Our Purpose – “To improve the lives of the people we touch” – summarises the ambition we have to generate value for all of our stakeholders.
Behaving responsibly is integral to how we do business. We will only deliver long-term, sustainable financial performance by understanding and responding to the needs and concerns of our stakeholders, and by earning their trust with our actions.
For more detail on our approach to corporate responsibility, our performance in 2017, and illustrative case studies, please see our 2017 Group Corporate Responsibility Report.
Our overall approach to corporate responsibility is aimed at supporting the delivery of our Purpose and can be summarised as:
We have categorised our stakeholders based on the nature of their relationship with our business and how they contribute to our Purpose (see our 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report).
Materiality is the key principle that determines which issues are sufficiently important that it is essential to address them, and to report on our performance. The process to assess the materiality of issues is therefore critical to developing an effective CR strategy and achieving a high degree of transparency in communicating to stakeholders. Our approach to determining materiality has involved three steps.
We developed a ‘universe’ of potential issues by reviewing a number of external resources, including international reporting guidance organisations such as the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”), the legal and regulatory reporting requirements for UK-listed companies (covering issues such as gender diversity and greenhouse gas emissions), lists of issues used by rating organisations, issue-specific programmes such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (“CDP”), international initiatives such as the United Nations (“UN”) Global Compact, and the reports of other businesses in our sector.
Further detail is provided in our 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
The relevant issues were formed into an initial list of topics and these were ‘scored’ by members of our senior leadership group based on their perceptions of the importance of those topics to the success of our business, and of their importance to stakeholders.
In 2017, we commissioned research with external stakeholders drawn from the following groups: patient groups; healthcare professionals; work councils; business customers; industry bodies; investors (mainstream and specialist ethical investors); and NGOs. We asked them to rate the relative importance of the issues in the list and to provide other insights for ConvaTec.
The output of this three step exercise enabled the updating of our materiality assessment and generated the analysis below.
Context for our strategy
Our CR strategy acknowledges the key elements of the sustainable development agenda and has been developed to recognise how these factors interact with our business. Fundamentally, our strategy flows directly from our Purpose (to improve the lives of the people we touch), our Vision (to be recognized as the most respected and successful MedTech company worldwide) and our Values (Caring for People, Driving Innovation and Excellence, and Earning Trust).
Whilst our core business is aimed squarely at delivering our Purpose, we must ensure that we minimise the negative impact on the environment and on other, non-patient, communities. In relation to the environment, our focus is on reducing the impacts of our products. As the majority of our products cannot be recycled after use, we must try to ensure that the materials and energy consumed in their life cycle are as little as possible. Equally, whilst we support employment in our supply chain through our business relationships, we must ensure that these workers are kept safe and not exploited.
Our CR framework and objectives
Using our six element CR framework we identify policies, programmes and projects that create value for our various stakeholders whilst balancing their sometimes competing requirements. Through this approach we aim to earn stakeholder trust and respect, and so contribute to the success of our business.
Overlaying this framework are four broad objectives: