In 2019, a pharmaceutical and life sciences company set an ambitious climate goal: to reach carbon neutrality within its operations by 2030. Placing sustainable development at the core of its corporate strategy and values, the company is actively working to take action on topics across the ESG space, including climate change, biodiversity, human rights, deforestation, and many other issues.
Ambitious goals like carbon neutrality require collaboration by nature. Companies that incorporate ESG topics and values on a holistic level—where knowledge, goals, and expertise are integrated—are in a better position to achieve these objectives. In a large organization, these types of goals touch every department, in every office, in every country around the world. As such, it is vital that the company culture is united towards that goal, and that individuals across the organization understand the goals themselves, including why they were set, what makes them important, and how every part of the company must work together to achieve them.
ADEC ESG Solutions partnered with this pharmaceutical company to help start the ESG conversation at the executive level for its largest manufacturing site. The goal was to engage and empower executive management and help the company put itself in a better position to strategize around reaching its 2030 carbon neutrality goal—by assembling a group of changemakers who could bring the company’s ESG ambitions to life.
ESG executive workshops: A meeting of the minds
ADEC ESG led a series of executive-level workshops for our client, hosted at one of the company’s largest facilities. Participants attended from around the world, representing a multitude of the company’s sites, ready to start thinking globally about sustainability.
Our purpose was to establish a baseline understanding of ESG and carbon neutrality for this group, create an air of excitement around corporate carbon neutrality goals, and demonstrate through the workshops how they can execute that together.
This executive group already had some understanding of the importance of ESG. We set out to foster that enthusiasm, creating a supportive environment in which they could start developing concrete action plans and sustainability initiatives.
We started with a series of pre-workshop interviews to get to know each participant. What was their role? In what ways did their department collaborate with others on ESG-related targets? Did we see any opportunities for joint efforts across departments?
The core workshops focused on collecting and exploring ideas within this group, encouraging them to think bigger and unite around common goals. Every department has an actionable part to play, and it takes creativity, innovation, and accountability to collaborate on the operational, partnership, and policy initiatives needed to achieve carbon neutrality.
Results: Gaining perspective and developing next steps
The workshops were well-received. Participants walked away with both a high-level perspective on what was needed to accomplish the company’s ESG goals and an on-the-ground perspective from their diverse peers. By doing so, this kickstart initiator also helped get this group moving towards their goals, thinking about what it would take to achieve them, and realigning with the company’s sustainability mindset.
Following this initiative, our client developed an independent group tasked with advising its board on sustainability matters and promoting continued cooperation.
Future: Turning passion into progress
This client faces a unique set of challenges. As a large pharmaceutical company, its actions and those of its peers are heavily regulated and scrutinized. In addition, the company balances its commitment to growing, innovating, and providing solutions for the world’s health with its goals of operating sustainably—reducing its climate and environmental impacts while meeting social and ethical responsibilities.
Our client’s employees also have a passion for innovation and improving life for humankind. Each of the workshop’s participants were ready and willing to be a champion for sustainability, and it was a delight to help support this group as they continue on their Sustainability Journey.
Results and Deliverables
- Series of executive-level workshops focused on ESG and carbon neutrality
- Curriculum that emphasized global thinking, collective strategy development, and initiative brainstorming
- Set a strong knowledge-based, technical foundation for key decisionmakers towards ESG goals