"Our ambition is to be the world’s most sustainable healthcare company"

In the build up to the 7th Annual Responsible Business Awards we spoke with GSK to get more detail about their award-winning strategy and the benefits of winning the Award.

Ethical Corporation: Which Responsible Business Award did you win?

GlaxoSmithKline: Best Supplier Engagement

EC: Please tell us more about your winning project?

GSK: Our ambition is to be the world’s most sustainable healthcare company. We have set targets to reduce our carbon footprint by 25% by 2020, and have a carbon-neutral value chain by 2050.

Around 40% of GSK’s carbon footprint comes from the procurement of raw materials used to manufacture our medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.

So as well as reducing our own emissions by 21% since 2010 – a feat that has been recognised by the Carbon Trust Carbon Standard and our ratings in CDP and Dow Jones Sustainability Index - we are also engaging our extensive supplier base to deliver reductions in scope 3 emissions in line with commitments to the UN Caring for Climate programme and the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group Trillion Tonne Communique.

Our approach is founded on data collection, collaboration and recognition.

  • We use Ecodesk, an online platform, to gather data on carbon, water and waste on an annual basis from around 200 suppliers representing approximately £800 million of our spend on raw materials.

  • Around 320 suppliers are currently using our online Supplier Exchange Platform to share best practice and, in 2015, we worked directly with 5 suppliers to identify ways to reduce their carbon emissions from energy.

  • We have established a Supplier Environmental Sustainability Award to recognise achievements in reducing impacts in our supply chain. The 2015 winner was flavourings supplier Firmenich SA, and the 2014 winner was Albéa, who manufactures toothpaste tubes for GSK.

EC: What effect did winning this Award have on you and your team? 

GSK: Winning the Award provided an energising boost to our team. There was a feeling that the external recognition brought additional credibility to the Supplier Exchange Platform and validated all of our hard work.

EC: How did winning this Award impact upon your corporate reputation?

GSK: Winning the award demonstrates to all stakeholders that GSK is showing leadership in raising awareness and developing practical solutions to help businesses collaborate and adapt to a climate challenged world. It validates our innovative approach and brings real credibility to the work we are doing in this area.

EC: Do you feel that the award helped give the acknowledgement you deserved for your initiative?

GSK: Yes, the award enabled us to recognise all those who contributed to this initiative as it is a collaborative project involving people from several different departments in GSK, as well as our suppliers.

EC: Now that you have been recognised for this leading strategy, what’s next for you and your team?

GSK: Engaging with our supply chain to reduce environmental impacts is a long term commitment. We will continue to collaborate, collect and use supply chain data in order to identify where best to drive improvements.

We also need to continue to recognise success in our supply chain. We hope to continue to increase participation in the Supplier Exchange Platform, using feedback from users to improve and evolve the offering.

EC: Would you recommend entering for Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards to your peers? If so, why?

GSK: Yes, because not only does it mean that your work is independently assessed by experts and peers, but your project and success is also shared with a wider community.

External validation of work is important both for team morale, as well as for boosting the credibility of your offering amongst external stakeholders.

For more information about the Awards visit here

supplier engagement  GSK  RBS Awards 

The Responsible Business Awards 2016

September 2016, London

Ethical Corp’s prestigious Awards will recognise and celebrate responsible business practice from around the globe. 2015 winners included: Telefónica UK, Novelis, Jaguar Land Rover, KPMG, Timberland & AkzoNobel. Entry deadline 6th July 2016!

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