One sector in which trust is very much on the agenda is gene and cell therapy. FTSE listed Oxford Biomedica is a leader in this complex field, focused on developing life-changing treatments for serious diseases.
Having historically treated sustainability more as a matter of compliance rather than of best practice, the company asked Luminous to help it explore how it could progress its thinking and journey, and support it in creating a responsible business policy and strategy.
Engaging senior management
The earlier we are asked to help a company with its approach to its sustainability, corporate responsibility or responsible business policy and strategy, the better able we are to align the policy and strategy with the company’s purpose, vision and mission. Oxford Biomedica were not at the beginning of their journey, but they were sufficiently open to recommendations that we knew we would be able to not only develop a good relationship, but help build the company’s policy and strategy in a way that would allow it to go forward with certainty.
Sustainability in any business has to be viewed holistically if it is to become truly embedded throughout the organisation’s activities. Getting the senior leadership team on board is key to that process, so that is where our strategic team began its work. They facilitated an initial workshop with Oxford Biomedica’s senior management to capture the business’s vision and the perspective of the C-suite. A peer audit, looking both within and outside of the healthcare sector, generated the insight to fuel ideas that were shared and debated at future sessions.
Driving greater engagement
Our strategic development involved mapping current and potential future connection channels with key stakeholders and prioritising the most material issues and impacts to inform the responsible business policy and strategy documents. Oxford Biomedica had four strands it was keen to maintain within its business focus – people, community, environment, and ethical innovation – with each strand having its own sub-divisions.
For example, within the people strand is safety, diversity, remuneration, training and communication. This gave a very good structure around which to frame the new policy and strategy – but in creating any new approach, it is important not to follow what has gone before just because that is always how things have been seen or done.
The initial output of our sustainability support has been to assist Oxford Biomedica’s work on a roadmap to help further demonstrate its role as a responsible business. An additional output has been greater engagement, enthusiasm and education for the key employees with direct responsibility for embedding the strategy.
Our strategic team continue to support the business as it journeys towards embedding more responsible business practices.