A word from the founders
A word from the founders
Gubra was founded to create an independent company driven by a passion for science – not profit. Based on our collective scientific, managerial and sales track record we wanted to become a preferred collaborator and service partner to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in the areas of obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders, and to use part of the profits generated to initiate innovative target and drug discovery projects. At our core, we strove for economic and scientific independence with a reasonable work-life balance.
In fact, being dedicated to profitable as well as non-profitable projects was listed as a conclusive statement in our first company presentation. We joined the climate protest march during COP15 in 2009 and from the start we discussed how we could support green initiatives both at the personal and at the company level. Now, 10 years later, we have the financial strength to put some real action behind our words.
Jacob Jelsing & Niels Vrang, July 2019
The need for a new narrative
There is widespread agreement among politicians and within the business community about the need for radical change. However, in order to change, we need to deal with the win-win narrative, which for years has played too big a role in the corporate world and in politics. It is important to emphasize that win-win is insufficient, not bad. Companies should do all they can to find solutions that not only benefit their bottom line but also society at large. However, win-win sets the bar way too low – in effect, you should only go-green as a company if it is in your financial interests and you should only do it to the extent that it pays off, for you.
We need a new narrative – one that does not consider you a sucker or a fool if you act contrary to our own economic interests. Gubra wants to present an alternative story, one about generating profit, not maximizing profit. We will admit that if we didn’t care, we would make more money – window-dressing is a lot cheaper than actually doing good. We are debating the subject (almost) every chance we get – with politicians, representatives from other companies, and in the media.
Additionally, we are working on creating a new way of reporting about corporate social and environmental activities, one that includes displaying the costs of these activities. How much you are willing to sacrifice is a pretty good indicator of your social and environmental engagement – we need to be transparent about these costs. Also, the business community needs to talk a lot more about what is right and a little less on which sustainability projects are financially viable. All in all, we need to engage in discussions about what our ethical responsibility implies. If we leave all the big problems for the politicians to deal with, one thing is certain – our descendants will suffer.