People and communities

Key trends transforming society

As a global company, focused on the healthcare needs of people around the world, and engaging with communities in the countries where we operate, we strive to anticipate and adapt to key social trends that are transforming society.

The pandemic has exacerbated existing social inequalities

Income disparities, urbanization and international migration are only some of the causes of social inequalities and poverty. In places like the United States, COVID-19 has disproportionally impacted people of color, and the pandemic’s consequences on healthcare systems and economies have exacerbated inequalities, worsening the access of already vulnerable populations to education, employment, housing and healthcare.

Growing recognition of systemic discrimination

There is still a long way to go, but movements such as Black Lives Matter show that society is increasingly addressing systemic racism, and more generally rejecting intolerance and discrimination. With society becoming more inclusive and equitable, companies are committing to more diversity and equity in their workforce in terms of culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, education and more.

Increasing importance of employee attraction and retention

Most companies agree that their employees are their most important and most valuable asset. Attracting and retaining highly qualified talent is considered a financial and competitive advantage. Today talent, and in particular the “millennials” who will make up the largest portion of the workforce, are increasingly attracted to companies that offer strong social benefits, diverse and inclusive workplaces with strong values, and that are committed to sustainability.

2020 key facts and figures

Embedding social impact policies into our strategy

The Board of Directors and its committees are dedicated to long-term value creation while considering the social and environmental impacts of our operations.

The primary mission of the Board of Directors is to set our strategic direction. It lays down the orientation of our activities and ensures that they are implemented, taking into account social and environmental issues.

Diversity and gender balance

Each year, the Board conducts a review to ensure that its composition is appropriately balanced. In particular, it seeks to ensure gender balance and a broad diversity of competencies, experiences, nationalities and ages, reflecting our status as a diversified global business.

At our next annual meeting of shareholders scheduled on April 30, 2021, the Board of Directors will propose the appointment of Barbara Lavernos, President of Research, Innovation and Technologies at L’Oréal. She has been put forward to replace Laurent Attal, who has decided to retire and will resign from his directorship before our next shareholder meeting. Bernard Charlès, whose term of office will expire will not seek reappointment.

Acting on proposals from the Chief Executive Officer and in liaison with its advisory committees, the Board sets objectives for gender balance on Sanofi’s executive bodies, and more generally ensures that a diversity and inclusion policy is applied within the company.

The Board of Directors is also following how the diversity and inclusion policy is implemented in Sanofi in positions with the highest level of responsibility.

Social impact priorities

In 2020, the Board reviewed and approved our social impact strategy.

Appointments, Governance and CSR Committee

The Board is assisted by five specialized committees. The Appointments, Governance and CSR Committee extended its scope in 2019 to ensure that social impact issues are embedded in our strategy. It guarantees that our commitments and policy orientations are consistent with stakeholder expectations. In 2020, the committee performed a review of our CSR policies and those of our main competitors and evaluated our new goals.

Find out more on our website.

Including CSR performance in the CEO’s compensation package

In 2019, Sanofi changed the terms of the Chief Executive Officer’s compensation package, introducing an individual CSR performance criterion. In 2020, the objectives applicable to his annual variable compensation were 40% based on financial indicators, and 60% based on specific individual objectives.

Find out more on our governance in the 2020 Annual report on Form 20-F and at:

All figures as of December 31, 2020, unless otherwise indicated.

Risk management

We have in place a robust process to identify, evaluate, and prioritize risks facing the company over the next three years, and emerging trends that may result in threats to the company over the next ten years. Operational leaders are committed to establishing response plans aimed at reducing risks to acceptable levels, and scenarios anticipating the impact of emerging threats. The two following examples illustrate Sanofi Risk Management commitments to the company:

  • In the COVID-19 context, Sanofi Risk Management set up a taskforce gathering representatives of the global business units and global functions to perform regular assessment of risks for Sanofi in its geographies in relation to the evolution of the epidemic from a medical, epidemiological, social, and economical perspective.
  • Regarding climate change, Sanofi Risk Management contributed to the preparation of case studies identifying threats against the company, such as water scarcity that may impact our activities, or opportunities such as the development of drugs against vector-borne diseases.