Novo Nordisk welcomes new guidelines on human rights

On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary, Novo Nordisk welcomes the Draft Guiding Principles presented by Professor John Ruggie, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General. Professor Ruggie's Guiding Principles elaborate and clarify for companies, states, and other stakeholders how they can put into practice their respective roles in the UN 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework; the duty of states to protect human rights, the responsibility of business to respect these rights and the obligation for both to ensure appropriate mechanisms for remedy in cases of infringement.

Professor Ruggie clearly places human rights front and centre of corporate responsibility, as a fundamental means of contributing to the social dimension of sustainability.  The guidelines spell out that business must have a policy in place, a due diligence process for managing their human rights impact and a grievance system.

As a founding member of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, Novo Nordisk has played an active role in consultations leading up to the draft and will take the opportunity to provide comments during the open hearing period.

"We welcome the guidelines as a tool for business to understand their responsibility and implement human rights management," says Susanne Stormer, Vice President, Global Triple Bottom Line Management, Novo Nordisk. "We will now review the draft carefully to assess the implications for Novo Nordisk and also begin to analyse how our current practices measure up."

Feedback on Professor Ruggie’s draft Guiding Principles is being encouraged from a broad range of stakeholders and will remain open until 31 January 2011. The final version of the Guiding Principles will be presented formally to the Human Rights Council at the June 2011 session.

About the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights

The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) is a business-led initiative focused on advancing human rights in a business context around the world. GBI members are major corporations representing a wide variety of sectors and geographies headquartered in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. GBI works in collaboration with the UN Global Compact and we are supported by the Swiss Government.

The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights is led by business for business by a core group of companies: - ABB Group, Cerrejón Coal Company, Flextronics International Limited, General Electric Company, HP, JSL Stainless Limited, Mansour, Novo Nordisk A/S, Royal Dutch Shell plc, The Coca-Cola Company, Total S.A. and Unilever plc

For more information please contact:

Susanne Stormer, Vice President, Global TBL Management

Tel: (+45) 4442 4479