Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Glaxo­SmithKline Doing Well by Doing Good

Glaxo­SmithKline (GSK) is at the top of Fortune's 2016 Change the World list. They are being recognized for their exemplary corporate citizenship. In an age of rampant profiteering in the pharmaceutical industry, Glaxo­SmithKline (GSK) has stood out by making it their business to give back.

The practices of GSK stand in stark contrast to other recent pharmaceutical news. Martin Shkreli bought the rights to a life saving HIV drug called Daraprim,then he hiked up the price by 5,000 percent. CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals Heather Bresch raised the price of an EpiPen pack to more than $600.

As reviewed in Fortune, Glaxo­SmithKline is a 300 year old company that built its name with products like baby formula and penicillin. The company made almost $16 billion in 2015 and they use their wealth to do good. They are working on vaccines for malaria and the Zika virus and they support HIV treatment programs in places like Botswana. The prices they charge are a function of people's means and the company reinvests 20 percent of the profits to local health care infrastructure and worker training.

Sustainability is part of Glaxo. As they say on the website GSK is focused on, "improving the quality of human life." They are committed to reducing the environmental impacts of their products and they have set ambitious goals to reduce carbon, water and waste. They are leaders in green chemistry.

In 2014 Glaxo was recognised for outstanding sustainable business practices at the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards 2014 and in 2010 they recieved the Environmental Stewardship Award from Nalco.

Glaxo is number one on Fortune's annual Change the World list. This list of 50 companies are leading efforts to address major societal problems, reducing damage to the environment, strengthening communities, serving the underserved, and significantly improving lives. They are also generating a profit. The average return on publicly traded stocks in last year’s list was 16.6 percent which was even better than the S&P 500.

For the complete Change the World 2016 list of companies click here.

Related
2016 Green Business Award Winners
2016 Corporate Sustainability Leaders
Green Business Award Winners in 2016 (Guardian and Environmental Leader)
2015-2016 Awards for Reporting on the Environment (SEJ)
The Best and the Worst Sustainability and Climate Stories in 2015 
2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders 
The Best of Green in 2015: Products, Projects, Leaders, Corporations, CEOs and Chemistry
The Top Sustainability Focused Innovations of 2015

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