1: Novo Nordisk → Susanne Stormer: A Corporation With Sustainability in its DNA

With 42,000 employees and 13B USD revenue, Novo Nordisk makes corporate sustainability, or the Triple Bottom Line, a part of their bylaws

Susanne Stormer is a foremost global authority in corporate sustainability and serves as VP, Corporate Sustainability and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, a globally recognized sustainability leader. Susanne sets strategic direction for the Novo Nordisk as a sustainability leader and pioneer in demonstrating long-term business value of incorporating economic, social and environmental perspectives into its market proposition. She and her team manage sustainability-driven programs, the company’s Annual Report, engagements with ESG investors and stakeholders in the professional sustainability community, and communicate the value of the company’s Triple Bottom Line business principle. 

  • Sustainability in the DNA of a company
  • Born with a social purpose in 1923: Novo Nordisk helps people with diabetes live better lives
  • Scandinavia has a heritage of respecting the environment; and lessening environmental footprint
  • What should we call a corporate environmental/social commitment ?
  • A discussion about the Triple Botton Line
  • Financial responsibility is tied to social responsibly
  • Circular economy and environmental responsibility
  • Relevant – Responsible – Resilient → the three keys to being a sustainable business
  • Employee engagement as related to Millennials → people would like to work for a company that has a clear purpose and values-driven
  • Sustainable engagement
  • If you have a highly engaged workforce, there is lower absenteeism, fewer sick days, and higher productivity
  • Patients are at the center of all decisions; one example is injectable devices
  • Innovation inspired by patient engagement
  • Customer loyalty → hospitals, Ministries of Health: companies look at the company behind the product
  • Training the sales staff to tell the company story and share the companies mission, ‘story’ and values. When a bigger context is given, there is a higher rate of sales calls and in-person engagement
  • Market value is higher than the value of what can be accounted for with tangible assets
  • Intangibles are created through an engaged workforce, quality of management, strong purpose, anticipating business constraints or ability to be flexible as a company
  • The personality traits of a CSO
  • The importance of a supportive CEO
  • The details of building a strong sustainabilty team and leaders within a company
  • Embedding TBL values within the organization through storytelling
  • Tips for great integrative reporting
  • Sustainability tracking and roadmaps to corporate sustainabilty; the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Future-Fit business benchmark → what is needed at a minimum to do no harm to the environment and society – and tied to accounting
  • Crafting stories that appeal to stakeholders
  • Mistakes in messaging sustainability
  • Great stories help earn the trust and confidence of stakeholders who sometimes become ambassadors and defenders of the brand, for example, in cases of crisis
  • Making a business stable and resilient during disruption
  • Key questions, what might disrupt our business in the next 5 – 10 years? 
  • The importance of feasibility in achieving sustainability goals


Novo Nordisk

Susanne Stormer

International Integrative Reporting framework

John Elkington – triple bottom line

Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business


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