2020 - The Year That Changed Us

How best to sum up this past year? Unprecedented, destabilising, demanding?

There is no one word to describe 2020 – even the Oxford Dictionary team couldn’t pin it down. For us, 2020 was paradoxically unthinkable yet inspiring; heart-wrenching yet heart-warming; divisive yet unifying.

As an organisation, protecting people’s health is our main objective, and 2020 was undeniably the year that changed the way we all thought about our health. Looking back, we can truly recognise and appreciate our employees’ achievements in promoting health and prevention in such a testing environment, and we want to highlight just a few.

We know preventative healthcare is important, but COVID-19 was the catalyst for really investing in prevention

We worked around the clock to increase our supplies of the flu vaccine to protect the most vulnerable from being hospitalised. And, by extension, to help avoid additional strain on an already overwhelmed NHS.


In order to keep up with demand of the flu vaccine, and all vital medication, our teams worked tirelessly to avoid disruptions to the supply of medicines, delivering 50 million units of medicines across the UK. Thanks to the efforts of Behnam Heidari, our Head of Supply Chain, and his team, we were able to continue to deliver medicines and vaccines to people who needed them.

Our employees are at the heart of what we do – and we are committed to protecting them

While many of our people adjusted to working from home, our priority was to keep them connected and to protect their wellbeing. As part of this, Sanofi colleagues joined forces with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce to form a Wellbeing Community for businesses to discuss and support employees’ mental health throughout the pandemic and beyond.

COVID hasn’t been the only thing dominating the collective consciousness this year – it has been a year of concerted action for equity and diversity

We’ve hosted webinars, panel discussions and recruited around 40 employees across the business to become designated allies – championing a safe, inclusive, and supportive working environment that encourages diverse voices of our employees. 

2020 brought the Black Lives Matter movement into the spotlight and has shown us the long overdue need for change, and we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace where employees feel, and are, valued and respected.

2020 has been a tumultuous year, to say the least

A year of cancellations, lockdowns, unrest and incredible heartache. COVID-19 revealed vulnerabilities in our healthcare system, such as health inequalities and a lack of investment in preventative healthcare, that need urgent attention to protect our nation’s health, and to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

But 2020 has also uncovered our true strength and sense of community, driven by the acts of individuals across the industry and healthcare system, which you can read more about here. We want to personally thank each and every employee at Sanofi UK and our partners who made an impact in 2020. While it’s been an impossibly tough year, we’ve almost made it through now, and what we have learned and achieved brings us great hope for 2021.