Novo Nordisk Wins AmCham Denmark’s 2010 Trans-Atlantic Business Award
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Novo Nordisk has won the 2010 Trans-Atlantic Business Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark (AmCham Denmark). 

"It is a great honor for us to receive the Transatlantic Business Award," says COO Kåre Schultz, who received the award on behalf of Novo Nordisk. "It is a recognition not only of the business success we have had in the U.S. in recent years, but also by the way we do business."

The annual AmCham award highlights the importance, contributions and positive impact of Danish companies actively investing in the United States. The award’s jury panel consists of AmCham Executive Committee members Mark Luscombe, Citi Country Officer; Kim Østrup, IBM Vice President; and Finn Meyer KPMG Partner.

Novo Nordisk’s U.S. significance is substantial – there are more than 3,800 people employed in their U.S. operations. Throughout its entire group, employee growth has increased 655% since 2000. In the same time period, turnover in the U.S. has grown from $0.5 billion to more than $3.5 billion.

Furthermore, Novo Nordisk made some major capital investments in 2009 by initiating the Inflammation Research center in Seattle Washington. During 2009 the company invested approximately $10M U.S. in capital expenses to furnish and equip this research center.

As part of the new Inflammation initiative, Novo Nordisk initiated a 3-year partnership with Seattle-based company VLST aimed at discovery of new therapeutic intervention targets in inflammatory diseases.  In this partnership, Novo Nordisk has invested $10M in VLST equity stake, and has also committed to a 3-year funding of researchers at VLST to support this program.  The overall goal of this partnership is the discovery and development of new biologic agents for disease intervention.

On the other side of the U.S. at its plant in North Carolina, Novo Nordisk worked to make its workforce as diverse as possible. It now is comprised of 36% ethnic minorities.  Also in 2009, the plant received the Gallup Great Workplace Award based on its work with developing employee engagement since it first started measuring this in 2006.

On the national level, Novo Nordisk commissioned and published important research on the economic impact of diabetes on the population and the projected growth of the epidemic in the U.S. The research went on to recommended new legislation that could help realize the benefits of prevention and wellness initiatives.

On the research and development side, Novo Nordisk was recognized by R&D Directions magazine as having the “Best Diabetes Pipeline”.

And on the carbon emissions, Novo Nordisk received the 2009 Environmental Leadership Award from Automotive Fleet magazine for reducing the emissions of our fleet by 20%.

Kåre Schultz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer accepted the award at AmCham’s Trans-Atlantic Reception at Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. U.S. Ambassador Laurie S. Fulton was on hand to present the award along with AmCham’s Executive Director Stephen Brugger.

”Novo Nordisk is receiving this Trans-Atlantic Business Award because the company is characterized by growth and community engagement. The company exhibits a solid business concept and over the past few years has experienced tremendous growth in both sales and employee headcount. Additionally, this is a company that really focuses on its employees and the health of each and every one of us. It’s a company that cares,” says Brugger. “Interesting to note is the fact that Novo Nordisk has its roots in the U.S. when Marie Krogh first visited in 1922.”

Leading up to the Award, Brugger gave clear evidence of the strength of the trans-Atlantic relationship showing that the trans-Atlantic economy represents approximately 44% of global gross domestic product. Brugger went on to show that over 55% of all U.S. corporate foreign investments go to Europe and that U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows to Europe in 2009 were over $100 billion more than into the BRIC countries combined.

Following Brugger, former Ministry for Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann-Jensen addressed the current and future state of the Trans-Atlantic relationship. Mr. Ellemann-Jensen’s insightful and provocative remarks touched upon the great challenges that remain across the Atlantic in spite of “Europeans finally getting the President that we so intensely wanted”. (to read the complete transcript from Uffe Ellemann-Jensen's speech, click here.)

The finalists for AmCham's 2010 Trans-Atlantic Business Award included several impressive companies, each deserving of the award. In addition to Novo Nordisk, the finalists included Coloplast, Dansico and Novozymes. But in the end, only one could come out on top.

About the Award
AmCham Denmark’s Trans-Atlantic Business Award is awarded to an AmCham member company invested in the U.S. that has demonstrated significant achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Growth in employee count and/or revenues in the U.S. (in a relative sense)
  • Significant investments in the U.S.  (in a relative sense)
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Development/launch of an innovative product or service
  • Development of an innovative work environment, incorporating a multicultural workforce.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
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