Putting Purpose Into Action: A Message From Our CEO
October 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT
It's never been clearer: our future depends on companies that not only innovate boldly, but ones that act with integrity.
Over the past months, we’ve seen ties between health, progress, and prosperity strain in real time due to the hardships brought on by the pandemic. Life as we know it changed dramatically, as did the role of the private sector in many ways.
It’s never been clearer: our future depends on companies that not only innovate boldly, but ones that act with integrity. For much of our fiscal year 2020 (May 2019 – April 2020), Omar Ishrak and I worked hand-in-hand to lay the foundation for my transition to the CEO role at Medtronic. We discussed the opportunities and challenges ahead, building resilience for the future and protecting our first priority — an unwavering pursuit of our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for patients around the world. The path is clear because our purpose is clear.
Our deep commitment to global corporate citizenship will continue to drive everything we do: adding value to society through the development of innovative, life-saving medical devices and therapies; promoting environmental stewardship; supporting our global workforce; and working responsibly with, and on behalf of, our partners, suppliers, and shareholders.
Adapting to COVID-19: A roadmap for change
Guided by our Mission, Medtronic mobilized and quickly mapped out a course of action to help global healthcare professionals and partners continue to treat patients and also protect themselves in the face of COVID-19. We rapidly increased our internal ventilator production five-fold from 200 a week pre-pandemic to over 1,000 a week in June. Early on, we realized we couldn’t meet the global demand alone and took the unprecedented step in March to make our ventilator designs available to manufacturers around the world by publishing open-source design specifications for our portable, compact ventilator. Within the first few weeks, the design files were accessed 200,000 times.
I am very proud of how our team around the world was able to move at the speed of a start-up and execute with the confidence of a seasoned expert. We operated with a high sense of urgency and conviction to accelerate innovation and unlock the power of our lifesaving technologies to help patients globally. With clear and decisive plans, and powerful collaboration beyond our walls, work that could have taken months or years instead took days and weeks.
New partnerships with Intel Corporation, Foxconn, SpaceX, and others broke down barriers between industry segments to enhance care — helping with the critical global need for ventilators, speeding development, optimizing a strained supply chain, and harnessing the expertise of NGOs. We contributed to innovations in virtual and remote care to introduce safer COVID-19-related and routine treatments. And between Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation, we donated $18.5 million in FY20 to COVID-19 relief efforts — part of a larger pledge of more than $36 million.
From engineers working on the next breakthrough to those in our factories making lifesaving products; from field representatives on the frontline to those virtually changing lives, I’m deeply grateful for the way our people chose to stay on the frontlines and contribute to the healthcare professionals, facilities, and systems that have been fighting this pandemic. Despite enduring personal hardships, they stepped up their support for our healthcare partners, so we stepped up our support for them.
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve shown what Medtronic does best: forge the trail ahead in service of putting patients first, proving a 60+ year old Mission can still inspire innovative thinking.
Supporting a global workforce: Global inclusion, diversity, and equity
A new spotlight is shining on injustices that weigh down our ability to truly progress as an equitable society globally. The senseless killing of George Floyd in our home town of Minneapolis, MN, was a wake up call. The effect of Floyd’s death combined with the death of countless others created a ripple effect, lifting the issues of systemic racism and inequities beyond the U.S. As we support our global workforce, we’re actively leaning into actions and policies that further advance our global inclusion, diversity, and equity work for our employees and in support of the communities where we live and work.
In FY20, we achieved important performance targets in our workforce and economic impact through our supply chain:
When it comes to inclusion and diversity, we’re committed to playing an active role in driving progress. In FY21 and into FY22, we will be implementing a holistic program of changes. We will establish a new governance framework for inclusion and diversity. Executive leadership will own its success and define unified standards to measure long-term progress, which will be reported and overseen by the Medtronic Board. We will tailor representation goals to each region, driving equity in ways that meet the unique concerns of our employees around the world. We will expand training to address unconscious bias and make ally-ship the expectation for all. We will unify performance measures, linking them to equal compensation and advancement opportunities for all people managers. And, we are committed to reporting on our progress.
Promoting environmental stewardship: Raising the bar
As we look ahead, we recognize the need to tackle climate change to preserve a healthy society. We’ve stepped-up our program for reducing our global environmental footprint and protecting the natural resources we all rely on. I’m proud to share that we achieved all our FY20 Environmental Performance Goals established against our FY13 baseline. These include significant reductions in energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, regulated and non-regulated waste, and water use.
While we are pleased with these results, we know there is more that can be done. That’s why we set a goal to be carbon neutral in our operations by FY30. To achieve this, we’ve set aggressive new FY25 targets on emissions and energy in addition to targets on water and waste. Adapting to a changing climate requires us to build business resilience, and the actions we are taking are reflected in our first Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, located in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) Disclosure Index at the end of this report.
Working responsibly in everything we do
As stewards of human health and well-being, and with an aspiration to be the undisputed leader in healthcare technology, we need to prioritize sustainability to create a better world. We consider it a strategic imperative, and we’ve shown leadership and commitment to these principles. Going forward, we will continue to invest in the ESG factors that are most aligned to our Mission while also driving long term growth and profitability. We’ll apply the highest standards of ethics, quality, safety, security, and reliability. And we’ll act with a renewed purpose to operate as responsible corporate citizens — because it is the right thing to do.
I want to again thank the frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 every day, those caring for the many other needs of patients worldwide, and all the Medtronic employees who’ve gone the extra mile during this difficult time. I’m thankful beyond words for their sacrifice and tireless resolve. They are an inspiration to all of us in healthcare — and to our communities around the world.
If there’s one lesson FY20 taught our team, it’s that when we focus energy on our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life, we can make a meaningful difference to patients and customers around the world. Medtronic has never been more focused on our purpose or clearer on our role as a responsible corporate citizen. I’m honored to be Medtronic’s CEO following in the footsteps of so many strong and inspiring leaders. The future we make is up to us, and we must seize the opportunities ahead in our next chapter to continue to fulfill the Medtronic Mission.
- Geoff Martha (Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic)
Tweet me: "It's never been clearer: our future depends on companies that not only innovate boldly, but ones that act with integrity." Read the @Medtronic CEO letter in the FY20 Integrated Performance Report https://bit.ly/3j1r12u
KEYWORDS: NYSE:MDT, Medtronic