Three years after reaching the “Confirmed” rating, the Pierre Fabre pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetics laboratories have achieved the highest score in the AFAQ 26000 assessment thanks to a sophisticated CSR policy, marking a first for a company with over 10,000 employees.
You have climbed another step in your CSR policy. How has your company welcomed this achievement?
Pierre-André Poirier: With a great deal of satisfaction, because the fact that we put ourselves through a new assessment meant that two things were at stake. Firstly, we wanted to provide a clear understanding of the governance and content of our CSR policy to our six subsidiaries and the 100 or so people involved within the company. Secondly, we were looking to strengthen our credentials as a major and legitimate player in this particular field among all our stakeholders.
Was it legislation, especially the Grenelle 2* environmental act, that encouraged you to undertake a new assessment?
Pierre-André Poirier: No, we did it of our own initiative. By the time of our first assessment in 2012, we had spent three years actively structuring our social responsibility policy. We wanted to ensure that our processes for formalizing, deploying and communicating our commitments were consistent with the expectations of the market and more generally with the needs of our stakeholders. AFAQ 26000 fulfilled our needs perfectly.
How have you disseminated CSR throughout the Group’s organization chart?
Pierre-André Poirier: We set up a Group-level Steering Committee, which I chair and which reports to top management via two meetings a year. This approach is reflected in the company’s different activities in the form of roadmaps that set out the necessary actions in a highly operational manner, such as in terms of industrial processes, R&D and human resources. The scope of action is wide and encompasses occupational health & safety, eco-designed products, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
In which areas did you improve your performance between 2012 and 2015?
Pierre-André Poirier: Governance in particular. The division under my responsibility was created in July 2014 and currently features four employees. The assessors also noted that the CSR approach was woven more deeply into the company’s global strategy, and also that the company had a better understanding of its stakeholders’ issues and accordingly gave those issues greater consideration.
Conversely, in which areas do you still need to make progress?
Pierre-André Poirier: We need to implement our CSR strategy more effectively at the international level, since the Group is active in 45 countries. We must especially reinforce the structure of our occupational health and safety policy across our international sites. Finally, we need to ramp up the process for assessing the CSR performance of our partners and suppliers.
*Section 225 requires companies with over 500 employees to disclose information about their social, environmental and societal performance, and have that information verified by an accredited independent third-party organization, such as AFNOR Certification.