The road to “Prime” status: How we’re achieving top ESG scores

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By Nicole Witowski

More and more, it’s becoming clear: Doing well means doing good. Since our days as a small startup, the Definitive Healthcare team set out not only to help companies make sense of the complex healthcare market, but also to have a positive impact on the healthcare industry and the communities around us.   

We’ve never lost sight of our values as we’ve grown. Operating responsibly and being transparent to our people, mindful of our community, and respectful to the world are still at the core of what we do.  

So we’re proud to share we’ve been recognized for our efforts by one of the leading ESG rating agencies – ISS ESG – with a “Prime” rating. Prime rating means we’ve achieved the highest ESG scores among our sector peers, placing us in the top 10% of publicly traded corporations.  

But our journey to operate more responsibly doesn’t end at Prime. There’s so much more that we plan to do. Read on and learn about the progress we’ve made and our commitment to ESG for the future.  

Wait, what’s ESG? 

Before diving in, let’s define some terms. ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. It’s a concept that’s emerged to measure a company’s impact on the world. ESG is rooted in the question: What’s the role of the corporation in society? Should it focus solely on creating value for shareholders or should it also concern itself with reaching social and environmental goals? At Definitive Healthcare, we think the answer is both. 

As you might guess, environmental criteria measure a company’s environmental impact. Social criteria consider a company’s relationships, including with employees, customers, and the community. And governance considers the way a company manages itself, including board composition, executive pay, and compliance with the law.  

Now that we’ve got some clarity, let’s look at each of the three pillars to share the steps that we’ve taken to deliver on our ESG commitments.   

Bringing our environmental commitments to life  

Environmental is one of the more easily understood pillars. It refers to a company’s environmental responsibility, from the local to the global level. Considerations may include corporate climate policies, energy use, pollution, resource conservation, and more.  

At Definitive Healthcare, we think building an environmentally friendly business is the right thing to do for the planet. To reduce the energy we use and the carbon we emit, we're shrinking our real estate footprint and tightly managing our business travel. We’ve also switched to a hybrid work environment and virtualized nearly all (99%) of our server infrastructure for more efficient energy use. Our Environmental Oversight Committee is always working to find more opportunities to limit our impact on the planet.  

In addition to our recognition by ISS, we’re also a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. As a participant, we’re committed to upholding ten principles, including those around the environment, by making them part of our company’s day-to-day operations.  

How we’re supporting social issues   

This pillar covers a wide range of topics, from how companies foster people and culture to diversity and community impact. At Definitive Healthcare, corporate responsibility begins with our people, including our community. We’ve created an award-winning culture where every employee is encouraged to “come as you are.”  

Our starting point is fostering a culture that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I). We do this through our employee-led affinity groups, which provide a way for employees to promote a sense of community, belonging, and understanding at Definitive Healthcare. 

We’re also achieving greater DE&I through enhanced hiring practices and flexible work environments. And while we know there’s more work to be done, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, like increasing the gender and racial diversity of our employee makeup.  

We’re also focused on what we can do for the communities that we operate in. This takes the shape of DefinitiveCares – an employee-led program that supports both local and national organizations with not just financial contribution, but also hours of service. Since the program started, we have had 100% employee participation each year.  

Driving responsible business through governance  

Governance refers to how companies are directed. It encompasses company policies, standards, information disclosures, and more. What internal controls exist to hold leaders accountable? Does the company encourage shareholder engagement? Is the leadership team diverse? Stakeholders – including customers, employees, and investors – want to know that people throughout the company conduct business ethically and transparently.  

At Definitive Healthcare, we hold ourselves to a high bar when it comes to corporate governance. We’ve embedded our code of conduct into our corporate culture as our guide to behaving with integrity and ethics in everything we do. We’ve also made strides to improve the diversity of our management team and board of directors. 

While cybersecurity is mainly viewed as a technology issue, it’s also a key metric under the governance pillar. We take customer privacy and security seriously and have made this a top priority across the company. Our approach is to remain proactive, informed, and committed to strengthening our information security program

Learn more  

We’re committed to helping our customers solve complex problems in healthcare – and doing so in a responsible manner. While there’s still so much more that can be done, we’re proud of the progress that we’ve made – and especially our recent Prime recognition by ISS ESG. Want to learn more about how we’re embodying ESG every day? We invite you to read through our policies on our corporate governance page. 

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