CSR Q&A With Illumina's Chief Financial Officer
"Stewardship of our fiduciary responsibility includes a strong emphasis on managing risk, driving performance, and ensuring business integrity. CSR provides a lens through which to evaluate business opportunities and to ensure decisions benefit all our stakeholders—not just investors, but also employees, customers, suppliers, the environment, and the communities in which we operate.”
Q. What kind of feedback did you receive from the inaugural CSR Report?
A. The feedback was very positive. We initially chose the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as our reporting framework because it was the most comprehensive. We felt this would appeal to the variety of our stakeholders, facilitating data transparency and enabling us to share the stories that bring our program to life for reviewers. We heard from our investor community that we could go into greater detail about the potential financial impacts of sustainability on our business and how we assessed opportunities and risk associated with climate change.
Q. How has this feedback influenced your follow-up report?
A. We have expanded our reporting framework to include GRI plus the recommendations from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We believe this approach will enable us to further provide an integrated, comprehensive view of our activities and our progress on commitments related to sustainability, climate action, and social responsibility.
Q. How has the pandemic affected Illumina’s portfolio?
A. Despite the many challenges of 2020, we still had several ground-breaking activities. We launched NextSeqTM 2000 and NextSeqTM 1000, as well as the P3 flow cells. In addition, we rolled out the NovaSeqTM 1.5 reagents, and launched COVIDSeqTM, the first Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) based test to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. Our research and development (R&D) investments grew both sequentially and year-over-year. We contributed to some remarkable scientific and medical genomic breakthroughs this year, and witnessed continued adoption of NGS in cancer treatment. We also saw expanded coverage and access to NIPT for all pregnant women, regardless of risk. Finally, there is a greater appreciation of the need for genomic surveillance of COVID-19 for tracking the emergence of new strains and raised awareness of the critical role sequencing can play with infectious disease.
Learn more about our CSR initiatives: www.illumina.com/csr.