Novo Nordisk A/S: Integrating Sustainability into Business Practice

Journal of Business Ethics Education 5 (special issue):193-222 (2008)

Abstract

“In an age where companies are scrutinised and transparency is the only way to gain trust,” says Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen, “social responsibility is vital to maintain a business advantage.” This case examines how transparency underlines the application of Novo Nordisk’s sustainability policy—how it is integrated, administered, monitored and measured throughout the organisation. It looks closely at one of Novo Nordisk’s business units, Diabetes Finished Products, to see the process in action. Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical company specialising in diabetes care and hormone therapy. Since 2003, commitment to sustainability has been a keynote of company policy, supported by the Novo Nordisk Way of Management, a tool developed to help managers provide the leadership in sustainability within the organisation. But how far is it really possible to influence sustainability at the operational level through management control systems? And how effective are systems like the Novo Nordisk Way of Management in supporting sustainability organisation-wide?

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