Our commitment

Our commitment

Our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is intrinsically linked to our core mission: to discover and develop novel modes of action medicines for diseases with large unmet medical needs, primarily in inflammation and fibrosis, with the aim to improve the lives of patients worldwide.

On a daily basis, our goal is to make a valuable and sustainable contribution to society with our discovery, clinical development and commercialization efforts. Filgotinib, GLPG1690, GLPG1205, and GLPG1972 are clinical examples of how our approach to finding novel medicines may be able to make a difference for patients in a range of disease areas. Our unique target discovery approach addresses the root cause of the disease rather than just treating the symptoms, and we have a substantial, growing pipeline of novel candidate medicines in inflammation, fibrosis and beyond. In this way, we aim to make a sustainable positive contribution to society.

We and our collaboration partner Gilead expect to receive approval for our first innovative product, filgotinib in RA, in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in 2020, and make it available to patients worldwide.

Pioneering for patients (photo)

Implementing our CSR initiatives

Since our foundation 20 years ago, we focus on the discovery and development of innovative medicines to treat severe diseases with high unmet medical needs.

Based on our core mission, in 2018, we defined the four material aspects of our corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts through engaging with internal and external stakeholders across our different locations. These material aspects help us to identify and prioritize the sustainability issues that matter most to our business in terms of growth, risk and goals, and to our stakeholders, including patients, investors, analysts, employees and suppliers. The four material aspects have remained the four pillars that defined our CSR strategy and action plans in 2019 and ensure that we report on the most interesting and relevant matters. We also regularly re-evaluate the reporting aspects for materiality to ensure they continue to be current and complete.

The four priority topics and material CSR aspects that we put forward are:

Improving people’s lives

  • Science and innovation management
  • Building partnerships to bring innovation to patients
  • Access to our candidate medicines

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Our employees are the strength behind Galapagos

  • Building a strong corporate culture
  • Human capital management
  • Employees engagement

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Conducting business ethically and responsibly

  • Manage our operations with ethics and integrity
  • Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

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We care about the environment, health and safety

  • Environmental policy
  • Eco-efficient operations
  • Employee well-being

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To standardize our data collection, we use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, as our reference framework to link the material aspects to our areas of engagement. The SDGs were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. This CSR report provides the non-financial information required by articles 96 § 4 and 119 § 2 of the Belgian Companies Code (and as from 1 January 2020, articles 3:6 § 4 and 3:32 § 2 of the New Belgian Companies Code). For a discussion on risks, please see the section called Risk Factors in this Annual Report.

We have identified eight key SDG goals where we believe we can make a difference. The table below links our material aspects and engagement areas to selected aspects of the SDG framework:

SDG 3 (icon)
Good health and well-being

Health and improving lives through our breakthrough medicines are at the core of what we do

SDG 4 (icon)
Quality education

We invest in our employees and foster an inclusive, open and supportive work environment across our seven locations in Europe and the U.S.

SDG 5 (icon)
Gender equality

We cultivate a corporate culture where we strive for gender equality

SDG 8 (icon)
Decent work and economic growth

We celebrated our 20th anniversary as a company and currently employ >1,000 people across our seven locations in Europe and the U.S.

SDG 9 (icon)
Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Our mission is to bring innovative medicines to patients suffering from severe diseases in areas of high unmet medical needs in a social and sustainable way

SDG 10 (icon)
Reduced inequalities

We aim to develop a balanced workforce across a number of criteria, including gender, nationality, ethnicity, experience and disability

SDG 13 (icon)
Climate action

We value our planet and take initiatives to safeguard the environment and incorporate greener practices across our organization

SDG 17 (icon)
Partnerships for the goals

We embrace internal and external partnerships to work towards our mission to bringing much needed innovation to patients

As part of our commitment to CSR, we monitor new developments and practices and will consider implementing new priority goals that could further enhance our CSR activities in the future. In addition, we recently engaged a dedicated Learning & Talent specialist, who will further streamline our CSR initiatives and ensure our CSR strategy is executed successfully throughout the group, with a key focus on diversity and human capital management.

Our commitment and areas of engagement are described below in the discussion of the four materials aspects, which are also linked to the eight SDGs that we consider important to the company.