are clearly mapped versus the GRI indicators.

The report is divided into four chapters based on our corporate responsibility (CR) material clusters and our priorities for building trust with society: holding ourselves to high ethical standards, being part of the solution on pricing and access, addressing global health challenges and being a responsible citizen. In each chapter, readers will find more focused and contextual information about the priority topics arising from our materiality assessment. Our materiality assessment is a key part of our CR strategy and provides much more than a list of priority CR topics to report against. It is part of a regular four-year cycle we have established to help us better understand the issues that matter most to our internal and external stakeholders, the impact these issues have on our current and future business, and the associated risks and opportunities for our company. Download the 2017 Corporate Responsibility Materiality Assessment Results Report.

As in previous years, the Governance, Nomination and Corporate Responsibilities Committee of the Board of Directors, which is the highest CR body in Novartis, has reviewed this report.

This report covers all regions and divisions from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. All information reflects the continuing operations of the Novartis Group, including the various changes in the Group’s portfolio of activities in prior years. Environmental data is based on nine-month actual data (January to September 2020) plus three-month estimates. This data will be restated with actual figures on our website during the first half of 2021. Where data has been restated from previous reports, it is noted in an appropriate footnote in this report. GRI Topic Boundaries show where we as a company have impact and create value.

This report aims to meet the needs and expectations of CR professional audiences by offering easy access to our performance on key topics raised by our CR materiality analysis. The GRI Content Index and the SASB Index  provide links to content within this report, the 2020 Annual Review, the 2020 Annual Report and novartis.com. In 2020, we committed to fully support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and our first qualitative TCFD disclosure can be found in the section "Task force on Climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD)"; we aim to provide quantitative disclosure on climate-related topics in the future as we incorporate the TCFD recommendations into our business. In addition, to provide ESG analysts with easier access to our information, we have published a Novartis ESG index, which signposts where our key disclosures – content and KPIs – can be found across our publications and channels.

PricewaterhouseCoopers AG has provided independent assurance on specific CR data and on our materiality assessment outlined in this report. For more detail, see the Independent Assurance Report.

Learn more about our activities.
See our publications.

For feedback and suggestions, contact James Wallace, Head, Corporate Reporting and ESG
Office: james.wallace@novartis.com.

Ratings and recognition

A full list of our ratings and rankings is available on our website.

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