Biogen Releases 2020 Year in Review Demonstrating Its Commitment to Transparency and Progress across Environmental, Social and Governance Metrics
- Accelerated action on climate, health and equity, including new plastic-free packaging goals for finished goods by 20251
- Disclosed 2020 global pay equity analysis results2 and launched enhanced four-part diversity, equity and inclusion strategy
- Tied a portion of employees’ and executive officers’ 2021 compensation to an ESG metric
- Expanded report with new disclosures aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and informed by the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) today released its 2020 Year in Review, which outlines the company’s ongoing leadership actions over the past year, including accelerating action on its commitment to climate, health and equity, sharing progress on its enhanced four-part strategy for diversity, equity an inclusion (DE&I) and linking a portion of employees’ and executives’ 2021 compensation to advancing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. The report was designed to meet rising stakeholder expectations for transparency and progress on ESG material issues.
“Seeing Biogen set the bar even higher on our goals for advancing climate, health and equity gives me great pride, and I’m pleased that our bold strategies have continued to drive change across a range of key ESG issues,” said Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer at Biogen. “The challenges of 2020 showed us that pioneering science to improve humanity is more important and complex than ever. For 2021, we are determined to continue to move forward on our goals to help make a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable future for all.”
As the first U.S. biotechnology company to join the Business Ambition for 1.5◦C, in 2020 Biogen launched Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives™ and became the first Fortune 500 company to commit to becoming fossil fuel free across its global operations by 2040. The company continued its integration of green chemistry principles into drug development processes and incorporated climate considerations into its enterprise risk management. In line with this focus, in 2020 the company reduced absolute emissions 11 percent and absolute water withdrawal 10 percent vs. 2019, achieved 99 percent zero waste to landfill and set new Science Based Targets initiative-approved climate goals. With its report, Biogen disclosed new sustainable packaging goals, including PVC-free finished goods packaging by 2025.
Among the report’s most notable highlights, Biogen disclosed its goal to exceed its industry diversity benchmarks in clinical trials and medical publications in order to help improve health outcomes for underserved and underrepresented patient communities. As part of its broader DE&I efforts, the company also released its aim to increase diversity3 in U.S. manager positions and above by 30 percent. These and other initiatives continue to build on Biogen’s DE&I performance. As of December 31, 2020, 48 percent of director-level positions and above globally were held by women and 28 percent in the U.S. were held by racial and ethnic minority groups.
Biogen’s 2020 Year in Review also summarized the company’s support for its employees, patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including $15 million allocated for employee relief and care and expanded patient support efforts. Additionally, Biogen and the Biogen Foundation have committed over $90 million in 2020 to grants, sponsorships, fellowships and charitable giving. The amount reflects $18.9 million in Biogen Foundation grants, including $12 million to help organizations in 35 countries respond to unprecedented pandemic-related needs, including offering food and other immediate humanitarian assistance and expanding COVID-19 testing capacity and vaccine awareness as well as providing aid to healthcare systems.
As part of Biogen’s commitment to transparency, for the first time, the company disclosed its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO-1) data and the results of a global pay equity analysis as well as NOx, SOx, CO and VOC air pollution emissions from stationary combustion sources. Today, Biogen furthered its support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) through disclosure of its first TCFD Statement, joining more than 2,000 organization around the world supporting increasing transparency of climate-related risks and opportunities to work towards building a more resilient financial system. The 2020 Year in Review is aligned with GRI, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the UN SDGs and the UN Global Compact, of which Biogen is a member. It is informed by the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics published by the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum in 2020.
The full report can be found by visiting Biogen’s Year in Review website.
At Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as related therapeutic adjacencies. One of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. Today Biogen has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, has introduced the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics and is focused on advancing research programs in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders, ophthalmology, neuropsychiatry, immunology, acute neurology and neuropathic pain.
About the Biogen Foundation
The Biogen Foundation supports access to science education and to essential human services for children and their families in the communities in which Biogen facilities are located. The Biogen Foundation is committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations.
Biogen Safe Harbor
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about our strategy and plans; anticipated benefits and potential of investments related to Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives, our DE&I initiatives and other related ESG and corporate responsibility initiatives; results that may be achieved through our Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives initiative, our DE&I initiatives and other related ESG and corporate responsibility initiatives; the anticipated timeline of our Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives initiative, our DE&I initiatives and other related ESG and other corporate responsibility initiatives; and capital allocation and investment strategy. These statements may be identified by words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “will,” “would” and other words and terms of similar meaning. You should not place undue reliance on these statements or the scientific data presented.
These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including without limitation the risks of unexpected hurdles, costs or delays; uncertainty of success in the execution of our strategy and plans; risks that the goals of our Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives, our DE&I initiatives and other related ESG and corporate responsibility initiatives will be completed in a timely manner or at all; uncertainty as to whether the anticipated benefits of our Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives, our DE&I initiatives and other related ESG and corporate responsibility initiatives can be achieved; the direct and indirect impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition; and the risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of our most recent annual or quarterly report and in other reports we have filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The foregoing sets forth many, but not all, of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations in any forward-looking statement. Investors should consider this cautionary statement as well as the risk factors identified in our most recent annual or quarterly report and in other reports we have filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations and speak only as of the date of this news release. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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1 Developed new sustainable packaging goals, including PVC-free finished goods packaging by 2025.
2 2020 pay equity study assessed 85% of global workforce and found 99.7% of the workforce is compensated in alignment with our equal pay for equal work philosophy; for the remaining 0.3%, appropriate adjustments were made.
3 Percent of U.S. manager positions and above held by Black, African American and Latinx employees as well as Asian employees where underrepresented by level and function; by year end 2021.