ESG focus areas

UNION’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) ambition and focus areas take departure in the company’s patient-centric vision around development of medicines that make a difference by improving the lives of patients with immunological diseases.

From the headquarters in Hellerup, Denmark, UNION’s dedicated employees work with patient organizations, physicians, investigators, regulatory authorities, external suppliers, including clinical research organizations and contract development and manufacturing organizations, to progress orismilast throughout the pipeline and into the hands of patients, improving their health and well-being. 

UNION is furthermore developing a structured non-financial reporting framework to track and report, both internally and externally in the Annual Report, on relevant ESG metrics to evaluate the company’s progress on a continuous basis.

Environmental responsibility – understanding and minimizing CO2 emissions 

Due to the business model of UNION where many activities are outsourced, including manufacturing, distribution and clinical study execution, UNION’s direct impact on the environment and climate is minimal. However, UNION wants to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Action and acknowledges that indirect CO2 emissions across the value chain are what matter for a company like UNION. In order to create more transparency on emissions across the value chain, UNION has in 2021 partnered with a global leader in science-based carbon accounting to estimate and track the company’s carbon footprint across Scope 1 (direct emissions from vehicle and fuel use), Scope 2 (indirect emissions from electricity and heating) and Scope 3 (indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, transportation and business travel).

Total emissions: 4,080 ton CO2

UNION’s carbon footprint in 2022

UNION is estimating the company’s carbon footprint across scope 1 (direct emissions from owned assets, e.g., vehicles and fuel use from production sites), scope 2 (indirect emissions from purchased energy, such as electricity and heating) and scope 3 (indirect emissions not already included in scope 2, e.g., emissions from purchased goods and services, transport and business travel). The increase in CO2 emissions from advancement of clinical studies between 2021 and 2022, further driven by toxicology/non-clinical activities and packaging/labelling, is offset by the reduction in CO2 emissions from manufacturing of drug substance and drug product.

In 2022, UNION has engaged with suppliers representing ~50% of the estimated CO2 emissions in order to get more insights on the company’s CO2 emissions across the value chain and initiate a dialogue about identification of CO2-minimizing initiatives. Please read more about estimation of CO2 emissions and supplier engagement in the Annual Report 2022.

Social responsibility – Making a difference for patients and fostering a meaningful company culture among employees

UNION is a pharmaceutical development company with core expertise in identification of unmet medical needs, pharmaceutical innovation and clinical development. Please refer to the pages on atopic dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa and psoriasis to read more about the unmet medical needs in the disease areas within immuno-dermatology that UNION is initially targeting with orismilast.

The UNION Way – Company Culture

Passionately creating medicines that make a difference entails passionate employees

Attracting and retaining passionate employees require a good and healthy working environment but also a robust company culture centered around strong virtues, ethical behavior, and a winning mindset. UNION is tracking the meaningfulness of employees with respect to purpose, leadership, belonging and personal growth in employee surveys twice a year and based on the survey results running initiatives and workshops on an ongoing basis to strengthen The UNION Way and work with the virtues in practice. 

Read more about The UNION Way here.

Corporate governance based on efficiency, transparency and accountability

UNION has a two-tier management structure consisting of the Board of Directors and the Executive Management as set forth in UNION’s articles of association. The Board of Directors works in accordance with UNION’s BoD Rules of Procedure.

Executive Management, in turn, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company, development and implementation of strategies and policies, the company’s operations and organization as well as timely reporting to the Board of Directors. The Executive Management works in accordance with UNION’s Executive Management Instructions.

The organization at UNION has strengthened significantly over the last few years with hiring of personnel and addition of key competencies across all layers. The organization has not only strengthened in terms of people but also with respect to policies, processes and guidelines, compliance, and risk management.


UNION has developed a corporate governance framework with different policies, including ESG-related policies, governing our ways of working: Code of Conduct, Diversity Policy, Sustainability Policy and Tax Policy.