Boehringer Ingelheim Progresses Toward Sustainability Goals Through Key Initiatives Across the ASKAN Region, Including Malaysia

Boehringer Ingelheim is strengthening its commitment to positively impact people, animals, communities, and the planet through key sustainability initiatives across ASEAN, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand (ASKAN).

Under the ‘Sustainable Development – For Generations’ framework, Boehringer Ingelheim has globally pledged EUR 250 million to combat infectious diseases in humans and animals, expanding healthcare access for non-communicable diseases for 50 million people in vulnerable communities, including in the ASKAN area, and invest EUR 35 billion in health innovation to tackle non-communicable diseases.

In addition to improving access to healthcare, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to carbon neutrality in company operations by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2) and is taking steps to contribute to food security and safety, building a sustainable and healthy future for all.

Armin Wiesler, Regional Managing Director and Head of Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim ASKAN, said, “Our journey is about driving innovation, creating value in areas of unmet medical need, and engaging with communities and society to transform lives for generations. With widening disparities persisting in the region, especially amongst vulnerable groups, we stay committed to leverage on our core competencies and collaborate with like-minded partners to improve access to health, protect the environment and make a difference in our communities.”

Improving training and access for stroke-ready hospitals in Malaysia

When stroke strikes, up to 2 million brain cells die every minute it goes untreated, which can lead to long-term disability or even death. With the rising stroke incidence in Malaysia among those under 65 years of age, the mission was clear – to give every stroke patient the chance of rapid access to the best stroke care in the shortest time possible.

In partnership with the World Stroke Organization (WSO) to provide acute stroke care training for hospitals, and through the MYStroke Hospital Locator established in collaboration with the National Stroke Association Malaysia (NASAM) and Malaysia Stroke Council (MSC), Boehringer Ingelheim is making great strides to build an innovative network of stroke centres in Malaysia. Since 2017, it has enrolled 77 hospitals nationwide to serve more than 40,000 stroke patients every year.

Special Focus on Sustainable Animal Healthcare and Vaccinations in Malaysia

Boehringer Ingelheim also recognises that humans are healthier when animals are healthy because many infectious diseases are transmissible between animals and humans. In their roadmap to combat infectious diseases in animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim is working closely with local shelters, veterinarians and health authorities to help control and prevent the spread of rabies and parasites through mass vaccinations and parasiticides donations.

In partnership with GARC, it has vaccinated 500 dogs in Peninsular Malaysia and 700 dogs in Sarawak this year. This ongoing donation of life-saving anti-rabies vaccine will help advance the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak’s goal of Zero Human Rabies by 2025 in the state, where dog-mediated rabies remains a persistent threat. On the other hand, over 3,000 animals have benefitted from its parasite prevention efforts annually.

Terence Scott, Technical Lead Rabies, GARC, said, “This close collaboration between GARC and Boehringer Ingelheim has ensured that the communities within the ASKAN region are adequately equipped with vaccines as well as the latest tools, knowledge, and expertise to deliver sustainable animal vaccination campaigns. Through efforts and partnerships like this, we continue to enthusiastically drive towards Zero by 30, the global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.”

Making a sustainable difference in communities

At the same time, Boehringer Ingelheim aims to co-create healthy, inclusive, and sustainable communities to support employees and partners reach their full potential. This includes:

Monthly soup kitchen and food bank volunteer programmes through Kechara. Since June, employees of Boehringer Ingelheim have personally delivered meals and surplus food to more than 900 marginalised individuals and families in Kuala Lumpur.

Partnering with Ashoka, an international network focused on social entrepreneurship, to co-create healthy inclusive communities through its flagship initiative ‘Making More Health (MMH)’ and by fostering a “changemaker culture” amongst employees to drive sustainable development.

Ms Ung Liew Ean, General Manager and Head of Human Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim (Malaysia & Singapore) said, “This programme not only has the environmental benefit to minimize food waste, but simultaneously fosters sustainable thinking among our employees, enabling us to stay true to our sustainability commitment and inspire the next generation of changemakers.”

Caring for our environment

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to becoming even more environmentally sustainable, continuing the significant reduction in operational waste, and eliminating single-use plastic.

Green IT @ ASKAN was launched in June 2022 to integrate more responsible e-waste management solutions through donations of company-owned working hardware that has reached end of life and/or zero book value to benefit charities, and non-working devices will be responsibly managed by selected e-waste certified vendors.

To date, Boehringer Ingelheim has donated 15 laptops and 15 tablets to the Help Community Learning Center and Pertubuhan Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-kanak Cacat Shan Dai (Selangor) in Malaysia. The initiative has also benefitted more than 10 charities across the Askan region.

Continuing to make an impact across the region

There are currently 10 MMH fellows in the ASKAN region committed to piloting and scaling accessible health solutions on the ground, within vulnerable communities. Through empowering employees, partners, and innovative social entrepreneurs, the organization addresses complex health challenges in local communities and creates an ecosystem of sustainable impact.

Commenting on Boehringer Ingelheim ongoing sustainability initiatives underway across the ASKAN region, Armin Wiesler said, “We are committed to tackling regional health and environmental challenges through holistic initiatives tailored to local community needs. With the support of global and regional partners, we can work together to elevate health outcomes and live in harmony with the planet, animals, and each other.”

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