Ethics and Risk culture

To chase the miracles of science, we need a strong moral compass.

A bold and noble purpose like ours requires a culture that drives and is driven by ethics and business integrity. It means all of us bring our best ethical selves to work so that we make the right decisions for the people we serve.

To achieve that, our decision-making framework grounded on thoughtful risk-taking, fairness and ethical principles guides us at every level to do the right thing.

This means also taking responsibility for our actions to deliver the best outcome to our patients, customers, and stakeholders.

Scheme of virtous ethical circle

Our Culture of Ethics

When we act in line with our Code of Conduct principles, our culture and ethics feed one another, creating a “virtuous ethical circle.”

For example, when we pursue fairness and justice, we foster an ethical and safe environment – and enable greater trust, accountability, and courage from our people to ask the right questions and challenge the status quo. All these together help us deliver on our purpose, with patients at the center of our thinking.

Our Code of Conduct defines and helps us apply our moral compass, guiding us to make decisions ethically and fairly.

Thoughtful Risk-Taking is how we make decisions at Sanofi

Transforming the practice of medicine is challenging. Those challenges should not cast a shadow on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead of us and the positive impact of our science on people’s lives.

To achieve breakthroughs, we need to safely unlock our innovation potential while maintaining the highest standards of ethics and business integrity. We know that with great rewards come risks. And in the fast-moving, uncertain world of healthcare, we need to weigh the risks and opportunities involved and be transparent about our motives. To achieve this, we rely on a common decision-making framework.

Schema of the Thoughtful Risk-Taking and the Purple Zone

What is Thoughtful Risk-Taking?

Thoughtful Risk-Taking is about making the right decisions by maximizing opportunities while mastering risks in the so-called “The Purple Zone”.

It requires us to find the right level of risks we can take within the risk appetite of our company, avoiding excessive caution or carelessness, so that we seize the opportunities at the right time and deliver the best outcome to our patients, customers, and stakeholders.

Schema of the Thoughtful Risk-Taking Catalyst

Thoughtful Risk-Taking is an enabler of our organizational culture and a catalyst of our employee value proposition and Play to Win behaviors. It reflects the way we behave, make decisions and take responsibility.

Thoughtful Risk-Taking is never reckless. We do not compromise our integrity. We do not break the law or contravene our policies. We do not put our patients, our people, or the planet at risk.

At Sanofi we are all empowered to embrace a Thoughtful Risk-Taking mindset using our TRT principles:

Thoughtful: We rely on the sound judgment of our people and our values to do the right thing. We involve the right stakeholders to seek diversity of views and expand our thinking. We are ethical and inclusive.

Risk: We balance risks and opportunities to make informed and bold choices and ensure the benefits outweigh the risks. We keep patients and customers in the center of our thinking when coming up with solutions. We are bold and driven by a common purpose.

Taking: We follow a pragmatic approach with clear decision-making roles. We take responsibility for our decisions, celebrate successes, and come together as One Sanofi to learn from unexpected outcomes. We are empowered and accountable.

Scheme of the Decision Making

How to apply thoughtful risk-taking?

A decision-making process consisting of 6 simple and practical steps has been designed to guide us when we make decisions every day, asking ourselves the right questions and applying the TRT principles:

  • Step 1: Define
  • Step 2: Involve
  • Step 3: Evaluate
  • Step 4: Decide
  • Step 5: Execute
  • Step 6: Learn

It is what we call “TRT experience”.

It helps us activate the right mindset and follow a common and consistent approach to making the best decisions at every level of the organization.

And as we go through the TRT experience, we are invited to reflect on our decisions, considering what worked well and what could be improved and ensure that best practices and lessons learnt are shared to collectively grow.

Fair & ethical decision-making

Making fair decisions

Making a fair decision is about avoiding bias and ensuring transparent, objective, and equitable criteria throughout the process. This means also gathering and evaluating all relevant information, hearing from the people who will be affected by the decision and providing a clear and meaningful rationale for our decision.

Navigating the grey areas

To pursue progress, we must make complex decisions every day. These decisions aren’t always binary – so how do we navigate the grey areas? And what does doing the right thing look like, beyond the obvious of following the laws and regulations?

To make ethical decisions, we need to understand two things: (1) the potential consequences of our actions and (2) our motivation for those actions.

This means taking responsibility for the result of our decision and relying on our well-informed judgment to do the right thing, through a continuous self-questioning:

  • Is my decision in line with our purpose to chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives?
  • Is my decision in line with Sanofi’s values?
  • Am I not violating any laws, any Sanofi policies, procedures, or anything set out in this code?
  • Am I putting collective interest before my own personal interest?
  • Am I treating others in the same way I would expect to be treated?
  • Would I be comfortable with the public reading about my decision online forever?

If the answer to any of these questions is “NO,” ask for help.

Organizational Justice

What is Organizational Justice?

The way we behave as a company has a direct impact on our people. To make Sanofi a fair and safe workplace, we foster a culture where people feel they have been treated fairly and are not afraid to speak up, ask for help or challenge what does not look, feel or seem right.

To create an environment conducive to speaking up, Sanofi takes every effort to put in place the resources and mechanisms we need to do so safely and with the greatest impact.

All these mechanisms together enable a strong culture of organizational justice that instill in each of us the perception of fairness and trust needed to feel empowered to speak up.


In its commitment to fostering a culture of ethics, business integrity and mutual respect, Sanofi prohibits any conduct that may negatively affect a person’s dignity or have a damaging impact on Sanofi or its reputation. We do not condone or support any form of fraud, harassment or discrimination. These behaviors are fundamentally incompatible with our core values and will be subject to a zero-tolerance approach across all our operations globally and in relation to all employees.

Raise your concern

At Sanofi, we encourage our employees to speak up when they have questions or concerns and give them assurance that they will be heard. We commit to:

  • Handle questions and concerns brought to our attention promptly.
  • Conduct independent, fair, and balanced investigations into concerns raised when it is right to do so.
  • Make all reasonable efforts to preserve confidentiality of the reporter and reduce the risk that the person will be identified.
  • Take appropriate unbiased disciplinary action, in a transparent and consistent manner aligned with our disciplinary and corrective actions policy.
  • Never blame or punish people before the facts are confirmed.
  • Protect anyone reporting concerns when done in good faith and without malicious intent through our robust non-retaliation policy, even if the facts reported prove to be inaccurate or no further action is taken.
  • Continuously monitor our culture, compliance, behaviors, and business activities to ensure the right tone is being set with our employees leading by example throughout the company.

Following these core principles of Organizational Justice, our employees can bring their whole and best selves to work and have a stake in making Sanofi the best workplace it can be.

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Discover how we maximize opportunities while minimizing risks.