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Our approach to sustainability

We are committed to creating value for our stakeholders in a manner that is responsible, transparent, and that respects the rights of all. We recognise that to achieve long-term success, we need to deliver our business strategy in a way that not only creates value for Aspen and our shareholders, but also in a manner which demonstrates our responsibility to society and the planet.

We believe that doing business in a sustainable and responsible manner is integral to our purpose, our values and our philosophy “Healthcare. We Care”. Our sustainability commitments are integrated into the Group’s strategic objectives and underpin the way we do business. Our sustainability commitments are determined with consideration to the following key aspects:

We are a UN Global Compact participant and have aligned our sustainability commitments with the principles outlined in the UN Global Compact, which cover human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and bribery. Our Communication on Progress Report , available online, sets out our approach to the application of these principles.

Launched in September 2015, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global action plan for people, planet and prosperity. The 17 SDGs aim to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through the promotion of sustainable development. As a multinational pharmaceutical company, we play an important role in contributing to the delivery of the SDGs. While all the SDGs are essential, we have identified eight goals where we believe we are able to have the greatest impact and we have linked these to our sustainability themes and material sustainability topics.

Demonstrating our commitment to sustainability, the Group has undertaken several steps to enhance Executive and Board oversight of the Group’s sustainability strategy, related opportunities and risks and overall sustainability performance. In FY2022, the Group Senior Leadership Conference endorsed a high-level roadmap for the development of a Group-wide sustainability strategy, indicating support at the most senior Executive and Board levels for a more deliberate integration of sustainability commitments into the Group strategy, a process that is currently underway. We developed a Group Sustainability Management Framework and established an Executive Sustainability Forum (effective August 2022), chaired by the Group Chief Operations Officer, to oversee the sustainability strategy development and monitor its implementation. We also enhanced the reporting on sustainability-related issues to the Social & Ethics Committee and this will be further strengthened through regular reporting by the Executive Sustainability Forum on their activities going forward.

We are continuously developing our sustainability and ESG reporting to enhance our ability to respond to the increasing disclosure expectations of our stakeholders, including our investors. In addition to our current reporting commitments to the UN Global Compact and CDP, we are taking further steps to strengthen our reporting in line with global best practice. We have commenced aligning our reporting with leading standards and frameworks. This year we have included GRI, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) disclosure indices in our Sustainability and ESG Data Supplement. We have retained our listing in the Top 30 FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Series and we are a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index.

Aligned to our remuneration philosophy, we have incorporated sustainability (ESG) KPIs into our performance and incentive schemes. We have achieved this through the inclusion of sustainability-related KPIs (aligned with Group objectives) within the business unit scorecards, the inclusion of specific ESG-related priorities in the annual key performance areas or assessments of Executive Directors as well as the inclusion of an ESG measure relating to our key sustainability focus “access to medicines” in the management long-term incentive scheme (refer to page 109 of the 2022 Integrated Report for more information) or download our Remuneration Review.

We performed a sustainability-related materiality assessment to identify the sustainability issues that are most critical to our business and our stakeholders. This process assists us in identifying sustainability focus areas and informs our strategy and the content of our reporting. We align our identification of material sustainability topics with the GRI standards, UN Global Compact, the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investor Index assessment criteria as well as considering information relating to the pharmaceutical sector, our regulatory requirements and matters raised during engagements with our people and our external stakeholders. More information on our sustainability materiality assessment process and outcomes can be found in our Sustainability and ESG Data Supplement.


Selected sustainability information in the Integrated Report has been independently assured by IBIS Environmental Social Governance Consulting Africa Proprietary Limited in accordance with AccountAbility’s AA1000ASv3 (2020) (AA1000AS) – Type II moderate level requirements on whether Aspen adheres, in all material respects, to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles of Inclusivity, Materiality, Responsiveness and Impact. Our Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) scorecard has been assured by Empowerdex. All material key performance indicators (“KPIs”) have been verified, using a combined assurance approach.
The 2022 sustainability assurance statements from IBIS can be accessed here and the Ernst & Young Inc assurance statement can be made available on request. Our Group Internal Audit function has provided limited assurance on selected KPIs and, based on the audit work performed, concluded that the tested KPIs have been prepared in accordance with the defined reporting criteria and are free from material misstatements. Recommendations for improvement arising from the 2022 combined assurance processes will be addressed as part of the continuous improvement processes.

Contact Details

Jeanette Englund

+27 31 580 8600


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