Statement by CEO Timo Lappalainen in our Sustainability Report for 2017
President and CEO Timo Lappalainen:
Orion is a globally operating Finnish developer of pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products – a builder of well-being. For us, responsible business is a prerequisite and a firm foundation for building a successful business. Managing, reporting and developing corporate responsibility and sustainability are an integral part of the continuous development of our company.
As a pharmaceutical company, we help patients to treat their diseases and improve well-being effectively and safely. The key focus of all Orion’s operations and corporate responsibility is patient safety. We manage product safety and ensure business ethics as well as transparency in everything we do. We are committed and work continuously towards improving our performance in sustainability. In 2017, our emphasis in particular has been, among other things, on continuously improving our handling of waste water and focusing on the occupational health and safety of Orionees.
In 2017, we have made significant progress on waste water management and the reduction of pharmaceutical residue emissions. We had set ourselves ambitious targets a few years ago and last year we finished the project aimed at decreasing the environmental burden on waterways even further, even though of course we had already fulfilled the legal requirements before. We have improved waste water management and got the new pre-rinse water collection systems running at our production sites. Most of the active pharmaceutical ingredients containing waste water are now being collected and sent to treatment with a 100% reduction.
The work done to prevent accidents and injuries at Orion facilities is also leading to positive results. Our goal cannot be anything less than reaching the target of zero accidents, and we are confident that our commitment and efforts will bear fruit in the long run. During the course of the year, a Group-wide occupational safety network was set up, and we have been working on several programmes aimed especially at enhancing Group’s safety culture. It is not sufficient simply to safeguard oneself; instead employees are encouraged to require this from their colleagues too. We want to promote a culture where Orionees intervene if they observe unsafe work practices and where it is everyone's duty to do so. Intervening is an act of caring, and we believe that this cultural change will assist us in our journey to zero accidents.
The amount of legal and stakeholder requirements are ever increasing, as are the number of instances which we are expected to report on. We continuously work on improving our reporting and becoming more transparent. We strongly believe that measuring our performance is in the essence of managing and being able to improve our performance in sustainability. In some occasions, we need to balance and make choices in selecting the most evident channels of reporting. This is done to secure more time and resources for continuous improvements.
As a member company of EFPIA, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Orion has agreed to publish details about our collaboration with healthcare professionals and compensation paid to them for the time working with us. In addition, every year we publish a summary report of our collaboration with patient organisations. We want to further enhance our trust and transparency in these aspects.
The themes of sustainability and the principles of continuous improvement towards our targets are deeply embedded in Orion’s day-to-day work and corporate culture. To us, responsibility is a principle built into our common values. It reflects a caring attitude towards everything we do.
President and CEO