As a research and development-oriented global pharmaceutical company, we are always working to develop innovative new drugs, especially in areas where there is a high degree of unmet medical need. Astellas raison d'être is to contribute toward improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.
The world's population exceeded 7 billion in 2011 and is expected to increase rapidly in the future. In addition, significant changes in the world environment caused by economic growth and industrialization are likely to exacerbate issues surrounding energy, food, water and other resources, necessitating global cooperation to develop a sustainable society. Companies are facing greater demands from the public and here at Astellas, we are closely monitoring changes in the global environment in order to adapt accordingly. We have made a commitment to CSR-based management and are determined to maintain an important presence within society.
We seek to take this commitment to CSR-based management to a more prominent level, and in 2011 we signed the United Nations Global Compact. The global compact establishes ten principles for corporate social responsibility based on the four key areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. These principles are incorporated as appropriate into our management strategies and we continue to make every effort to comply with them. Although there are many social issues that need to be addressed, we have a particular duty as a pharmaceutical company to contribute to medical care, which is why we are constantly working to improve access to health and medical treatment all over the world. (Access to Health)
The Astellas value chain continues to grow as we expand our worldwide operations. Consequently, we need to reinforce governance on a global level, taking into account its relationships with our stakeholders throughout the value chain. With that in mind we revised our Charter of Corporate Conduct in April 2012 and we also developed the Astellas Group Code of Conduct as a set of core compliance standards for all of our activities throughout the world. Our Charter of Corporate Conduct and Group Code of Conduct both revolve around our corporate responsibility to contribute to the sustainable development of society, and together they spell out the rules and guidelines that we as a company and all of our employees are required to follow. Acting in accordance with "high ethical standards" is the core of our values here at Astellas.
We will continue contributing to the world's sustainable development while communicating closely with all of our stakeholders. Our aim is to ensure we are a company that answers the needs of a truly global society.
We are committed to transforming progress in science and technology into value for our patients.