“ESG is an essential element of crisis management for the survival of biopharma”

Establishing an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) management strategy is gaining attention as an essential task for biopharmaceutical companies.

Samsung Biologics ESG Director Yoo Seung-hun explains the importance of ESG at the 2022 Bio Industry New Year Forum hosted by Korea BIO Online last Friday.

The Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization (Korea BIO) concluded its “New Year Bio Industry Forum 2022” last Friday designed to share ESG achievements and future directions.

“The reason why Samsung Biologics promoted ESG management company-wide was that there were demands from many stakeholders,” said Yoo Seung-hun, ESG director at Samsung Biologics. “We receive various requests from customers and investors.”

According to Yoo, ESG is emerging as an essential factor in selecting a company for a client, investors request related information such as a sustainability report directly or indirectly. “The sustainability report is one of the tangible achievements of Samsung Biologics within the framework of ESG management. It is a report that contains all the company’s information on ESG activities,” Yoo said.

Yoo pointed out that the company has obtained certifications such as ISO14001 (environmental management system) and ISO145001 (safety and health system) in the environment and safety sector while setting gas reduction targets. greenhouse effect, energy and water consumption.

“One of the hottest topics in ESG today is climate change. We participate as a working group (TF) member in the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), an initiative to respond climate, as a member of the health sector with AstraZeneca,” says Yoo. “As a member of the initiative, the company participates as a bioindustrial TF in “Frontier-1.5D”, a climate and environmental risk management model development project promoted by the Financial Monitoring Service.”

Yoo also explained that the company has established a human rights charter and a human rights and supply chain code of ethics.

“Just as our customers demand something from Samsung Biologics, the Code of Ethics is a document that asks our supply chain to protect ethical management, human rights, labor, environmental management , safety and health management to do business with us,” Yoo said. .

In risk management, it obtained ISO22301 certification to set up a BCMS (business continuity management system).

Thanks to this, Samsung Biologics obtained an A rating from Korea Corporate Governance Service (KCGS) and was included in the global Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

“Being included in the DJSI Global Index means we are in the top 10% of the global biotech services industry,” Yoo said. “Although the company did not achieve the highest rating in Ecovaids or other ratings, the global community recognized our efforts as we won awards such as the change-related ‘Carbon Management Sector Honors’ climate.”

Hanmi ESG Director Oh Se-kwon talks about his company's ESG implementation program at the same event.
Hanmi ESG Director Oh Se-kwon talks about his company’s ESG implementation program at the same event.

Hanmi ESG Director Oh Se-kwon explained the definition of ESG from a business perspective and how to implement it.

“It’s difficult to define ESG in one word because each area must encompass differences in industry, country and culture, broadening its meaning,” Oh said. “To understand ESG effectively, one should compare ESG and CSR (corporate social responsibility), a similar concept to each other.”

According to Oh, ISO26000, one of the guidelines defining CSR, categorizes CSR into seven areas: environment, human rights, labor, fair trade, local community, consumer and governance.

“As such, CSR and ESG have overlapping content, so the decisive difference between ESG and CSR is the difference in perspective,” he said. “While CSR is a stakeholder-based management activity, ESG is an investor-based management activity.”

CSR is a management activity that creates a good business by identifying the needs of stakeholders and reflecting them in the management of the business. At the same time, ESG is a management indicator for managing risk for survival and securing opportunity, Oh added.

Therefore, Hanmi has established six agendas for ESG management and analyzes ESG performance indicators based on ESG Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

“Hanmi has held the No. 1 position in the pharmaceutical sector of the Korea Sustainability Index for two consecutive years and is the first Korean pharmaceutical company to achieve an A rating in the ESG assessment for two consecutive years,” Oh said. “As an ESG leader in the pharmaceutical industry, we will strive to fulfill our responsibilities and roles.”

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