Novo Nordisk policies

Novo Nordisk has defined a set of policies that provide a link from the Novo Nordisk Way to how we operate our business.

For our external stakeholders, each policy gives information about principles that guide our decisions. They cover 13 key areas that are of relevance to our business.

Internally, for our staff, the policies provide high level guidance on basic principles on how we will conduct our business. Each policy is owned by an internal board or committee which operates with a mandate from Executive Management. The policies are applied throughout the organisation in operational procedures.

The 13 key areas in Novo Nordisk which are covered by policies are:

1. Bioethics

In Novo Nordisk we will discover, develop and produce biological medicines with respect for people, animals and the environment.

This means that we will:

  • continuously improve our performance
  • promote bioethical awareness in Novo Nordisk
  • operate by high ethical global standards in research involving people, animals, human materials and gene technology
  • require adherence to high ethical standards by our external partners, contract research organisations and suppliers, and monitor their performance
  • engage in stakeholder dialogue and partnerships helping us to deal with ethical dilemmas
  • comply with laws, relevant requirements and act in accordance with international conventions.

2. Business ethics

In Novo Nordisk, we will act with integrity in our efforts to deliver competitive results.

This means that we will:

  • apply consistently high business ethics standards across the value chain
  • address day-to-day dilemmas guided by the Novo Nordisk Way
  • be transparent about our business decisions and practices
  • hold ourselves accountable for acting with integrity and in compliance with all laws, regulations and the UN Global Compact.

3. Communication

In Novo Nordisk we will communicate effectively with all our internal and external stakeholders.

This means that we will communicate in a way that is:

  • clear – understandable and to the point
  • credible – open, honest and balanced, both when the news is good and bad
  • relevant – timely and customised to meet the information needs of the people we communicate with
  • respectful – to all the people we communicate with and about
  • two-way – encouraging dialogue between us and our stakeholders
  • in compliance – with external requirements and internal standards.

4. Environment

In Novo Nordisk we will reduce our use of resources and the environmental impact from our activities.

This means that we will:

  • continuously improve our performance
  • integrate environmental assessments in all decision-making across the value chain
  • promote more sustainable processes and products
  • engage in stakeholder dialogue and partnerships
  • comply with legislation, relevant requirements and standards and the UN Global Compact.

5. Finance

In Novo Nordisk we will grow as an independent company and ensure competitive value creation for our shareholders.

This means that we will:

  • pursue challenging short- and long-term financial targets
  • integrate a financial perspective in key business decisions
  • ensure financial flexibility to pursue business opportunities at a competitive cost of capital
  • manage risks and ensure financial compliance with relevant rules and regulations
  • pursue a competitive tax level in a responsible way
  • apply efficient best practice processes and customer mindset globally.

6. Global health

In Novo Nordisk we will discover, develop and provide high-quality products and services within our areas of expertise to help patients live better lives throughout the world.

This means that we will:

  • consider ‘the Global Health Agenda’ set out by the World Health Organization as an inspirational framework for our efforts
  • carry out research to make new and better therapies, products and services available, covering unmet medical needs
  • take initiatives to make our products and services accessible to those who need them
  • contribute to the development of sustainable healthcare systems
  • advocate equal rights and accessibility to healthcare for all.

7. Information technology

In Novo Nordisk we will apply the best and proven information technology to support our global competitiveness.

This means that we will:

  • ensure business-driven, global IT strategies
  • apply effective IT governance practices to maximise benefits of projects, systems and infrastructure
  • pursue a standardised and consolidated IT operation
  • simplify our IT architecture by minimising the number of applications and implementing standard solutions
  • manage IT costs by making them transparent and competitive
  • mitigate IT risks by applying balanced security controls.

8. Legal

In Novo Nordisk we will conduct our business in legal compliance and secure the company’s assets and interests.

This means that we will:

  • comply with the wording and intention of all relevant laws and regulations
  • promote legal awareness and ethical behaviour to secure compliance and sound business decisions
  • manage legal risks and pursue opportunities that add value to the business throughout the world
  • respect legal rights of others
  • ensure good corporate governance.

9. Occupational health and safety

In Novo Nordisk we will provide a healthy and safe working environment.

This means that we will:

  • continuously improve our performance
  • operate by high occupational health and safety standards throughout the world
  • ensure that the working environment is not compromised for economic or productivity reasons
  • motivate and educate people working at Novo Nordisk to be accountable for their actions in all matters regarding occupational health and safety
  • comply with legislation, relevant requirements and the UN Global Compact.

10. People

In Novo Nordisk we will provide attractive, engaging and effective workplaces for our people throughout the world.

This means that we:

  • create a diverse and inclusive workplace providing equal opportunities for all
  • are committed to the ongoing development of our people
  • develop leaders who will drive the engagement and performance of our people
  • ensure effective and efficient work processes by applying global standards
  • offer market competitive remuneration and employment conditions
  • offer a workplace that supports a healthy lifestyle
  • comply with legislation, relevant requirements and the UN Global Compact.

11. Purchasing

In Novo Nordisk we will purchase at best terms, balancing price with delivery, quality and risk as well as social, environmental and ethical responsibility.

This means that we will:

  • purchase from suppliers selected in accordance with Novo Nordisk standards
  • create value for Novo Nordisk by using our global purchasing power
  • interact with our suppliers in a competent and proactive way
  • establish close cooperation with suppliers of strategic importance
  • accept no hospitality or gifts that may influence business decisions.

12. Quality

In Novo Nordisk we will manage quality to meet the expectations and needs of all stakeholders securing patient safety, product quality and compliance.

This means that we will:

  • develop and deliver high-quality products with the lowest risk to patients
  • develop and maintain a process-oriented quality management system based on stakeholder expectations, laws and regulations
  • optimise business performance without compromising patient safety
  • encourage legislation to secure patient safety and product quality
  • promote quality awareness throughout the company and the entire supply chain
  • never compromise on quality.

13. Risk management

In Novo Nordisk we will proactively manage risk to ensure continued growth of our business and to protect our people, assets and reputation.

This means that we will:

  • utilise an effective and integrated risk management system while maintaining business flexibility
  • identify and assess material risks associated with our business
  • monitor, manage and mitigate risks.

You can contact us if you want to know more about our policies. 

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Bioethics at Novo Nordisk

Bioethics is the expression used for all ethical issues related to the use of life science technologies for the discovery, development and production of pharmaceutical products.

Read more about bioethics at Novo Nordisk


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Novo Nordisk Way



The Novo Nordisk Way describes who we are, where we want to go and how we work.

About Novo Nordisk Way


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our way of doing business

Sustainable business


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Life-changing careers



We are more than 33,000 employees in 75 countries. Join us!

Working at Novo Nordisk


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Corporate governance

Corporate Governance refers to the way a company is directed and controlled. Novo Nordisk's values are consistent with the principles of good governance.

Learn more about corporate governance at Novo Nordisk


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