Obligatorisk CSR-redovisning för alla större bolag i EU

SWEDISH SUMMARY: I dagens MiljöRapporten Direkt (ett dagligt nyhetsbrev från MiljöRapporten) kan man läsa om att ministerrådet nu har spikat kravet på obligatorisk CSR-redovisning (redovisning av ”icke-finansiell information”) för större bolag (fler än 500 anställda). MiljöRapporten Direkt skriver att ”Kraven innebär att företag från och med 2017 på årsbasis ska presentera hur deras verksamhet påverkar och relaterar till miljöfrågor, sociala frågor, frågor kring anställning såsom arbetsmiljö, respekt för mänskliga rättigheter samt antikorruption och mutor.”

In today’s issue of my favourite environmental newsletter ”MiljöRapporten Direkt” (from MiljöRapporten) you could read that the Council of Ministers now have made their supportive decision  regarding CSR reporting, or actually reporting of non-finacial information, for large corporations in Europe (above 500 employees). I have briefly discussed the initiative previously here at the blog, see for instance my blog post from June 26 or more on EU’s reporting directive via this link. MiljöRapporten Direkt shortly describes the decision by the Council of Ministers this way: ”Requirements mean that companies from 2017 on a yearly basis will have to present how their activities affect and relate to environmental issues, social issues, issues related to employment, such as working environment, respect for human rights and anti-corruption and bribery.”

You can find more information regarding reporting of ”non-financial information” on the website of CSR Sweden. There is among other things a web-TV session with  Jan Noterdaeme from CSR Europe where he states that ”Legislation on CSR Reporting would shake many industries”…

Pfizer Foundation och vaccinationsprogram i Afrika

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Pfizer Foundation går in med 2 miljoner dollar i stöd till UnicefRädda Barnens internationella organisation Save the Children, och International Rescue Committee för att ytterligare hjälpa till i arbetet med FN:s millenniemål. I arbetet med mål nummer 4,”Minska barnadödligheten”, är tillgången på vacciner mycket viktigt. De två miljoner dollar som Pfizer Foundation går in med hjälper till i arbetet med att nå barn i fem afrikanska länder: Etiopien, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda och Zambia.

The Pfizer Foundation today announced $2 million in grant funding for pilot programs to improve immunization coverage in Africa. The programs will focus on interventions to reach underserved populations living in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Grant recipients include UNICEF, Save the Children and International Rescue Committee. The grants will focus on building the capacity of health care systems within the five countries to ensure that efficient and sustainable vaccine supplies are available to reach children who need access to vaccines. Interventions include mobile platforms for vaccinations, which provide health workers with mobile phones and solar-powered tablets to register children born in a clinic area and help track vaccination schedules in real time. Other interventions include short-message service (SMS) systems, which will be used to monitor vaccines and equipment to identify bottlenecks in the supply chain and prevent stock outs.

The latest U.N. secretary-general report card suggests efforts are still needed to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Goals number 4, reducing the under-5 child mortality, and 5, improving maternal health, remain challenging. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.5 million children under 5 years of age still die from diseases that are preventable by vaccination every year, yet almost all unimmunized children have no access to vaccines.

CBL-rådsmöte med fokus på indikatorarbetet inom Nationella läkemedelsstrategin

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Idag träffas Rådet för bättre läkemedelssanvändning (CBL-rådet, CBL – Centrum för Bättre Läkemedelsanvändning) för att diskutera arbetet med indikatorer framtagna för att följa olika aktiviteter inom ramen för den Nationella läkemedelsstrategin (NLS). Jag deltar på mötet för att presentera status för Miljöindikatorgruppens arbete. En huvudpunkt att avrapportera är det arbete som utförts på vårt uppdrag på Uppsala Universitet, Institutionen för läkemedelskemi, där man kvalitetsgranskat de mätningar som gjorts under de 10-15 senaste åren av läkemedelsförekomst i svenska vattendrag. Tyvärr uppfyller endast hälften av analyserna/rapporterna de kvalitetskrav som man måste ställa…

