Su­sanne Stormer, VP of Cor­po­rate Sus­tain­abil­ity Novo Nordisk (Copenhagen, Den­mark)

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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.

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