Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Sustainability for us is not about being politically correct, and is not about doing what others do.

Message from the CEO


Guy Villax

CEO and Member of the Board

Degree in Accounting and Financial Management





Hovione is a family business, this means that the Villax family as founding and controlling shareholder takes a continued interest in the company’s activities and in its stakeholder’s wellbeing. This is done with a long-term view, in a supportive manner and with particular sensitivity for the human dimension of those individuals that have dedicated all, or a large part, of their professional life to making Hovione a great company.

Providing good jobs is also an obligation that the Family, and in turn the Company feels is as intrinsic to its responsibilities as providing clients with a quality product with high service. Hovione management knows that the Family expects the Company and all its employees to act in line with these principles and be a role model of integrity.

Concerns with sustainability can be found in our values, behaviour and decisions as far back as you can look.  When our first plant was built in 1966, a waste treatment plant with pH control and sedimentation pools was in place upon commissioning. Since then our performance in various axis of sustainability –safety, waste treatment, recycling– have been recognized by various awards in Portugal and Internationally.

As part of the annual management review goals for improvement for a large number of parameters have been in place at site level for since 2001. All our sites are either ISO14001, OSHAS18001 or included in some kind of top performance voluntary program related to safety. Management reviews, assesses and takes action, at least annually, on the performance of the sites along all areas of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI guidelines). Such data has been regularly compiled since 2006; site data has been made available transparently to the local communities where we operate in our web-site. Since 2005 our financial statements have also presented quantified information (with previous year’s comparatives) in terms of safety and environment including data on complaints by neighbours.

At group level, to date, no action has been taken to review the consolidated data in a systematic way along the principles of GRI – and in this sense we have not set goals for the group or approved deliberate actions to meet them. This year we are taking the commitment to improve and to review and act on our consolidated performance and establish an improvement program. This is the start of a new journey, we have decided to follow the GRI principles so that we can evidence a sustainable performance in parallel to financial growth. No special or serious event has triggered this decision, we do not believe that our performance is poor or below average – however pressure by one of the younger Villax family members has convinced us to take the high road.

Sustainability for us is not about being politically correct, and is not about doing what others do. There are many areas where we can improve, we cannot do everything at the same time if we want to do it well. The goals we have set for ourselves in this first year is

  • 1st to be within the law – a simple indicator there is the absence of fines or any and all kinds;
  • 2nd to take control of sustainability at Hovione and develop a plan based on the careful analysis of the data available.

The plan will be in place within 2014 and we should start to see improvements across the board when we report in 12 months time. 

Next year’s report will be explicit as to what does sustainability means for Hovione, it will set a vision and a strategy for the short and medium term as to how we will manage the challenges associated with economic, environmental and social performance. We will report transparently on the failures we encounter, on how we contribute to the industry and to society, and how we cope with the changing standards, regulatory environment, and broader trends (such as macroeconomic or political) affecting the organization and influencing sustainability priorities.

Nothing can be achieved without good people aligned and motivated. So as we start this journey it is only natural that the sustainability theme that we should address before any other is the improvement of the life of our team-members. 


Guy Villax
Chief Executive Officer

Related files

Sustainability Report FY2014
pdf (602 KB)
Sustainability Indicators FY2014
pdf (38.87 KB)

Also in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

B Corporation

Hovione is on the path to becoming a B Corporation that uses the power of business to contribute to solving social and environmental challenges the world faces today.