Interview with Klara Kämpfer, Communications Business Partner at Sanofi

Sanofi is a global pharmaceutical company with over 100,000 employees in more than 100 countries and the main sponsor of the SwedenBIO Summit 2021. For the company, taking responsibility for the Global Health and Sustainability Goals is a matter of course and they have recently launched a new strategy for this. We caught up with Klara Kämpfer, Communications Business Partner at Sanofi, to learn more.

Sanofi is a global pharmaceutical company with over 100,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Why was it natural for you to take responsibility for the global health and sustainability goals?

I think most industries are starting to realize that social responsibility is no longer a ‘nice to have’ that can strengthen the brand, but a necessity if we are to continue to live on this planet. Everyone must take responsibility: individuals, companies and society. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, it is clear that Sanofi should have high ambitions and contribute as much as possible to these issues.

“We can do more” is the name of Sanofi’s new social responsibility strategy. What does it stand for?

We can do more reflects the insight that Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson gained when he traveled the world to meet with employees as a new hire. He says in an open letter on LinkedIn that it became clear to him that for many employees, Sanofi’s responsibility for the planet and society was at least as important as producing innovative medicines. Paul also describes how the pandemic has made us reflect on how we relate to society and the planet and that while it has been challenging, it has brought us – Sanofi and the pharmaceutical industry – closer to our purpose of creating change.

What is part of Sanofi’s social responsibility strategy?

The strategy is structured in four parts: access to medicines in developing countries, support for vulnerable communities, reduced environmental impact and an inclusive corporate culture that represents diversity.

An important cornerstone of the ‘access to medicines’ pillar is the newly formed non-profit organization Sanofi Global Health, which aims to increase access to medicines considered essential by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 40 developing countries. This is a major and important initiative, the first of its kind! There is also a strong focus on reducing environmental impact, with Sanofi committing to reduce its carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and to become fully carbon neutral by 2050.

What do you expect to achieve with the new branding?

The biggest and most important goal is to make a real and meaningful difference to society and the planet with these investments. Of course, we also hope it supports our profile as an employer and company. We know that these issues are important, especially for the younger generation, and hopefully potential future employees can identify with Sanofi’s values and therefore join us. Moreover, we see that the initiative creates a lot of pride internally, which is always positive for cohesion and productivity.

How will the strategy be felt in Sweden?

In Sweden, we have set up an internal working group to develop a local CSR strategy. We are focusing on environmental issues, where we are trying to identify activities that can reduce our local environmental impact, and humanitarian work, where in the future we will set aside at least one day per year for all employees to collectively engage in charity work.

How can active work on the SDGs create benefits for life science companies?

As I said, I think the main goal should always be to make a meaningful difference. If you work on these issues with the aim of strengthening your brand, there is a great risk that it is more about ‘green washing’, which I think both employees and the environment can see through. That said, we know that companies that take responsibility and pursue CSR issues are often rewarded with a stronger employer brand and motivated and proud employees, which have a positive impact on business and performance. Another aspect that is important in our industry is procurement, where in Sweden and the Nordic countries, increasingly high demands are made on suppliers in terms of sustainability, and where, for example, one of the most important aspects is the use of renewable energy. can have clear benefits if you can demonstrate that your products are beneficial from an environmental perspective.