Let’s engage in health and environment protection. Anna Lewandowska, ESG Leader and Oncology Lead at Pfizer Poland

Let’s engage in health and environment protection. Anna Lewandowska, ESG Leader and Oncology Lead at Pfizer Poland

We believe that only by being diverse ourselves we will be able to understand and help our diverse patients around the world – says Anna Lewandowska, ESG Leader and Oncology Lead at Pfizer Poland.

What does your cooperation with the research community in Poland look like? What benefits do Polish scientists derive from this cooperation?

A large part of innovative concepts is created in university laboratories and related start-ups, which is why we have been cooperating with the Warsaw University Incubator for many years. We want
to motivate talented people during their studies to develop their passions and innovative projects
that could become new therapeutic solutions. We also support from the very beginning
the BraveCamp entrepreneurship academy, directed at students of Warsaw University and Medical University of Warsaw, who have an idea for a business or project. The program started 6 years ago,
and as many as 150 participants have taken part in it so far.

Another multiannual project is the PACCT-Pfizer Academy, which aims to support innovation in Polish science, improve the competence of scientists in technology transfer and build partnerships between science and business.

This year, we also accepted Warsaw University students for internships in the Pfizer medical department. The two interns, under the supervision of an internship coordinator, have already been working on their own projects tailored to their individual development paths since September.

We regularly support science by offering educational grants. Our involvement confirms that we value cooperation with the scientific community, as this greatly drives the development of medicine.

You are signatories of the European Diversity Charter, and, as Pfizer Poland, you are
on the #DiversityINCheck list – a group of the most advanced employers in Poland as far as diversity management is concerned. What practical actions do you take to ensure inclusion?

Pfizer Polska employs about 500 people – there are representatives of 20 nationalities among us
(as for continents, only Australian representatives are missing), and women make up 77% of the team. The youngest person is 24 years old, and the oldest is 61. We believe that only by being diverse ourselves we will be able to understand and help our diverse patients around the world. In addition, to be able to use our creativity to the fullest, we should feel safe as respected members of our organization. We can then focus on collaboration instead of risk mitigation. This is one of the reasons, we encourage voluntary association in groups like Open LGBT+, Eco, Inclusive Culture, Helping hands or X-generation, whose members organize meetings, actions and workshops.

We do believe that diversity and inclusion are skills we can develop and strengthen. This is important because diversity involves a clash of habits and needs. These tensions need to be skillfully managed
as the most original solutions emerge from them.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out one more aspect of equality which is so important
to us that it has been included in Pfizer’s global ESG strategy, but seems not so common in business.

What do you have in mind?

It’s about our desire to equalize access to prevention and treatment worldwide. Hence was born “An Accord for a Healthier World”, launched last year. The goal of this initiative is to deliver all
of Pfizer’s patented high-quality medicines and vaccines to 1.2 billion people in 45 lower-income countries on a non-for-profit basis. The accord is expected to significantly reduce inequalities in access to health care that exist between many lower-income countries and the rest of the world.

Since we are talking about health, I would like to ask about public health campaigns. What areas are particularly important to you in Poland?

We run many campaigns and all of them are equally important to us. I will highlight three of them. Since I work in oncology, the patient support center’s educational project “Straight About Breast Cancer” (“Prosto o raku piersi”) is particularly close to my heart. In this campaign, we answer
in an accessible way the questions most frequently searched by women who have received a diagnosis of breast cancer. The second campaign deals with infectious respiratory diseases, which were brought to mind due to the past pandemic. We are currently paying a lot of attention to promoting vaccination as the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. We want to raise awareness of the fact that it is worthwhile to vaccinate throughout life (so-called life-course vaccination), especially if you belong to high-risk groups. Also related to vaccination is the third campaign on the threat of tick-borne encephalitis and available vaccine prevention.

We have already talked about social responsibility and the organizational principles on which Pfizer is based. Let’s move on to the last element of the ESG assessment – ecology. What procedures
do you implement to minimize the environmental impact of your operations?

Pfizer is fully aware of the anticipated serious impact of environmental problems on society and public health. As a company applying science to overcome major challenges, our priority is to reduce the environmental impact of Pfizer’s operations and our value chain. Globally, this involves two main areas. The first is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have set ourselves an ambitious goal of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement targets. We are on the right track – globally, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, despite increased production. In comparison to 2019, emissions were more than 11 percent lower. Additionally, we already derive almost 8 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources.

The second area is sustainable drug production – through scientific innovations, we aim to design more efficient processes that can reduce the environmental impact of our medicines throughout the product life cycle, such as by conserving energy, reducing water and raw material consumption, eliminating waste, and using circular solutions where possible.

At the national level, in Poland, Pfizer joined the “Green Plan” project in 2019, with the goal of planting as many trees as necessary to offset the CO2 emissions of our fleet. Moreover, the building in which our local office is located has obtained the ecological LEED certificate at the highest possible Platinum level, confirming the quality in the field of green construction. Our latest project is the creation of a permaculture garden, which is cared for by the employees themselves. We hope that even through such seemingly small projects we will get a little closer to nature and become more strongly involved in its protection.

Anna Lewandowska: is Director of the Oncology Department and a member of the Management Board at Pfizer Poland. She has several years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in the areas of marketing, sales, reimbursement and project management. By developing innovative business strategies and implementing new market models, she enables patients to access innovative therapies. Anna is a graduate of the Jagiellonian University and the Warsaw School of Economics.

Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by Anastazja Lach