2.Sustainability approach

Defined responsibilities, relevant guidelines and policies, the integration of sustainability into strategy and remuneration, and stakeholder engagement form crucial elements of PolyPeptide’s approach to managing its material ESG topics.

All direct and indirect subsidiaries that PolyPeptide Group AG consolidates fall under the scope of this Corporate Responsibility Report 2023 and the information presented herein (for a detailed overview of PolyPeptide’s consolidated subsidiaries, see section 1.1.3 Non-listed companies belonging to PolyPeptide of the Corporate Governance Report 2023 and note 11 Investments in subsidiaries of the consolidated financial statements in the Financial Report 2023).

2.1Responsibilities and organization

At PolyPeptide, the Board of Directors is responsible for the overall direction of the Group and oversight of management, including the Group’s integrated growth strategy, recognizing the importance of ESG. As such, the Board of Directors oversees the determination of the ESG topics that are material for PolyPeptide and approves the Annual Report, including this Corporate Responsibility Report. Oversight for sustainability matters is thematically assigned to the Remuneration and Nomination Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Innovation and Technology Committee of the Board of Directors. For details about the responsibilities and composition of these Committees, refer to section 3.5.3 Working methods of the Committees of the Corporate Governance Report 2023.

PolyPeptide ESG governance

1 The Chair’s Committee of the Board of Directors has not been assigned responsibility for ESG topics.

ESG Steering Committee coordinates implementation

The responsibility and authority for carrying out operational activities of the Group are delegated to the Executive Committee. This includes the implementation of the Group’s ESG activities as an integrated part of its strategy and business plans. By these means, the Executive Committee receives support from the PolyPeptide Management Committee and the ESG Steering Committee, where relevant global functions are represented. These functions have been assigned responsibility for material ESG topics, as set out in the table below, to make sure they are adequately reflected within the functional plans and, with the support of local management, in the day-to-day operations.

Assigned oversight and responsibilities for material ESG topics

Material ESG topics

Board Committee oversight

Functional responsibility (as member of ESG Steering Committee)

Product responsibility

Innovation and Technology Committee (ITC)

Director Global Operations



Director Global Quality, Development & Regulatory Affairs

Green chemistry

Innovation and Technology Committee (ITC)

Director Global Innovation & Technology



Director Global Quality, Development & Regulatory Affairs

Climate change mitigation

Audit and Risk Committee (ARC)

Director Global EHS

Supply chain engagement

Audit and Risk Committee (ARC)

Director Global Procurement


Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC)

Chief Human Resources Officer



Director Global EHS

Business ethics and compliance

Audit and Risk Committee (ARC)

General Counsel

Legal Counsel



Director Global IS / IT

2.2Guidelines and policies

PolyPeptide is subject to comprehensive regulations, including current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), to assure the quality of its services and products. The Group runs a network of six manufacturing sites in Europe, the United States of America and India, with each of the sites subject to regular inspections by regulatory agencies and audits by its customers. All sites are GMP certified, demonstrating suitable processes, methods, facilities, and controls.

The Group maintains a Quality Management System (QMS) with policies and procedures based on the obligation of PolyPeptide’s customers to only use drug substances and intermediates that have been manufactured in compliance with GMP. This includes adherence to applicable guidelines, including those from the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH).

At each of its manufacturing sites, the Group strives to adhere to applicable requirements related to the protection of the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), for which the Group maintains an internal policy.

It has further developed policies and procedures that address, among other things, due diligence and precautionary principles as well as the protection of human rights. The Group has issued the following policies and codes, which are available on its corporate website:

  • Code of Business Conduct and Ethics,
  • Supplier Code of Conduct, 
  • Global Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Policy,
  • Global Supply Chain Policy on Child Labor, and
  • Whistleblower Policies.

They are underpinned by fundamental international conventions and guidelines, including, where applicable, International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions, the United Nations’ (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact principles, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidance for Responsible Business, industry standards, and other relevant statutory requirements.

Furthermore, PolyPeptide has implemented various internal policies to further support compliance and ethical business practices (e.g., Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Policy, Disclosure Policy, Global Sanctions and Export Control Compliance Policy and Procedure, Risk Assessment and Reporting Procedure, and Enterprise Risk Management Policy).

PolyPeptide endeavors to ensure the implementation of its policies and procedures. For more details about the implementation of selected policies, see section 4 Reporting on the material ESG topics

2.3Integration in strategy and remuneration

To support the implementation of its strategy and operational plans and for executive compensation purposes, PolyPeptide maintains a Global Balanced Scorecard. The Global Balanced Scorecard consists of financial targets as well as quantitative goals for non-financial criteria, including ESG-related aspects.

Through the Global Balanced Scorecard, ESG aspects are also incorporated in the variable compensation of the Executive Committee, as described in section 2023 STIP of the Remuneration Report 2023. Starting in 2023 the risks and opportunities in relation to the material ESG topics have also been evaluated as part of the Group’s Enterprise Risk Management framework, with relevant developments reported to the Board of Directors (see section 3.7.3 Enterprise Risk Management Framework of the Corporate Governance Report 2023).

2.4Stakeholder engagement

PolyPeptide maintains an open dialog with internal and external stakeholders and is a member of various pharmaceutical and industry associations as well as the local and broader business community. Associations may serve a variety of purposes, such as exchanging best practice, advancing innovation and sustainability and fostering collaboration. In 2023, PolyPeptide maintained active memberships in various associations, such as ACS GCI Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable, essenscia, France Chimie, Medicon Valley Alliance, Biocom California and National Safety Council.

The table “Stakeholder engagement” displays PolyPeptide’s main stakeholder groups and provides an overview with examples of the stakeholder engagement on a global and local level. 

Stakeholder engagement 

Stakeholder group

Examples of stakeholder engagement


Annual customer satisfaction survey

Cultivating a long-term trusted partnership


Mantra of "Start here – stay here" and strong customer-centric perspective


Consistent implementation of strategy and operational plans

Transparent, integrated corporate reporting


Open dialog and communications through different channels


Collaborative, diverse and inclusive international working environment

Fostering dialog via townhalls, internal news and employee events

Global employee engagement survey

Regular dialog to discuss individual development plans

Focus on employee health and safety


Active dialog and collaboration with applicable unions and freely chosen employee representatives


Long-term collaboration


Supplier Code of Conduct

Industry associations

Collaboration, also to advance innovation and sustainability


Sponsoring of local activities

Charitable contributions and partnerships for civic engagement

Engagement with universities, educational institutions, students, and graduates


Collaboration with communities on employment and training opportunities for job seekers