Susanne Stormer, VP of Corporate Sustainability Novo Nordisk (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Your company is focused on tackling what has become a global pandemic. Please describe your challenge.
In the wake of socioeconomic development and changes to modern lifestyle, diabetes has emerged at a much greater pace, and its increased prevalence is particularly strong in emerging economies. We often refer to it as ‘a tsunami in slow motion.’ While the emerging economies have experienced growth, they also have a number of related health and environmental issues to tackle. Unfortunately, diabetes is not at the top of the list, and one reason is that you don’t die from it—not right away, anyway. But you may very well die from it if you are not treated.
The complications associated with diabetes are extremely costly to the world’s health systems, and our argument is that it is much more costly not to tackle this disease than it is to do something about it. We do whatever we can to make sure people understand what the causes are, and to raise awareness among policy-makers. This aspect is critical because this is a systemic problem, and it must be tackled in a systemic way.