Today, Sustainable Brands 2011 released the results from their survey of the most sustainable companies in Sweden as rated by the general public. 3183 Swedish consumers between 16 and 79 years old have rated companies on environmntal sustainability and social sustainability. 151 companies from 12 different industrial sectors were included in the survey that was performed in the 4th quarter of 2010. See the total results via this link.
I wrote about the survey here on the blog already on March 7, when the first results were published. Those data showed that the pharmaceutical sector had the lowest over all score. An extremely bad result I have to admit!
So what can be said about the results. First of all, as is ponted out by IDG Research who performed the survey, Swedish owned corporations generally score better than foreign companies. This is probably due to recognition of the brands themselves. And to be honest, how well-known are the company brand names in the pharmaceutical industry to the general public? Our product names may be known, but the company name is not. The only possible exception to this would be AstraZeneca, due to the long history of Astra in Sweden.
But I will also add that even if the company brads would have been well-known to the public, I am not sure we would have scored much better as an industry. The reason being that we have not communicated our sustainability efforts historically. We primarely, and for good reasons, have communicated around the medical needs in society, and with professionals about the therapeutic effects of our products. But as I said in my blog post from March 7, I think it is about time to change. And we have a lot to learn from the winners of Sustianble Brands 2011. I believe that probably every Swede knows about different sustainability efforts by Coop and ICA. They have great programs, and they communicate smartly about those programs!
We need to become more transparent and actually more proud of our sustainability programs. And during a week like this one, leading up to Earth Hour on Saturday, communications around Energy and Climate Change seems about right! And if the general public knew about the pharmaceutical industry's efforts in general, and of Pfizer's Energy and Climate Change efforts specifically, I am sure we would have been rated much better in the survey!
I have shown this diagram several times on my blog. And to me it summarizes not only Pfizer's high ambition in the area of fighting climate change, but also our very good records.
From 2000 to 2007 we decreased our emissions of green house gases with 43 percent indexed by sales, which corresponds to a decrease in absolute numbers of almost 20%. And we will take another 20% until 2012.
Let us all within the pharmaceutical industry help ourselves by starting to communicate more openly and widely about our contributions to sustainable development. It does not only help us position ourselves stronger in different discussions in society, I personally actually believe that it is good for business as well. And last but not least it would make our employees more proud of working in this sector. When our employees see the results from Sustainable Brands 2011 they will not be happy...