Companies in the pharmaceutical sector and many other industries are grappling with rapid developments in the operating environment. Under those conditions, companies have to work with stakeholders to improve foresight, reduce business risk and harness their strengths to create new business opportunities that drive growth.

Materiality (material issues) assessment

Our vision in the updated SGS2020 Medium-Term Business Plan is “to grow sustainably as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company contributing to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare.” To make that vision more tangible, we have carried out a materiality assessment to identify priority issues for the Shionogi Group. To grow sustainably as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company contributing to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare, we have identified and categorized material issues that matter most to Shionogi that provides value to four stakeholder groups – customers, local communities, shareholders and employees.
Materiality Map

Three Material Issues to Create New Value for Customers and Society

The Shionogi Group has identified three priority issues it needs to create new value for customers and society – drive innovation, protect people worldwide from the threat of infectious diseases and create a more vigorous society. Leveraging our strengths as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company, we aim to help create a society where people can lead more creative, vigorous and healthy lives.

Drive innovation

At Shionogi, we believe that to grow sustainably as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company contributing to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare is impossible without the constant pursuit of innovation contributing to the resolution of social issues. To that end, we seek to continue creating new drugs that balance innovation with healthcare affordability, by investing appropriate sums in R&D and maintaining small molecule drug discovery as a key strength while also diversifying into nonstandard peptide drug discovery and deepening collaboration with all manner of partners including the IT industry, in order to expand into new modalities and acquire entirely new technologies. If we are to meet the needs of both our customers and society as a whole and become a source of new value in the healthcare field, we think it essential that Shionogi remain committed to innovation, particularly as it applies to R&D.

Protect people worldwide from the threat of infectious diseases

As a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company, we must ask ourselves what Shionogi can do for society. One answer springs to mind, and that is “freeing people from the threat of infectious diseases.” Throughout history, mankind has been under constant threat from infectious diseases. No sooner is a new agent introduced than the pathogen develops resistance to it; this has been a persistent battle that continues today. As globalization gathers pace, borders are becoming more porous and people are able to move freely around the world, creating an urgent need for pandemic preparedness. At a time when other large pharmaceutical companies have moved away from the infectious disease area, I believe it is incumbent on Shionogi to maintain and further develop this particular strength, not just in the treatment of infectious diseases, but also in their prevention and diagnosis.

Creating a more vigorous society

New drugs and other medical advances have extended average life expectancy around the world, but we still see room for improvement from the standpoint of healthy life expectancy. For example, we seek to help those with chronic pain (against which earlier drugs did not have sufficient analgesic effect) to lead more active lives. We also seek to relieve patients, their families, and friends from the impact of psychiatric/ nervous system disorders and restore fuller participation in society. These aspirations inform many aspects of our daily activities.
Shionogi will continue to focus on three priority material issues, while also contributing to the creation of sustainable society and driving the Company’s growth by responsibly addressing and stepping up its response to various ESG issues. Based on that approach, Shionogi will make a concerted effort to be a relevant company for all stakeholder groups well into the future.

Materiality assessment process

[STEP1] Select social issues as materiality candidates

▷ We selected social issues through various channels of stakeholder engagement, referencing requirements in international guidelines and criteria used in assessments for socially responsible investment.

Main guidelines used as reference

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), GRI, ISO 26000, SASB

[STEP2] Prioritize social issues

▷ Led by the Corporate Strategy Division (Corporate Planning Department, Finance & Accounting Department, Corporate Communications Department), Human Resources & Administration Department, Corporate Social Responsibility Department and the Government Affairs Department, we created a materiality map to identify and categorize material issues from two perspectives – Importance to Society and Relevance to Shionogi’s Business.

▷ Relevance to Shionogi’s Business was assessed based on the updated SGS2020 Medium-Term Business Plan.

[STEP3] Conduct hearings with stakeholders
▷ We conducted hearings with investors, experts and other external stakeholders and with related internal departments to confirm the suitability of the materiality map.
[STEP4] Identify material issues

▷ Material issues were identified after discussions about the suitability of materiality by the Corporate Executive Committee and the Board of Directors

▷ We plan to regularly review material issues in line with revisions to business plans, progress with initiatives and changes in the social environment.