Novartis in Society Integrated Report 2022

Our material issues

Through our materiality assessment, we identify issues where we have the most potential to create value for stakeholders and society.

Every four years, we conduct a detailed assessment to identify our material issues. Results from this assessment inform our strategy and ESG reporting. The assessment sits alongside our regular risk analysis (see "Ethics, risk and compliance").

Our latest assessment, conducted in 2021, was based on a survey of more than 500 external and 12 000 internal stakeholders. Respondents were asked to rank the impact of Novartis across eight impact clusters. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 140 respondents. The results of this exercise can be seen in the chart on the right.

External stakeholders were drawn from our main stakeholder groups, including patients, customers, partners and shareholders. Internal stakeholders, including senior management, were drawn from across business divisions and functions.

Overall, these results were in line with the previous assessment carried out in 2017 and were consistent across stakeholder groups. Patient safety, access to healthcare, innovation and ethical business practices also ranked highly in our previous survey.

Ranking of impact clusters

External / internal stakeholders

Patient health and safety

Patient health and safety is fundamental to our business. Our activities are focused on three key areas: product quality, pharmacovigilance and combating falsified medicines.

Protecting patient health and safety


We are working to reduce the burden of disease for patients and society. We discover and develop new medicines, with a focus on unmet patient needs across five core therapeutic areas.

Deliver high-value medicines

Access to healthcare

Access to medicines is one of the world’s greatest healthcare challenges. We have well-defined access principles, covering research and development, affordability and strengthening healthcare systems.

Access to medicines

Ethical business practices

Our stakeholders expect us to uphold high ethical standards throughout our business, from R&D and manufacturing to supply chain management and our commercial operations.

Maintaining high ethical standards

People and culture

We have a strong culture based on defined values and behaviors. This drives performance and innovation, and ensures we attract and retain the talent we need to deliver on our purpose.

Unleash the power of our people

Good governance

Good governance is about how we take decisions and allocate resources. It supports effective management of our business and forms the basis of trust in our company.

Our system of corporate governance

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is an essential part of our strategy and business model. We aim to limit our impact on the environment by reducing emissions, waste and consumption of natural resources, including water.

Environmental sustainability

Sustainable financial performance

Maintaining our financial performance enables us to deliver returns to shareholders and invest in areas where we believe we can create the most value for stakeholders and society.

Financial performance

For full details of our materiality assessment, please see

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