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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were formally adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 as universal targets that should be achieved by 2030. Astellas assessed the impact on the SDGs across its entire business activities and identified items for priority action, using the SDG Compass as a reference. In our Corporate Strategic Plan 2021, Astellas has selected “Deepen our engagement in sustainability” as one of its strategic goals and is committed to focusing on the sustainability of society. Key focus areas are provision of patients’ access to innovative therapeutics, and the proactive efforts to improve global environment such as climate change response that are categorized as a value creation activity. These are aligned with “SDGs Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being” and “SDGs Goal 13: Climate Action”, respectively. We will continue to contribute to the attainment of the SDGs through a variety of business activities.
Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
Astellas is tackling the SDGs with a focus on Goal 3, which has the strongest affinity to its business philosophy to “contribute toward improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.” Health is not just a healthcare issue, because losing health could lead to restricting opportunities for education or employment and be the cause of poverty in cases. In light of this, attaining Goal 3 will also contribute to achieving the other SDGs.
Improving Access to Health in Four Areas
Astellas has adopted “Deepen our Engagement in Sustainability” as one of strategic goals outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan 2021 and aims to contribute to Goal 3 of the SDGs through the initiatives. There are many people with insufficient access to the healthcare they need due to the lack of available treatments, poverty, challenges in healthcare systems and limited healthcare information. We recognize this problem as an Access to Health issue and have identified four areas where we are working to address such issues by making full use of the strengths and technology that we have. The four areas are (1) Creating innovation, (2) Enhancing availability, (3) Strengthening healthcare systems, and (4) Improving health literacy. In doing so, we will make maximum use of our partnerships as defined in Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) of the SDGs.
One of the principles of the Astellas Charter of Corporate Conduct is “Recognizing that harmony between the global environment and our business activities is a prerequisite to our corporate existence, we shall take proactive measures to conserve the global environment.” Astellas will need to sensitively grasp changes in the environment and continuously evolve in step with those changes.
Mitigating and adapting to the threat posed by climate change requires active involvement by national governments, local governments, corporations, citizens, and others. Recognizing that climate change will become a constraint on conducting sustained corporate activity, Astellas contributes to SDG Goal 13 “Climate Action” as part of its initiatives to “Deepen our Engagement in Sustainability,” which is one of strategic goals outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan 2021.
In April 2020, Astellas changed the electricity supply plan in three of its research and production facilities in Japan, to hydroelectric power, which is free of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, in December 2020, Astellas expressed its support for the recommendation of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB).
Based on the recommendation, Astellas will analyze climate-related risks and opportunities, and proactively disclose information on climate change measures beginning in FY 2021 around the four thematic areas of Governance, Strategy, Risk Management, and Metrics and Targets.