Discover Grünenthal


  • Leading global ESG ratings agency Sustainalytics notes Grünenthal is in the top five percent among its peers in the pharmaceutical subindustry
  • Grünenthal is categorized as “medium risk”, placing it ahead of its key subindustry peers and in the same league as multinational companies like Pfizer and Roche


Aachen, Germany, 7 April 2021 – Grünenthal, a global science-based pharmaceutical company, today announced that Sustainalytics, a Morningstar company and a globally-recognized provider of ESG research, ratings and data, has assessed it as having overall medium ESG risk. In addition, Sustainalytics acknowledged that Grünenthal has a strong management of its ESG risks. This places Grünenthal in the top five percent of the global pharmaceuticals subsector.

“The long-term success of companies can no longer be measured by financial success alone. As a science-based company, Grünenthal strives to make a net-positive impact on the society,” said Gabriel Baertschi, CEO Grünenthal. “While we are proud to see our efforts recognized in this ESG rating, we know that a big part of the journey is still ahead of us. Building on our foundation as a responsible business, we will now integrate sustainability even more closely in our core strategy.”
Grünenthal was evaluated by Sustainalytics based on its ESG Risk Ratings framework, which focuses on exposure and management of a company’s material ESG issues. “Exposure” reflects the degree to which a company’s enterprise value is exposed to material ESG issues including ethical marketing, clinical trial transparency, whistleblowing, corruption and bribery. “Management” measures a company’s preparedness and track record in managing its exposure to material ESG issues through its policies, programmes, trainings and management systems.

The company’s ESG Risk Rating is available on Sustainalytics’ website. All data mentioned is as of 6 April 2021 and refer to the Grünenthal Pharma GmbH & Co. KG.


About Grünenthal’s ESG efforts

Grünenthal has been focusing its Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) efforts on four pillars: educate about pain treatment and responsible use of opioids; ensure access to medicines, innovate pain management, and raise awareness for “pain as a disease”:

Educate about pain treatment and responsible use of opioids
Grünenthal has so far reached around 65,000 health care professionals in its efforts to educate the healthcare sector about pain management and improve the patient outcomes from pain treatment. As a leader in pain innovation and as an opioid manufacturer, Grünenthal is highly committed to ensuring that its employees, customers, patients and also its partners have a thorough understanding of the company’s stance on the responsible medical use of opioids in pain. The company has fostered a mindset shift along the full value chain by ensuring that all opioid-related materials contain Grünenthal’s statement on responsible use of opioids – clearly highlighting the risks and benefits of this class of medicines. In addition, Grünenthal had established a dedicated standing governance body to provide and promote clear guidance, coherent behavior, continuous improvement, training and control mechanisms.

Ensure access to medicine
Grünenthal is committed to ensuring the availability of key medicines to address unmet medical needs in the markets we serve. In the US, for instance, 5 million patients are in need of neuropathic pain treatment associated with diabetes. With the US FDA label extension of one of our non-opioid pain medicines for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet, Grünenthal has ensured patients get access to this much needed treatment. At the same time, the company is focused on addressing unmet therapeutic needs in underserved markets by offering specialized non-opioid pain medicines.

Innovate pain management
Grünenthal’s research and development strategy focuses on tackling in pain and collaborating with partners to address the huge unmet needs in pain. Through biennial grants of €200,000 provided by Grünenthal and the EFIC, the company supports young scientists early in their career in carrying out innovative clinical pain research. Since foundation of the EFIC-Grünenthal Grant in 2004, approximately €1.6 million was awarded to fund 65 projects. In addition, to drive patient-centric innovation in chronic pain and neurological disorders and award patient-centric and scientifically robust innovation, the company supports the Brain, Mind, and Pain Patient-Centered Innovation Grant, which awards €90,000 biennially to research proposals to encourage patient-centered innovation that leads to improvements in the life conditions of pain patients.

Raise awareness for “pain as a disease”
Chronic pain is an enormous global health problem affecting around 10% of the world’s population. Grünenthal raises awareness about the impact of pain by supporting a multi-stakeholder platform, called the Societal Impact of Pain platform, which fosters the development of pain policies on national level. With Grünenthal’s Pain Toolkit, the company has established a practical tool that provides patients with handy tips and skills in the form of explanations, infographics and videos, on how to self-manage pain. Moreover, Grünenthal has a long-standing passion for preserving the dignity and quality of life at the end stage of people’s lives. The Grünenthal Foundation for Palliative Care promotes science and research in palliative care and the care for seriously or terminally ill people in Europe as well as in Latin America.

Besides these four focus pillars, Grünenthal is covering the entire range of the Environmental, Social and Governance spectrum with various initiatives and measures:

Our efforts to promote sustainable development include defining concrete goals for the operations of our five production sites, across our supply chain and all of our affiliates across the globe by following leading international standards for environment, health and safety. We collect and analyze data from our production sites and use it to continuously improve efficiency, while also reducing energy consumption and minimizing waste based on strategic approach of zero waste to landfill programme.

Caring for its employees and for the communities where we operate is key to Grünenthal’s business conduct. Grünenthal offer its employees an exciting working environment and wide-ranging individual development opportunities. It is the company’s goal to maintain high levels of engagement and to strengthen the company as a Great Place to Work®. Grünenthal promotes a vibrant, high-performance culture and brings it to live through a shared set of values. These are supported by specific behaviours that guide the decision-making. Grünenthal ensures outstanding results are recognised and rewarded. For example, the company celebrates exceptional contributions each year with its Grünenthal Global Excellence Award.

Sound governance is key to safeguard the company’s license to operate and continue providing medicines to patients in need. Grünenthal has a comprehensive compliance and ethics management system which provides a clear framework for our decisions and actions. Grünenthal’s Code of Conduct for employees reiterates the company’s strong commitment to the highest ethical standards while the Code of Conduct for Business Partners ensures business relationships based on a reciprocal commitment to responsible behavior. Grünenthal has an external Ethics Helpline for 24/7 anonymous reporting in place to ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct. Grünenthal is also committed to full disclosure of transfers of value to healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations and patient organizations.


About Grünenthal
Grünenthal is a global leader in pain management and related diseases. As a science-based, privately-owned pharmaceutical company, we have a long track record of bringing innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients worldwide. Our purpose is to change lives for the better – and innovation is our passion. We are focusing all of our activities and efforts on working towards our vision of a world free of pain.

Grünenthal is headquartered in Aachen, Germany, and has affiliates in 29 countries across Europe, Latin America and the US. Our products are available in around 100 countries. In 2020, Grünenthal employed around 4,500 people and achieved sales of € 1.3 bn.


More information:

Follow us on:


Fabia Kehren, Head External Communications and Editorial Management

Fabia Kehren

Head of External Communication and Editorial Management

Grünenthal GmbH

52099 Aachen


Phone +49 241 569-3269