May 2020 Newsletter

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May 2020 Newsletter

As we all begin to evaluate what must be done to rebound in this new environment, one thing is certain: sustainability will not go away. Although sustainability issues are not of the utmost importance for businesses at the time, it is something that can keep employees engaged. Our approach is to remind our clients that other strategies can be formed to help them rebound.

This month we also take a look at Novo Nordisk in our Workplace Focus feature, as we see how they set a precedent in Scandinavia for sustainability.

Redirect, Reinvent, Refresh: Our approach to helping clients recover post-COVID

Many countries are beginning to lift COVID-19 lockdown measures in order to facilitate economic recovery. As we are globally entering the recovery period, organizations may find balancing the navigation of this new economic landscape with continuing their previous CSR activities challenging. In light of the pandemic, we foresee a renewed and intensified focus on CSR practices in the near term, with COVID-19 serving as a catalyst for the role of business in society. We at NSI Consultants have been engaging with our clients to not only assist them with the resumption of their CSR mandates during an economically vulnerable period but also redirecting and reinventing CSR initiatives to communities during the recovery phase. 

We understand that dealing with the effects COVID-19 while maintaining best practice pandemic precautions remains uncharted territory. At the same time organizations that position their CSR efforts to contribute positively to the gaps left by the pandemic will bode well in the eyes of investors and civil society. The pandemic thus also provides an opportunity for businesses to win over consumer loyalty, increasing their competitive edge during the recovery phase from a CSR perspective. Safeguarding public reassurance in any form, be it through the continuation of CSR activities or ensuring the satisfaction of employees or the communities in which organizations operate in, will protect public remembrance and trust. We have seen this been carried out in numerous ways, from focusing on employee well-being, assisting small businesses and government to supporting local, vulnerable communities whose residents were not in a position to weather the COVID-19 storm.

Despite the negative impact that the virus has had on all almost all sectors of economies and society, that this is an opportune time for organizations to take a closer look at their CSR initiatives to date - to go further than simply ensuring some form of compliance and strategically assess the impact that their social responsibility projects are having on the ground or their role in fulfilling a higher purpose and solving bigger challenges. 

Workplace Focus: Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk has been known for the last decade to be one of, if not the most, recognizable sustainable brand worldwide. Hailing from Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical brand that specializes primarily in diabetic products, along with other products under other brand names. Since 2004, they have integrated their sustainability report into their annual report, setting the standard for triple bottom line reporting. Their strategies have been implemented into university course curriculum in Scandinavia. But in an industry that tends to have a negative connotation towards their practices, how did Novo Nordisk manage to stand out above all the rest?

Environmental: Novo Nordisk is known recently for having set a target for becoming completely reliant on renewable energy by 2020. This initiative has garnered much praise across the globe. In Denmark, they have partnered with a Danish electric supplier to create a new windmill park for their production purposes. Their upcoming goal for 2030 is to have zero carbon emissions. One way they have started on this goal is to have company cars, in order to ensure ridesharing.

Social: In the US, Novo Nordisk founded the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance. It is a coalition between various nonprofits, corporations, and other stakeholders who seek to educate and enlighten others regarding Diabetes in America. They also work with legislators on how certain actions can be taken to help those with Diabetes have better treatment.

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