Making a positive impact around the world
Marrying the twin goals of growing a global business and being a good corporate citizen may look like a challenge. However, for people-focused organisations like UCB, corporate societal responsibility (CSR) is an essential part of what we do.
We strive to improve the lives of people with severe diseases, create an engaged and innovative workforce, and support projects in developing countries where there is significant unmet need. Far from being contradictory, UCB sees its CSR initiatives as supporting our core mission to improve lives.
As we explain in the winter edition of The European magazine, we are working with partners to improve access to health for people of all ages in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
UCB has prioritized its CSR’s ‘Access to Quality Care’ vision accelerating, together with partners, capacity building of health care professionals, improving community and family awareness of epilepsy, and decreasing health barriers for people living with epilepsy in selected countries. Our CSR department works under a ‘shared responsibility’ philosophy.
In Africa, UCB supports six initiatives in five countries. Our partners, the Brothers of Charity (Belgium); Department of Neurology, Ghent University (Belgium); Department of Pediatric Neurology, KU Leuven (Belgium); Humanity and Inclusion (Belgium), DukeMedicine, Global Neurosurgery and Neuroscience (U.S.); OneFamilyHealth Foundation (U.K.); and the UCB Societal Responsibility Fund at the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium), are essential to reaching our ambitious health targets.
We’ve had some notable success in Asia too. In 2013, UCB partnered with the Red Cross Society of China and, since then, over 2,500 village doctors of ethnic minorities in remote China from eleven provinces have been trained.
Close to 500,000 people benefitted from the knowledge and skills acquired. UCB also partnered with Project HOPE at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. The ‘Rainbow Bridge’ initiative serves unmet needs of children living with epilepsy. Over 340,000 children and their families were helped with close to 2,400 doctors trained. Training on epilepsy is now also provided to school teachers and communities in order to reduce the stigma and barriers of social re-integration of those children.
Making an impactBut strategies alone are not enough: we want to measure our impact. To track our progress, we set measurable targets for access to health for underprivileged people living with epilepsy. These targets are based on the results of the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Our green strategy uses the Ecological Wealth of Nations carbon footprint data, as an ecological ‘climate health’ indicator.
We determine the right balance between carbon reduction and compensation using the ‘Science Based Targets’. Carbon reduction targets are designed to make production sites target energy efficiency and renewable energy and to influence carbon reduction of suppliers and contract manufacturing organizations. Changing behaviors of employees at work and at home is also important. Carbon compensation is managed through reforestation and avoidance of deforestation initiatives in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
UCB’s environmental stewardship efforts have resulted in a stringent, comprehensive and long-term strategy and action plan to be carbon neutral by 2030. This is in line with the ambitions determined by the ‘Paris Agreement’ at the 21st sessions of the Conference of the Parties.
These efforts, guided by international goals, can lead us to a better future. We remain committed to finding innovative ways to grow and improve the world.
After all, what good is growth if it’s not good for the planet and its people?