As Cristina Alonso Alija, Head of ESG at Bayer explains, sustainability can only be quantified. It needs to be “connected to the data that shows us to be better.” At the beginning, it is this: The Dow Jones Sustainability Index shows that the health industry, one of the main areas of the corporation, is one of the most sustainable on the planet. However, a large number of challenges and challenges, including accessibility to medicines and pollution prevention, continue to be present on a planet whose systems seem to be in crisis.
One year before the pandemic hit; and according to a study in the Journal of Pure ProductionComplete the task of planning a vehicle. He therefore does not see health as a healthy industry. How can this paradox be explained?
I lead the Global Sustainability team and for us the term sustainability means improving people’s lives and protecting the health of the planet. That is why it is sustainable in all aspects: environmental, social and governmental. I don’t have the information you mention, but we need a business model and how to do it. A congregation of our scale has great potential to improve people’s lives and protect natural resources, which as we know are not infinite. So our priorities are climate and ecosystems, food security and health equity. The way our company and work are produced is an inherent part of our strategy for sustainability and process improvement.
Water is necessary for the manufacture of almost all pharmaceutical products. How will you face the threat of water scarcity, which is increasingly looming on the horizon?
We are grateful that the world understands the importance of water and the need to act. It has been a bit of a storm, and at last we perceive the impact of the climate on some level through the water. We have just published our Water Strategy, and what we have done is to see holistically where we can contribute positively to this situation. Our clearest contributions are in agriculture, where we can develop and innovate with agricultural production systems that need less water. Although we also need to optimize our production processes. We have to grow plants in places where there will be a shortage of water in the future. which is why, for example, we generally use seven times more water than we use in manufacturing. And to this we add our water management systems, which allow us to improve the use of water and its quality day by day. For example, we recently carried out our pilot in Berlinet, in our Alcalá de Henares plant, in better water.
“In the pandemic, what we have seen is that we need to do things when there is a common goal and a clear ambition”;
The healthcare industry is particularly sustainable if we look at the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Do you think that effective proposals are sometimes taken or sustained, as some scholars suggest, wrapped up in marketing?
The term sustainability has been used more broadly in the past. I’m a disciplined learner and I believe that what you can measure is what you can improve. In other words, sustainability is linked to data that shows we are doing better and shows where there are problems. In Europe, we know that new regulations are coming at the European level that require the industry that the data we publish and report have the same quality and reliability as current financial data. The great thing is this: the reader, the developer and the public will be able to see the information of all industries in the same way. Even for us, as an industry, innovation is also the future. For years we have captured internal data on carbon emissions, water, pollution, labor use… Large companies have a great responsibility: both to act well and to lead changes in the industry.
The reputation of the pharmaceutical industry was under fire before the existence of covid-19. A Gallup poll in 2019, for example, shows how pharmaceuticals are ranked last among Americans’ economic favorites. The situation is in Europe. Is the pharmaceutical industry expecting too much or has it not risen to the challenges beyond the pandemic?
Health is a very complex area and must be seen as a whole. For example, we live in a world where at least half of the planet’s population does not have basic health insurance, which demonstrates this complexity. At the industry level, one of the most important things for us is access to medicine, health equity. As Bayer, we participate in the order of access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries, which evaluates the efforts of companies: last year, globally, we reached level 9, which I think is a part of evaluation. as our company’s duty.
“We must find a way for Europe to have a strong economy: we owe it to the Europeans too.”
These years have opened up logistical problems that have limited production and can bring with it a deindustrialized continent. What is the future facing?
The industry has realized that supply chains are complex and this has consequences. The way I see it is that these chords — and the way they are valued — undergo a periodic transformation. But resilience, I believe, is the ability to temporarily be essential. Our company also values the support of those who provide us: from the environment to human rights. With regard to energy in Europe, we have new regulations which, with the best intention to correct the environmental situation on the continent, have a risk, that is to say, it will lead Europe through the process of energy. In Europe we must find a way to have a strong industry: we owe it to the Europeans too. The industry must transform, and today this kind of development, in which digitization is essential, is much faster. We cannot be completely dependent on the continent in these areas.
Is being independent soft?
Thus, unexpected events can occur in such a way that the final result is not affected.
The speed of pharmacological and medical developments during the pandemic – vaccines are the best example – shows that the industry, with the help and support of the United States in part, is capable of great things. Do we live in hope?
I believe that the desire for a healthier world and greater access to medicine than today is a utopia that must be pursued. And it is not something that everyone can pursue on their own. In the pandemic, what we have seen is that things work when there is a common goal and a clear ambition.
Report on the Sustainable Development Goals: one of them, number 3, aims to guarantee safety and good health without any distinction. Is the goal brought about or is it a utopia?
The SDGs are ambitious and should be ambitious: where are we going? He can go forward. There are many opportunities. The index of access to medicines, for example, is a way of measuring the real progress made by the industry. All the inhabitants of this planet deserve to be treated in the same way, and this is what drives our ambition. And collaboration is necessary: each part has a role to play in helping the associated changes: understand the role you play, and understand that you cannot do it alone.