“Good business is good business.” It’s a straightforward concept that may seem too good to be true. Can business and society truly benefit at the same time from the decisions we make and the actions we take each day?
According to an extensive body of research analyzing business outcomes, employee satisfaction, and customer retention, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Good business IS good business. As Head of Corporate Sustainability at Schrödinger, my job is to ensure that this concept of shared value is integrated into everything we do.
Corporate sustainability is about minimizing risk and maximizing the positive impact companies can have internally, as well as within their industries, communities, and the world at-large—all while creating value and helping our customers achieve their own goals. At Schrödinger, our mission is to improve human health and quality of life by transforming the way therapeutics and materials are discovered. Since its founding, Schrödinger’s culture and principles have been grounded in “doing the right thing,” so there were already many ongoing initiatives aligned with our corporate sustainability vision. Since joining the company in early 2022, my focus has been on more clearly defining our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities and creating an overarching strategy in support of Schrödinger’s mission.
“When we add value to the world, we create value for our company, and when we build value for ourselves, we generate value for the world.”
Today marks a significant milestone in Schrödinger’s Corporate Sustainability journey with the release of our inaugural Corporate Sustainability Report. This report is the culmination of a comprehensive research process, known as a “double materiality assessment,” to determine the ESG-related topics most material to our company, employees, and external stakeholders. We engaged in this comprehensive and considered exercise to identify risks, gaps, and most excitingly, opportunities for strategic value creation and positive impact.
At the core of the report is a framework we’ve developed called VALUE², which embodies our commitment to corporate sustainability and is rooted in shared value: “When we add value to the world, we create value for our company, and when we build value for ourselves, we generate value for the world.”
The report is aligned with current established ESG reporting frameworks (GRI and SASB), and highlights how the material topics that we’ve identified create value for both our company and the world. Examples include:
- Our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, through our DEI council, Employee Resource Groups, and other forums that amplify employee voices at all levels of the company.
- Our Academic and Community Outreach initiatives, including our Teaching with Schrödinger program, which has enabled approximately 170 classrooms to access a web-based version of our industry-grade software for students.
- A focus on Environmentally Beneficial Solutions, such as developing better batteries for electric vehicles, designing more sustainable food packaging, and other initiatives supported by our Materials Science division.
- Responsible Use of Technology, through careful evaluation of all proposed projects and discretion around the types of organizations that can license our software.
Schrödinger’s inaugural Corporate Sustainability Report provides an overview of where we are today and a baseline from which to grow. While – due to the nature of our business – much of this work is naturally embedded into our existing operations, we are still only at the beginning of our corporate sustainability journey. Moving forward, we are continuing to set measurable goals and tangible metrics that hold us accountable to creating real value for our company and the world.
Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to be tasked with connecting the business priorities of innovative and ambitious companies with opportunities to positively impact the world. I’ve seen firsthand that good business is good business. I invite you to read our inaugural report and learn more about Schrödinger, our VALUE² philosophy, and our vision for what “good business” can and should be.