“We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children” (attributed to Saint-Exupéry). This awareness should be what drives how people behave towards the Earth. Virbac understands this well.
There are several reasons why long-term development is natural for Virbac. The majority of Virbac's capital is controlled by one family, that of its founder, Dr Pierre-Richard Dick. His profoundly humane values have distinguished the company and remain the foundation upon which the company strategy is built. As with many family businesses, the ability to envisage the long-term and to act accordingly is part of its genetic make-up. Furthermore, being a listed company only serves to advance this vision, because increasing numbers of shareholders favor companies whose strategy includes sustainable development goals that foster, rather than impede, economic performance. Virbac’s mission, to create, manufacture and sell veterinary medicines and in a broader sense, animal health products, puts the company at the heart of the food chain and the “One Health” ecosystem, where it is understood that the health of all living beings on Earth is intrinsically linked. Its customers, veterinarians, farmers and animal owners are becoming increasingly mindful of their impact on the environment and human health. As a result, Virbac is naturally driven to direct its activities accordingly.
The Group’s growth both in France and internationally leads to additional requirements. Virbac is deeply rooted in its place of origin, the Côte d’Azur. Its visibility grows with its workforce and its investment in its place of origin. So it must endeavor to set both a social and environmental example for its employees and its community. At the same time, however, Virbac has also become a global company that derives over 60% of its revenue from outside Europe and whose subsidiaries are located in 32 countries across every continent. The company must ensure that this development complies with certain common guiding principles, regardless of where it operates, particularly in relation to social and environmental issues, all while incorporating development targets.
Since 2012, the company's sustainable development strategy has been audited once by one of the company's statutory auditors. The audit relies on a solid basis in three areas.
In the social sphere, respect for human beings was one of the key values of the company's founder: conducting real social dialogue, a proper compensation and social security policy for employees at the lower end of the salary scale, and the trust and interest granted to every employee are part of Virbac's traditional values. The company is committed to preserving and fostering this legacy by complementing it with ambitious skill development policies.
In the environmental sphere, the company's operations themselves guarantee strict quality requirements (for example, by ensuring compliance with good manufacturing and laboratory practices). In addition, several years ago the company embarked on a continuous improvement strategy designed to consistently cut waste and optimize the use of resources. The search for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are increasingly being systematically integrated into the company's key decisions (investment, transportation, product design, etc.).
In the financial sphere, the company's objective is to pursue the consistent and profitable growth it has seen almost annually since it was founded. This development is based mainly on solid organic growth, driven by innovation and the strength of Virbac's customer relationships. The company regularly boosts its development through targeted acquisitions, all the while ensuring a controlled level of net debt. This strategy is pursued as part of a straightforward and clear governance structure, providing shareholders with a high level of transparency. Without overdoing the communication, Virbac uses a genuine approach, targeting long-term development that respects customers, employees, shareholders, partners and its environment.