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A message from our CEO

A message from our CEO

ICON continues to take important steps to embed our environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities into the core of our business. By listening to the voices of our varied stakeholders, we have identified seven areas where we believe ICON can deliver significant positive impact. Six of those seven were social in nature - the “S” in ESG - access to clinical trials, clinical trial ethics and conduct, advancing public health, improving the ICON employee experience, talent management and increasing diversity both internally and in clinical trials. The final significant priority identified was environmental – climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

Our 2021 ESG report describes what was achieved in 2021, but we are already looking ahead. Together, we will work to further collaborate across our teams, deliver as a strategic healthcare service provider and employer of choice and make significant progress on our ESG commitments to deliver change and innovation to our stakeholders. We know that improving the lives of patients worldwide requires action beyond the status quo. We must guide our customers through the ever-evolving landscape of clinical drug development.

This is work that, at ICON, we are well-equipped to accomplish. I am proud of what we have achieved to date and excited for what more we can do.

Kind regards,

Steve Cutler

Chief Executive Officer

Our ESG journey - an ongoing commitment to progress

ICON CARES is our deep committment to addressing ESG issues. Our company mission and core values inform every aspect of our ESG strategy, from putting patients first, to engaging stakeholders and choosing sustainable approaches to growth.

ICON completed our first EcoVadis questionnaire in 2015 and began completing the CDP Climate Change questionnaire on an annual basis for our scope 1 & 2 emissions in 2016. In 2019, ICON established its ESG committee, published our first ESG report and committed to three environmental targets:

  • 100% renewables by 2025
  • 20% reduction in kWh of electricity by 2030
  • Net-zero carbon emissions on Scope 1 & 2 by 2030

In 2021, as a testament to our commitment to ICON’s ESG journey, we became a participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a set of ten principles covering the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. In our 2020 ESG report, ICON committed to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we reported under the UN Global Compact index and the 2016 GRI index.

In our 2021 ESG report, we published our goal for gender parity at VP level and above globally by 2025. We reported our progress on the UN SDGs, we continued reporting under the UN Global Compact index, we updated our reporting to the 2021 GRI index and we incorporated disclosures on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

In 2022, aligning with industry best practices, ICON conducted our first formal ESG materiality assessment. This allowed us to identify and prioritise areas where our stakeholders believe ICON can have the greatest impact, these areas have been highlighted throughout our 2021 ESG report.

In late 2022 ICON was awarded a silver medal by EcoVadis, recognising ICON’s continued commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts. Our score in 2022 was equal to or better than 87% of all companies rated by EcoVadis. This places ICON in the top 25% of companies assessed by EcoVadis globally. EcoVadis assess companies on 21 issues which are grouped into four themes: Environment, Labour & human rights, Ethics, Sustainable procurement.

ESG reporting



2021 Report

Historical reports

Carbon Trust assurances

ESG governance

ICON established its ESG Committee in 2019 to provide operational information and oversight for ESG-related activities across the company. The ESG Committee is chaired by the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) who is responsible for reporting to the ICON executive leadership team, the Nominating Sustainability and Governance committee and the Board on ESG matters.

The Committee consists of a cross-functional group with representation across ICON, including from the facilities, corporate communications, finance, legal and corporate governance, investor relations, commercial, marketing and human resources departments. The ESG Committee initiates, reviews and communicates updates and plans on ESG-related activity and initiatives to ensure consistency, promote collaboration, enhance monitoring, reveal areas for development and facilitate reporting to the Board.

The committee supports executive management, the Nominating Sustainability and Governance committee and the Board of ICON plc in:

  • Determining and setting the strategy relating to ESG matters
  • Developing, implementing and monitoring initiatives and policies based on that strategy
  • Communicating strategies and initiatives and their results

Our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

ICON’s mission is to improve and save lives through best-in-class services and innovative programs. We are committed to contributing to the 2030 United Nations SDGs and are proud that our work helps to advance those goals.

Our cutting-edge research, work with customers and patients and on-the-ground efforts to meet diverse needs across our employees and the communities we serve collectively touch many of the 17 SDGs. Our ESG program focuses on a subset of the SDGs where we believe ICON has the greatest opportunity to affect change. As we move forward, we will continue to build on and communicate our progress against these goals.