CBL (”Center for Rational Use of Medicines”) at Swedish MPA has today arranged a meeting with the CBL-Council today to discuss the development of indicators to be used to follow the implementation of actions within the Swedish National Pharmaceutical Strategy (NPS). I will participate in the meeting, presenting the work that has been conducted on Environmental Indicators. Main focus of my talk today will be the project we have run for the last 6 months  with Uppsala University assessing the quality of the studies (performed during the last 10-15 years) of occurance of pharmaceutical substances in the Swedish Environment. A pretty sad finding is that roughly 50% of the studies and reports do not meet the quality criteria that have been set. We still however believe that there are data enough to set a ”baseline” – a necessity if we want to follow the changes to come in the future. Since occurance in the environment is a ”lagging indicator” (reactive) we also suggest to start the development of a ”proactive indicator”. We would like to develop an indicator which follows the inclusion of sustainability criteria in public procurement (but not only the inclusion of such criteria in the tender process but also follow-up initiatives from county councils and other institutions).

More info to come as the work moves forward.

Spännande dag imorgon – miljömöten på LIF hela dagen

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Imorgon fredag har vi flera spännande möten på LIF. Under förmiddagen har vi först ett möte tillsammans med Läkemedelsverket där vi diskuterar möjliga konsekvenser av de svenska miljömålen gällande läkemedel i miljön, därefter träffas vi som arbetar med att utveckla indikatorer för Nationella läkemedelsstrategins miljöinitiativ. På eftermiddagen har sedan LIF:s Expertgrupp Miljö möte. Jag ser fram emot intressanta diskussioner!

I am looking forward to several interesting meetings tomorrow at LIF (the association of the research-based pharmaceutical industry). In the morning we will first meet Swedish MPA and discuss potential consequences of the Swedish national environmental objectives concerning pharmaceuticals in the environment (PiE). Examples of those objectives are to bring the environmental risk assessments (ERAs) in to the risk/benefit evaluation (i.e. the authorization process of pharmaceuticals) and the inclusion of environmental standards to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). As you know since previous blog posts, I have concerns in relation to those objectives. We must never ever forget that patient access to valuable medicines is paramount! You also know that I strongly believe that industry’s Eco-Pharmaco Stewardship proposal (see for instance the blog post from Sept 12) will bring the environmental benefits we are all looking for.

Then before lunch I will meet with the group developing environmental indicators for the National Pharmaceutical Strategy. We will both look into the work already done on quality assuring monitoring results on pharmaceutical occurance in the Swedish environment, and discuss additional indicators for future development.

And then after lunch I will meet with LIF’s Expert Group Environment. I of course expect very interesting discussions there as well!

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Diskussioner om läkemedel i miljön med EU kommissionen

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Igår genomförde EU kommissionen (under ledning av DG Environment) en stor work-shop i Bryssel, med över 130 deltagare, gällande läkemedel i miljön. Huvudfokus för diskussionerna var de olika förslagen på möjliga åtgärder föreslagna i den så kallade BIO-IS-rapporten - spännande och intressant! Vi fick från industrins sida flera möjligheter att föra fram vårt initiativ Eco-PharmacoStewardship, EPS (som jag tidigare kort beskrivit här på bloggen exempelvis 18 maj). Min uppfattning är att EPS adresserar flera av de tyngsta åtgärdsförslagen i BIO-IS-rapporten.

Yesterday the EU commission (more specifically DG Environment in collaboration with DG Sanco) run a workshop with more than 130 delegates in Brussels. The topic was pharmaceuiticals in the environment (PiE) in general and the so called BIO-IS report specifically. The workshop forms an important basis for the development of the PiE Strategy from the commission which is due for fall next year. There were participants from different authorities and agencies around Europe, from several NGOs, from academia, and from the pharmaceutical industry (both human medicines and veterinary medicines). The workshop run i three sequential sessions focusing three main themes of options/actions proposed in the BIO-IS report:

- Options relevant to product’s development, authorization, production

- Options relevant to product consumption and use

- Options relevant to disposal

 In each session we broke up into ten smaller groups to discuss and prioritize proposals for actions from the report, and were also asked to add any additional option we thought was worth considering. I have to say that I was very impressed by the work process! Very good, open and relevant discussions were held and we were able to come up with clear priority lists.

I was very happy that we had several good possibilities to share industry’s ideas on an Eco-Pharmaco Stewardship (EPS) initiative. I have discussed the EPS initiative briefly in blog posts previously (e.g. on May 18). It is my clear opinion that the EPS initiative addresses several of the more important options presented in the BIO-IS report.