Parsippany, NJ - Zoetis today published its 2020 Sustainability Report "Our Journey Toward a Better World" describing its commitment to continued disclosure on environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics and progress toward the company's Driven to Care long-term sustainability aspirations.
The report highlights the company's journey to champion a healthier, more sustainable future through specific commitments to Communities, Animals and the Planet; these commitments build on Zoetis' purpose and help achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Complementing the report is a comprehensive ESG Appendix, an update from the company's baseline disclosure published in November 2020, which shares key ESG performance indicators, including those set out by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) for the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry.
Building on its history of supporting the people who care for animals, Zoetis is proud to commit $35 million over five years through the newly established Zoetis Foundation. The signature work of the Foundation will advance opportunities for veterinarians and farmers, with grantmaking focused on enabling thriving professions and livelihoods.
Initially, the Foundation will focus on scholarships and diversity initiatives to help drive a more inclusive veterinary community in the U.S. In 2022, the Foundation's work will expand to support veterinary debt relief, additional diversity, equity and inclusion programming, and mental wellness for farmers and veterinarians in the U.S., as well as support farmer and veterinary livelihoods in Africa, Australia, Brazil, China and Europe.
"Zoetis has a long history of addressing important challenges faced by veterinarians and farmers. Our new charitable foundation represents the next chapter in extending and driving forward these commitments," said Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Head of Sustainability at Zoetis and President of the Zoetis Foundation. "Specifically, the Zoetis Foundation will look for opportunities to address lack of diversity in both professions, the need for resources that support emotional well-being, financial burdens such as veterinary student loans, and lack of access to a higher standard of animal care in underserved areas."
Caring for Communities and Colleagues
In 2020, Zoetis donated over $6 million to support animals and the people who care for them, with 9.6% of all community investments supporting COVID-19 relief efforts across the globe. As progress toward its goal to provide at least $1 million in scholarships to veterinary students annually, in 2020 the company provided over $934,000 in scholarships to support over 400 students. In the U.S., 34% of students supported by the Zoetis and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Veterinary Student Scholarship Program were diverse. Zoetis also provided over $1.83 million through charitable programs and in-kind donations to care for animals impacted by disasters around the world.
"The events of the past year reaffirmed our purpose to nurture the world and humankind by advancing care for animals, and strengthened our resolve to champion a healthier, more sustainable future for people, animals, and the planet we share," said Kristin Peck, Chief Executive Officer of Zoetis.
"The world depends on animals for nutrition, comfort and companionship, and the people who care for them play essential roles in that dynamic. That was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm incredibly proud of our colleagues who went above and beyond to safely and effectively connect with customers, keep our business operations running smoothly, and make a difference in their local communities to support the health of animals and people who care for them," said Peck.
Supporting colleagues and their health, well-being and safety was the company's top priority in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 70% of Zoetis' colleagues moved to remote working arrangements, while strict health and safety protocols were implemented at the company's essential sites. In response to a survey, 85% of colleagues reported being satisfied with the company's communication, actions and focus on well-being, and 94% of colleagues felt they were able to effectively perform their roles amidst the pandemic.
In addition, Zoetis reported progress toward its aspiration to support colleagues and cultivate a safe, flexible, diverse and inclusive workplace, including specific improvements in the diverse representation of our workforce in the U.S. The report also highlights success as a leader for workplace inclusion by achieving a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
To further support colleagues, Zoetis expanded its Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs) to bring together colleagues who share similar backgrounds and experiences or interests and can help work toward the company's diversity, equity and inclusion aspirations.
Innovating for Animal Health
Based on the belief that healthier animals help make a healthier future for all, Zoetis is committing its innovation expertise to solve sustainability challenges facing animals and people. One of the company's sustainability targets is continued investment in its Center for Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (CTED).
Through the CTED's inter-connected capabilities, Zoetis will continue to combat diseases that pose the greatest risk to animals and people and develop vaccines for high impact emerging infectious diseases including Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever and COVID-19.
More than ever before, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in people) put a spotlight on the important connection between animal health and human health. When concerns first surfaced in February 2020 about SARS-CoV-2 in domestic animals, Zoetis initiated development activities for diagnostic tests and a vaccine that could be used in animals.
Building on the company's experience with other coronavirus vaccines for animals, Zoetis completed initial studies in eight months, and the resulting vaccine has been used experimentally to help care for zoo animals at risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2. Zoetis also developed and validated feline and canine-specific real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.
Additionally, to provide products that support livestock farmers' and veterinarians' environmental, social and animal welfare goals, Zoetis is innovating across the continuum of care to predict, prevent, detect and treat health conditions. Promoting a preventive approach to animal health - and helping to reduce the need to use antibiotics to treat disease - is one way the company is innovating, including new vaccines introduced in 2020 for salmonids and poultry. Alpha ERM Salar and Poulvac E. coli both are having a direct impact on reducing antibiotics used in raising fish and poultry.
Protecting the Planet
To minimize the carbon footprint and improve environmental sustainability of the company's locations, Zoetis reported it is sourcing 8.8% renewable electricity and progressing toward its RE100 commitment to source 100% renewable energy by 2050. Additionally, eight of the company's international manufacturing sites are operating with 100% renewable electricity. To help meet its second goal to reduce energy intensity in manufacturing and research and development (R&D) by 5% by 2025, the company also shared progress of 2.2% reduction while at the same time increasing its production.
Zoetis is also committed to using resources wisely, including reducing its energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The company reported reduction of energy intensity in manufacturing and R&D by 2.2% through investments in energy efficiency upgrades to manufacturing equipment, utilities including cooling towers, chillers and boilers, and LED lighting. Further, Zoetis reported progress to minimize its impact on the environment by reducing its generation of solid non-hazardous and hazardous waste by increased focus on recycling.
In rethinking product packaging to reduce the company's environmental footprint, in 2020 Zoetis formed the Packaging Council to integrate sustainability considerations into all new packaging designs. The council is a cross-functional group that develops resources and considers recyclability, use of recycled and sustainable materials, and greenhouse gas emissions along with cost, time to market and customer experience.
Zoetis will continue to share updates on its sustainability activities, including progress against its Driven to Care goals, and report annually.
Source: Zoetis news release