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Investors ESG overview

Our purpose is to create value for patients now and into the future.


We focus on improving health in society and driving business growth by embedding sustainability into our business approach.

As sustainability becomes more important to both companies and investors and terms such as “responsible investing” or “sustainable investing” are gathering traction in the corporate and investment sectors, there is a need for accurate and reliable information regarding companies’ performance in such topics. All types of companies are being evaluated and rated on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance by several third-party providers of reports and ratings.

These ranking and ratings are valuable for stakeholders searching for information on UCB’s sustainability practices and for UCB itself. These evaluations, when transparent about their source of data and methodology, can be helpful in identifying gaps and allow us to improve our business practices.

Our approach to ESG rating

We choose to actively collaborate with ranking and rating organizations that: 

UCB is on a continuous journey to improve its sustainability reporting practices and keeps up to date with the different trends in this field. We are currently reporting against the Global Reporting initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Development Goals’ frameworks. We are also committed to adopting Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) reporting Standards during 2021 and will provide an update on this in our 2021 Annual Report to ensure we report on the ESG issues most relevant to our industry.

Instead of individually providing specific points of data and information to the different ESG ranking and ratings providers, we are working on making relevant, accurate and reliable data publicly available.


ISS logo


UCB rating: 16.7


MSCI logo

UCB rating: A


ISS logo


UCB rating: C

ISS logo


UCB ratings:

B- for climate change

B for water security


UCB disclosure score is
only available to WDI signatory investors.




Human health and the health of our planet are deeply intertwined. 
We are reducing our environmental footprint across our business activities and operations,
keeping in mind both current and future generations

 UCB set ambitious targets to be reached by 2030

Become carbon neutral

  • reducing the emissions by 35% 
  • compensating those we cannot reduce

In 2020, we significantly extended the scope of our environmental key performance indicators. The energy data and corresponding ‘scope 1’ CO2 emissions data now fully include UCB’s global car fleet, while ‘scope 3’ CO2 emission data also include the footprint of UCB’s Global Supply Chain.

In addition, data is also reported for “fuel and energy related activities” and Business Air travel (scope 3).

Reduce water consumption by 20%


Given that our R&D pipeline include several antibodies which involve water-intensive production processes, this is extremely ambitious.

Nevertheless, our water withdrawal decreased by 30% in 2020 (compared to 2015). This was partially achieved following the strategic divestiture of manufacturing sites in Seymour (U.S.), Shannon (Ireland) and Monheim (Germany). In 2020, we also implemented water conservation initiatives.

Reduce waste generation by 25%


In 2020, we managed to recover 96% of our waste globally, predominantly through recovery of waste as a fuel to generate energy and recovery and regeneration of solvents, which is slightly higher than the recovery rate of 95% achieved in 2015.

These initiatives have contributed to the ongoing progress made since we set our benchmark in 2015. Since then, we have seen a 19% reduction in energy consumption, a 30% reduction in water withdrawal, and a 38% reduction in our waste production. Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) related to activities we control directly were reduced by 60% compared with our benchmark year (2015), considering that COVID-19 had a significant impact on the GHG emissions due to reduced car fleet and business air travel.  

This places us in a strong position to continue reducing GHG emissions for operations we control directly and to achieve our ambition of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. However, as all targets set are absolute, continued efforts will be needed in the next decade to ensure this outcome, particularly given the ex-pected growth and critical internalization of our operations in years to come.



Curious to know more?

Find out how UCB progressed towards its green goals in the 2020 annual integrated report.


  As of 31 December 2020

Creating the culture for UCB colleagues to thrive, and caring for each other, is essential for delivering on our patient value ambition and for generating wider societal value.


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Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is foundational to our sustainability approach. This means inspiring a culture of inclusion by providing equitable opportunities to all employees, embracing diverse talents and leveraging diversity of thought and experience to create value for patients, now and into the future. At UCB, we have always defined diversity as the accumulated richness of people’s unique backgrounds, lives, cultural experiences, and the diversity of thought that this brings to our work. Equity means ensuring all employees are offered fair opportunities for development, advancement, compensa-tion and reward as per their aspirations. Last but by no means least, inclusion means respecting individual differences and cap-turing the advantages that this provides to drive greater impact and value in our work.

50 / 50 gender split

1 436 new colleagues joined us

647 colleagues left us

resulting in a 8% employee turnover



Curious to know more?

Find out how UCB is creating  the conditions for all its employees to thrive in the 2020 annual integrated report.



Conducting business in a responsible way that drives ethical behavior is fundamental

to our continued success and to delivering on commitments to our stakeholders.

Conducting business in a responsible way is fundamental to UCB’s core values and ethical business practices are founda-tional to our sustainability approach. We have a strong culture of integrity, with policies and procedures in place to ensure the highest ethical standards are applied throughout the company’s value-chain, including the core principles governing how the or-ganization operates, how decisions are made and how risks are mitigated.

Code of conduct

The UCB Code of Conduct is our governing policy that reflects UCB’s core company values, including accountability and integrity. The Code outlines the general principles of business conduct that are expected from UCB colleagues and partners throughout the world. 

Employees and contrac-tors are required to undertake mandatory training on the UCB Code of Conduct, which is incorporated into each employee/contractor’s training plan.


Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption (ABAC)

The UCB Code of Conduct encompass, amongst others, core principles and behaviors aiming at mitigating the risks related to bribery and corruption as well as human rights infringement. Considering the nature of our business, UCB identified our engagement of the healthcare stakeholders as the primary ABAC risk area.

Risk management

Engaging with key representatives from all operational, function-al and strategic business areas, risks are identified and assessed by each business area and the respective leadership team. In addition, a “top-down/outside-in” assessment is conducted to complete a holistic risk profile.

UCB continues to demonstrate its commitment to managing uncertainty by creating accountability at the top and driving action by the business. Every top risk is owned by a member of the Executive Committee. That member is accountable for understanding the nature of the risk and enable our response to it.


Corporate governance

The governance of UCB is based on a “one-tier” structure. This means that the Company is administrated by a Board of Directors and run by an Executive Committee, whose respective functions and responsibilities are clearly defined in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and the UCB Corporate Governance Charter.

The roles and responsibilities delegated to the Executive Committee are established by the Board.