ESG Overview | UCB
UCB's Global Corporate Website

This section is intended for media and financial analysts

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 sustainabilityinto 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.



ESG Ratings

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

  • include in their evaluation our priority areas for societal impact or focus on one of them; 
  • produce ranking or rating reports that are important and relevant to our different stakeholders.

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), the Sustainable Development Goals’ frameworks and the  Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) reporting Standards 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 rating providers, we are working on making relevant, accurate and reliable data publicly available.

UCB rating: 16.3

More info about Sustainalytics

The rating scale is made up of 5 risk levels ranging from severe risk (>40) to negligible risk (<10).

The scoring methodology is based on the assessment of 20 key ESG topics.

Based on the latest update (October 2022), UCB rating is 16.3 (low risk).

For more info about Sustainalytics, refer to Sustainalytics website


UCB rating: AA

More info about MSCI

The rating scale is made up of 7 levels ranging from CCC (poor performance) to AAA (excellent performance).

The scoring methodology is based on the assessment of 37 key ESG topics.

Based on the latest update (June 2022), the UCB rating is AA.

For more info about MSCI, refer to MSCI website.

The use by UCB of any MSCI ESG Research LLC or its affiliates (“MSCI”) data, and the use of MSCI logos, trademarks, service marks or index names herein, do not constitute a sponsorship, endorsement, recommendation, or promotion of UCB by MSCI. MSCI services and data are the property of MSCI or its information providers, and are provided ‘as-is’ and without warranty. MSCI names and logos are trademarks or service marks of MSCI.



UCB rating: C+

More info about ISS ESG

The rating scale is made up of 12 levels ranging from D- (poor performance) to A+ (excellent performance).

The scoring methodology is based on the assessment of up to 100 sector specific criterias.

Based on the latest update (January 2022), UCB rating is C+.

For more info about ISS ESG, refer to ISS website.


UCB ratings:

B for climate change

B for water security

More info about CDP

The rating scale is made up of 9 levels ranging from F (no information available) to A (excellent performance).

The scoring methodology is based on the assessment of 12 topics related to environment impact.

Based on the latest update (2022), UCB ratings are:

  • B for climate change
  • B for water security

For more info about CDP, refer to CDP website.



UCB disclosure score is
only available to WDI signatory investors.


More info about Workforce Disclosure Initiative

The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) aims to improve corporate transparency and accountability on workforce issues, provide companies and investors with comprehensive and comparable data and help increase the provision of good jobs worldwide.

For the first time in 2020, UCB was one of 141 companies which took part in the WDI survey and had a level of disclosure higher than average for first time responders.

For more info about WDI, refer to WDI website



Constituent company in the FTSE4Good Index Series

More info about the FTSE4Good Index Series

The FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to identify companies that demonstrate strong environmental, social and governance practices measured against globally recognised standards.



Environment: Our 2030 Targets

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

Our targets are set in absolute numbers - independent of our business growth - benchmarked against 2015.

Become carbon neutral

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

Reduce water consumption by 20%

Reduce waste generation by 25%

In 2021, we extended the scope of our environmental key performance indicators again. The energy data and corresponding ‘scope 1’ CO2 emissions data 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, upstream transportation, business air travel, product end-of-life and CO2 from waste generated on site (scope 3).

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

In 2021 we experienced a slight increase in water consumption, up by 2% compared to 2020. Compared to 2015, we are still aligned with our target: our water withdrawal decreased by 29% in 2021 (compared to 2015).

We are also exploring options for reusing wastewater on our manufacturing sites. We hope to reach a zero-liquid discharge on our main site at Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium, which will support to
uncouple the increase of biopharmaceutical production and our water consumption.

2021 saw an increase of 12% in our waste production due to transformation work on our site at Braine-l’Alleud, investing in efficient technologies for the future and replacing outdated facilities. 

If we look at our waste production without construction waste to compare the figures to our usual business activities, we remained flat compared to 2020 (with a -1% difference). We expect this 2021 increase to be a one-off occurrence linked to this phase of transformation, and we envisage it to return to previous levels by 2026.



  As of 31 December 2021

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.


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.

Strong presence around the globe

1 147 new colleagues joined us

932 colleagues left us

resulting in a 12% employee turnover

50 / 50 gender split



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 foundational 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 organization 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 contractors are required to undertake mandatory training on the UCB Code of Conduct, which is incorporated into each employee/contractor’s training plan.


Tax strategy and policy form an integrated part of UCB’s ethical and sustainability practices and constitute an explicit part of UCB’s code of conduct, driving compliant and ethical behavior of UCB employees.

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.

Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption (ABAC)

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


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.