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“With digital labeling, the carbon footprint is lower”
Anardis Calles, Legal, Compliance & SHE Head and Carolina Rosero, SHE & Facilities Manager at Roche Ecuador*, a biopharmaceutical company present in more than one hundred countries, tell us about the various challenges related to compliance and the impact of the product digital labeling project, which is reaffirming Roche’s commitment to sustainability.
Anardis Calles and Carolina Rosero
Leaders League: What is your role at Roche?
Anardis Calles: I am part of the legal, compliance & security, and health & environment teams, and have been part of the organization for almost four years, intervening in a variety of different initiatives. It’s a role that prioritizes change with purpose.
Carolina Rosero: I am leader of the SHE area, and work with internal clients and wider society to help people lead healthier, safer lives and offer the best care to patients in Ecuador.
What do you consider to be the main compliance challenges in Ecuador?
Anardis Calles: I prefer to see compliance as an opportunity, rather than a challenge, so that an industry like ours can be a role model on these issues. The pandemic taught us that without health, society has nothing.
Even though compliance systems are challenging, we have to be change agents, not only looking for financial gain, but also being socially responsible, and making a positive impact on the environment so that all stakeholders can do things in the right way.
I prefer to see compliance as an opportunity, rather than a challenge
Is it hard to juggle legal, compliance and SHE considerations?
Carolina Rosero: At Roche, sustainability falls into the legal category, because it is seen from a holistic perspective, and how it can impact society. In this way sustainability becomes an integral part of the company, which grows more sustainable over time.
“Doing now what patients need next”: This ethos is intimately related to sustainability, from the perspective of stakeholder-expectations. Sustainability represents significant added value for the company, and is therefore a fundamental pillar of our business strategy.
Anardis Calles: We take our sustainability commitments seriously, it’s part of the company’s DNA, in fact. We seek to build a better tomorrow for everyone (social), reduce the impact on nature (environment) and generate better healthcare solutions, stablejobs and improve the lives of our employees (economic).
What was the inspiration for this project?
Anardis Calles: Part of the inspiration is that Ecuador is a megadiverse country, making it ideal for conservation and climate action projects. The Digital Labeling project, for example, uses 2D codes that are printed on the secondary packaging of the product to replace the physical prospect.
Digital labeling was created to address several issues, among them, the fact that the directions that go with medicines are rarely read, either by users or healthcare professionals. In addition, the materials on which directions are printed are not recycled and must subsequently be incinerated because of the sensitive information they contain.
In Latin America, this project was piloted in Ecuador and Chile. The initiative has a triple impact, because it helps healthcare personnel, reduces emissions and cuts production costs.
What lessons has this project taught the company?
Anardis Calles: We have learned a lot from this topic. The importance of thinking outside the box, for one thing. At Roche, the stakeholders are always involved. It was thought that the Ministry of Health would play a leading part in carrying out this project, but in the end it was by working together with the Ministry of the Environment that the project was made feasible.
Carolina Rosero: Then there are the environmental benefits. We calculated the benefits of paper reduction and extrapolated this across the industry because we aim to maximize its impact. The results were obvious: with digital labeling the carbon footprint is lower.
This project was also adapted to the needs of people with disabilities, such as the blind, since 2D codes can contain all directions and warnings regarding the medicine in video and audio format, if needed.
* Roche Ecuador is part of the project "Let's make Social Intrapreneurship fashionable” initiated by the Ecuador-based Heka Law Firm.
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