A message from our Chairman and CEO
The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges to communities, organizations and patients around the world, and truly tested our resilience and sustainability as a company. Edwards Lifesciences successfully navigated these challenges by remaining singularly focused on our purpose.
More than 20 years ago, Edwards was established on the foundation of our Credo, which defines our culture and values. This Credo, which inspires our more than 15,000 employees worldwide in their daily work, united our employees around an unwavering commitment of helping patients fighting structural heart disease and critical illness around the world.
I am pleased to welcome you to Edwards Lifesciences’ 2020 Sustainability Report, which details the continued progress and commitment of Edwards to address the needs of our stakeholders globally and to create shared value in the communities in which we operate.
While it is common for many to associate sustainability narrowly with topics such as environmentalism or philanthropy, the global pandemic and dialogue around social injustice really underscored the importance of a much broader set of priorities. Those priorities include not only embracing methods of renewable energy or community giving programs to support the areas where we live and work, but also responsible and strategic deployment of resources and assets, focus on employee well-being, the value of nurturing an open and inclusive environment, sound operations of a company and redundancy to withstand unprecedented circumstances and an unyielding commitment to ethics and governance even when unthinkable challenges arise.
Our Credo and Aspirations help us define our company’s strategic priorities and objectives, with our sustainability strategy fully aligning with our values and business strategy. As detailed in this report, we have established measurable sustainability goals that align with our Aspirations and we track our progress throughout the year. Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we focus our efforts on those goals where we believe we can have the greatest impact – SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
We continue to seek out opportunities to help structural heart disease patients, and the communities where we live and work. We supported the launch of the American Heart Association’s Target: Aortic Stenosis initiative, a program aimed to develop optimal standards of care via a learning collaborative comprised of experts and volunteers from pilot hospital locations around the nation. We announced our focus on the next phase of Every Heartbeat Matters: We will improve the lives of 2.5 million additional underserved structural heart and critical care patients by the end of 2025. And to help restore health to our local communities, Edwards partnered with Providence to provide a facility, staff and funding to operate a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Edwards headquarters campus over several months, giving approximately 9,000 vaccine doses for free – and the promise of more as the effort turned mobile in local communities throughout Orange County, Calif.
Now more than ever, I am proud of our strong team, community-minded employees and patient-focused culture. It is their talent, their diverse perspectives and their passion for making a difference that makes Edwards so special. The feedback over the last year specifically has informed priorities and initiatives to enhance our global diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy, as we ask, “What else can we do?” I was pleased to share updates on some of our engagements in a letter in Jan. 2021, and also discuss meaningful steps we expect in the months and years ahead to lead the change we seek in advancing a more inclusive workplace and community.
Thank you for your interest and support as we continue to reflect, take action and progress further in our sustainability journey. We know that when we act with purpose and as trusted partners, we create a community unified in its mission to improve the quality of life around the world.
Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer