Sustainability Reporting of Pharmaceutical Companies

The Roberts Environmental Center (REC) released the analysis of social responsibility reporting for the 26 largest pharmaceutical companies around the world. The report contains a compilation of Pacific Sustainability Index (PSI) scores evaluating the environmental and social reporting of the pharmaceutical companies. Scoring is based on the transparency, intent, and performance for both environmental and social issues. The Center gave high marks to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

The research, based entirely on material released on the firms’ web sites, found Bristol-Myers Squibb (U.S.) and Sanofi-Aventis (France) led the sector as the two highest scoring companies. The lowest scoring companies, Forest Laboratories and NBTY, were two of the smallest companies in the sector and are both based in the United States. There was a slight trend between PSI scores and annual revenue; however Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, the two largest corporations in the sector, both showed room for improvement.

Prior to the report’s release, companies were given the opportunity to respond to their scores and provide additional information if available. Often this correspondence reveals information not previously captured in the scoring system.

“Biogen Idec scored low in the rankings,” said Elgeritte Adidjaja, research fellow at the Roberts Environmental Center. “However, after speaking with a representative responsible for sustainability matters, the company appears to be committed to many environmental programs, but they are not yet ready to make sustainability information public.”

To create the report’s ranking, REC evaluated each company’s web site using the Pacific Sustainability Index including sector-specific questions. The index uses a general systematic questionnaire to analyze the quality of sustainability reporting. The selection of questions was based on the most frequently-mentioned topics in almost 1,800 corporate sustainability documents analyzed from 2002 through 2008 by the Roberts Environmental Center. The company’s grades in this report were assigned on a grading curve, giving an A+ to the highest scoring companies and those with scores near it.

View the complete report here.

Scoring Summary

Highest Overall Scores

Bristol-Myer Squibb

Sanofi-Aventis

Abbott Laboratories

Highest Environmental Reporting Scores

Bristol-Myer Squibb

Johnson & Johnson

Sanofi-Aventis

Abbott Laboratories

Highest Social Reporting Scores

Merck

Sanofi-Aventis

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Abbott Laboratories

AstraZeneca

Lowest Overall Scores

Forest Laboratories

NBTY

King Pharmaceuticals