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Aspen 2019 IAR report cover
Our sustainable business strategy
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Our approach to sustainability

We are committed to creating value for all of our stakeholders in a manner that is responsible, transparent and respects the rights of all. We recognise that to achieve long-term success, we need to deliver our business strategy in a way that creates value not only to Aspen and its shareholders, but also to society and the planet.

Our sustainability commitments

We believe that doing business in a sustainable and responsible manner is integral to our purpose, our values and our philosophy "Healthcare. We Care". Our sustainability commitments are integrated into the Group's strategic objectives and underpin the way we do business. Our sustainability commitments are determined with consideration to the following key aspects:

United Nations Global Compact ("UN Global Compact")

We are signatories to the UN Global Compact and have aligned our sustainability commitments with the principles outlined in the UN Global Compact, which cover human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our Communication on Progress report, available online, sets out our approach to the application of these principles.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Launched in September 2015, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global action plan for people, planet and prosperity. The 17 SDGs aim to tackle the world's most pressing challenges through the promotion of sustainable development. As a multinational pharmaceutical company, we have an important role in contributing to the delivery of the SDGs. While all of the SDGs are essential, we have identified seven goals where we believe we are able to have the greatest impact. We are in the process of further developing our approach for contributing toward the delivery of these goals.

Material sustainability topics

We performed a sustainability-related materiality assessment to identify the sustainability issues that are most critical to our business and our stakeholders. This process assists us in identifying sustainability focus areas and informs our strategy and the content of our reporting. We align our identification of material sustainability topics with the GRI Standards, UN Global Compact, the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investor Index assessment criteria as well as considering information relating to the pharmaceutical sector; our regulatory requirements and matters raised during engagement with our people and our external stakeholders.

Our sustainability themes

We have grouped our sustainability commitments into four key themes:

Theme 1   Patients     SDGs
Strategic objectives   We are committed to enhancing access to medicines and providing reliable supply of quality products, improving the health and quality of life of patients and enhancing access across the geographies of our operations.    
To enhance access to high quality, affordable medicines
Material topics  
  • Access to healthcare
  • Patient safety
  • Supply of quality products
  • Responsible marketing
Theme 2   Employees     SDGs
Strategic objectives   We are committed to creating a healthy and safe work environment, where everyone is treated fairly and with respect and have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.    
To provide a safe, challenging and rewarding environment for our employees
Material topics  
  • Employee health and safety
  • Labour rights
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Workforce development
Theme 3   Society     SDGs
Strategic objectives   We strive to operate an ethical and responsible business underpinned by our shared values and governance structures. We uphold the dignity, fundamental freedoms and human rights of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we live and work, and others affected by our activities.    
To practice good corporate citizenship
Material topics  
  • Human rights
  • Ethical business culture
  • BBBEE in South Africa
  • Socio-economic development and investment in communities
  • Fair taxation
Theme 4   Environment     SDGs
Strategic objectives   We are committed to practice responsible environmental stewardship, seeking to minimise any negative impact our operations have on the environment and to comply with applicable laws, regulations and other environmental management requirements.    
To practice good corporate citizenship
Material topics  
  • Carbon emissions
  • Electricity
  • Water and effluent
  • Waste