Company Score

Industry Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences
Country Switzerland
Year Added 2018
Impact Ratings 1022
Impact Notes 32
SDG Covered 9 out of 17

Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and specialises in research, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

Novartis’ areas of business include pharmaceuticals, generic drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, contact lenses and animal health. It manufactures the drugs Clozaril, Voltaren, Tegretol, Diovan, Gleevec/Glivec, Neoral/Sandimmun, Femara, Ritalin, Lamisil, and many more.

Read about Novartis and its impact below.

Impact notes

Gender Equality

Gender balance in high-ranking positions within Novartis has led to a reduced gender pay gap

Profile Hamna Aslam
Icon time Mon Mar 8th, 2021 at 12:56pm

In 2018, women earned $0.80 for every dollar earned by men2. This wage difference between men and women is known as the gender pay gap and as a result of this pay gap, working women lose $500 billion every year2. This gender pay gap in healthcare sectors stands at 26% in high-income and 29% in upper-middle-income countries1. 80% of board chairs in global health are also occupied by men1.

Life below Water

Novartis wastewater pollutants lead to the death of 50,000 fish in India’s Isnapur lake

Profile Tejaswi Chunduri
Icon time Tue Feb 9th, 2021 at 7:06pm

Above 50% of the world’s wastewater from the pharmaceutical industry is discharged without any recommended pre-processing1. Inadequately treated wastewater discharged into the environment causes severe pollution impacting aquatic ecosystems1. Alterations in fish sex ratio, development of female fish traits in males, atypical nesting, adverse effects on invertebrates, and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)3;p8 have all been linked to the pharmaceutical industry’s untreated wastewater2;p18.

Responsible Consumption and Production

In 2019, Novartis generated 0.1 Mt of hazardous waste, which is posing a threat to the environment

Profile Abdul Waseem
Icon time Mon Jan 11th, 2021 at 11:55am

Negligence in pharmaceutical waste management may lead to pollution due to pharmaceutical components near manufacturing sites1. Management of pharmaceutical waste is a critical issue globally7.  Pharmaceutical waste can impact the environment significantly3. This waste may be responsible for the spread of drug-resistant bacteria1. About 700,000 people die due to drug-resistant diseases annually across the globe2.

Good Health and Well-being

Novartis’ chronic myeloid leukemia drug, Tasigna, caused 3,100 deaths from 2007 to 2019

Profile Abdul Waseem
Icon time Fri Jan 8th, 2021 at 12:15pm

In Europe and the US, about 328,000 people die from prescription drugs every year3. According to an estimate, about 412,000 people globally will be diagnosed with all types of leukemia by 20204;p1. Of which, 10–15% of the cases are attributed to chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)4;p1. In the US alone, about 51,500 people are affected by CML4;p1.  

Affordable and Clean Energy

In 2018, Novartis consumed over 4.46 billion KWh of energy; only 17.5% were from renewable sources

Profile Abdul Waseem
Icon time Tue Jan 5th, 2021 at 1:57pm

In 2018, the global energy consumption accounted for 179 trillion KWh2;p19 and the CO2 emissions from non-renewable sources were 33.1 gigatonnes CO2e1. Non-renewable energy sources release methane, CO2, and other harmful gases into the environment3. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is 84 times more potent than CO24.