Maintaining strong governance

In 2020, the Governance, Nomination and Corporate Responsibilities Committee (GNCRC) of the Board of Directors met four times and continued to oversee the company’s strategy and governance on global health, corporate responsibility and other ESG topics at the Board level. Our new ESG targets and the issuance of a sustainability-linked bond were among the topics discussed by the GNCRC in 2020.

The Novartis Trust & Reputation Committee met six times in 2020. Chaired by our CEO, this sub-committee of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN) oversees progress and aims to accelerate decision-making in key ESG areas. Topics discussed in 2020 included potential gaps in our ESG per formance, new ESG commitments, the environmental sustainability strategy, and diversity and inclusion.

In 2020, we created the position of Chief Sustainability Officer, who reports to a member of the ECN, to lead the strategy and execution of environmental sustainability across Novartis.

We also created the ESG Management Office in our Corporate Strategy group to further institutionalize ESG efforts across the organization. The new office will work with experts in divisions, functions and countries to develop a trust and ESG strategy framework and lead key ESG initiatives.

In addition, we are establishing an external advisory board to provide guidance to the Global Health & Corporate Responsibility (GH&CR) organization on strategy and related plans, policies and indicators.