As one of Europe’s leading healthcare providers, it is our mission to contribute to the health and well-being of the people of Europe. After all, we deliver health! Our corporate responsibility however goes beyond that mission. As a company, we must ensure that our growth creates value not just for us, but also for society and the environment in which we operate.
Our sustainability agenda has five focus topics and provides the framework for our sustainability management:
Starting in 2022, employees at our Serbian subsidiary who are parents of a first-year pupil have been given an additional day off for the first day of school. Our subsidiary in Croatia already offers this to its employees.
Working together for the benefit of the environment, greening the grounds of the Czech headquarters and having fun at the same time: this was part of the family tree-planting campaign initiated by our Czech subsidiary. All its employees were called upon to participate and, together with their families, the colleagues planted trees and shrubs on the company grounds in Prague.
During the reporting year, our Estonian subsidiary had its office and logistics building thermographed. Special equipment was used to measure air-tightness and a thermal imaging camera was used to measure temperature. Overall, the results far exceeded expectations. Any leaks that were found could be repaired. Thermography was also carried out at the German distribution centre in Bad Kreuznach.
Every year, our Macedonian subsidiary carries out training sessions for all its employees regarding the proper handling of waste. This includes, for example, learning about the types of waste generated at the PHOENIX group and how to dispose and recycle them correctly in order to conserve resources. In this way, every employee can actively contribute to protecting the environment.
An information afternoon on waste separation and recycling was held at the Créteil site in France. The recycling company Paprec was present with a stand where they provided employees with information, virtual reality demonstrations and goodies. In Finland, a recycling theme day was also held at two sites in 2022.
The PHOENIX group uses recyclable plastic totes to transport medicines and other healthcare products. In the future, almost all of these totes will be made from recycled materials. Our Italian subsidiary Comifar first initiated this changeover: all of its totes, purchased for the Novate site in 2021, are made from 100-percent recycled plastic. This step saved 11 tonnes of plastic in just one year. Four other subsidiaries have successfully tested this approach as well. Step by step, totes made from recycled materials are being tested and introduced at all PHOENIX sites. Once this changeover is completed, the PHOENIX group expects to save 750 tonnes of plastic annually across the group. In the future, discarded totes will also be returned to the recycling loop.
Our Danish subsidiary Nomeco is participating in a recycling project of Novo Nordisk in the value chain: since 2020, customers have been able to return used disposable insulin pens to selected pharmacies – and Nomeco collects them at the pharmacies. Since delivery runs are made to the pharmacies in any case, no additional transport emissions arise from the collection. Nomeco stores the pens, and transport companies contracted by Novo Nordisk regularly take them to a special recycling facility. This project aims to reduce the incineration of medical waste and increase recycling; the glass inside the pens and their plastic housings are of the highest quality. The participation of additional subsidiaries in this project is in the planning stage.
Our Dutch subsidiary delivers medicines in Rotterdam with the help of solar power: the SunRider, the first cargo e-bike which charges itself with solar energy while on the road. The SunRider picks up medicines at the BENU Hub in Rotterdam and delivers them to customers. If the sun isn’t shining, the SunRider can also be charged via the electricity grid. Since the first SunRider was introduced, four additional solar-powered bikes have taken to the roads in the Netherlands.
Our Swedish subsidiary has taken an important step towards more sustainable transport by switching from diesel to biogas for all internal transport between its distribution centres in Gothenburg and Stockholm. This will reduce carbon emissions on this route by around 80 percent.
To save raw materials and prevent waste: this is the aim of the recycling chain for excess iodine that the Finnish subsidiary Tamro has set up together with GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare produces contrast agents and was the first company in the world to offer a recycling service for the iodine contained in them. Tamro delivers surplus contrast agents from hospitals to GE Healthcare for recycling and collects new contrast agents for distribution. There are no additional transport emissions as the existing logistics network is used.
Reliable deliveries: From warehouse workers to pharmacists, many PHOENIX employees work on a daily basis to ensure that medicines reach the patient undamaged. They are mindful of the need to handle medicines with care, store and transport them at the right temperature, and check expiry dates regularly. Since medicines must be disposed of as hazardous waste once the packaging is damaged or the expiry date has passed, careful handling also protects the environment.
Acting responsibly and lawfully along the entire value chain is the basis for the success of PHOENIX group. Our compliance principles guide us in ethical business practices. Our Declaration of Principles on Respect for Human Rights encourages all PHOENIX employees to live up to their social responsibility. Human rights officers at Group level and in all 29 PHOENIX countires analyze risks to people and the environment in our supply chains and continuously optimize assessment and prevention processes. Suspected cases can be reported via a web-based whistleblowing system.
We seek dialog with our business partners and also expect them to operate responsibly. We screen new business partners for sustainability criteria and continuously develop our Supplier Code of Conduct. Compliance with applicable laws is an absolute priority, read more in our Sustainability Report or the Statement on the UK Modern Slavery Act.
Greener operations: The PHOENIX group wants to minimise its impact on the environment – and its measures to support this goal include the reduction of emissions arising from the operation of our buildings and from transports, avoiding waste generation as well as increasing the recycling of materials.
We set a climate target for the PHOENIX group at the beginning of 2023. Our goal is to become carbon neutral in our own operations by 2030. To achieve this, we plan to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 30 percent compared to our emissions in the financial year 2021/2022. We intend to achieve this primarily through efficiency measures, switching energy sources, purchasing green electricity, generating our own energy through solar installations, gradually converting our transport fleets (increasing the use of electric and biogas-fuelled vehicles and solar-powered bicycles, for example) and optimising routes. In addition to reducing emissions, from 2030 we will offset our remaining carbon emissions by purchasing credits that support high-quality emission-reduction projects. We are also working to improve data collection for our supply-chain emissions (Scope 3).
Getting better every day – together: We believe that the only way to shape our future successfully is to work together with our employees as equals. Our trust-based relationship is founded on the PHOENIX group’s corporate culture, which centres on dialogue.
In addition to our employee reviews, our Speakap employee app and employee surveys are important tools for the exchange with our employees. A little bit better every day – at PHOENIX, this approach also means offering talented people interesting opportunities for career growth and further training as well as providing a healthy work environment.
Furthermore, the PHOENIX group seeks to play an active role in society. For us, responsibility means using our skills and resources to make a positive contribution to the common good, beyond the scope of our core business. To this effect, we support many regional projects linked to our mission: “We deliver health across Europe”. In fiscal year 2021/22, the PHOENIX group donated a total of € 1.594.934 to projects associated with these issues.