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Smart Thinking blog

Insights and expert advice on the key issues facing today’s pharma marketer

Building trust through sustainability communications

The HCA has launched a short guide to help communications professionals build the case for action around sustainability

The Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) has launched a short guide to help communications professionals build the case for action around sustainability.

The guide reiterates the increasing need for transparency around sustainability performance for all organisations involved in healthcare.

Developed in partnership with sustainability specialists Forster Communications, the Beyond Reputation guide is focused on helping pharma deliver sustainable value. It was prepared in consultation with HCA members and wider industry experts.

HCA CEO Mike Dixon said: “Today is Earth Day – a global reminder of how we all have a role to play in preventing future disasters of climate change and environmental destruction. Everyone in the healthcare industry is committed to patient wellbeing but it is critical that we are achieving this in a way which protects and enhances both people and planet, inside and outside our organisations.”

Mike also highlighted: “Healthcare systems, like the NHS which is already becoming a global pioneer in sustainable healthcare, are increasing looking for their business partners to be equally focused on these goals. We are therefore all part of the same journey.”

Sustainability is a critical issue for the HCA Foresight Committee and Chair Jo Taylor said: “Our industry has always been a force for good with a strong philanthropic approach to helping beyond provision of medicines, but this is no longer enough. Organisational purpose now needs to embed sustainability across every aspect and behaviour of pharmaceutical businesses – and we will quickly see this becoming a priority for both procurement and recruitment.”

COP26, the UN conference to tackle climate change, is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November and momentum is building across Government, NGOs and all industry sectors including pharma. Organisations who have publicly committed to a net zero,1.5 degree Celsius target as recognised by Science Based Targets will have the opportunity to join the Race to Zero.

Beth Gaudin, a sustainability communications expert at Forster Communications, said: “Demands for action to reduce carbon emissions, protect and repair biodiversity, and ensure fair pair across every step of the supply chain are increasing from investors, regulators, customers and employees.

"We are seeing a rise in ambition from pharmaceutical companies and this needs to be quickly met with evidence that change is taking place. To achieve the targets being set will require complex systems and behaviour change involving multiple individuals and organisations - clear, engaging and trustworthy communications is critical.”

The Beyond Reputation guide can be accessed here.

Bold Thinking, Brave Action, a report by Forster Communications and the Charities Aid Foundation that was previously shared by the HCA for members, can be accessed here.

For further information contact Mike Dixon at

23rd April 2021

From: Marketing



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