As the corporate world evolves in the wake of COVID-19, Sanofi has christened an innovative headquarters to help keep pace.
Monday, the French pharma giant officially moved into its new global home base in Paris, dubbed La Maison Sanofi. The 9,000-square-meter (about 96,875-square-foot) facility comprises two historic buildings and will host around 500 employees, the company explained in a release.
The facility is designed around “new hybrid ways of working” and boasts an emphasis on energy efficiency. At the new site, each employee’s carbon footprint there is reduced by nearly 100% compared with Sanofi’s previous HQ.
Sanofi’s French roots are reflected in the building’s architecture, which boasts “original Eiffel pillars, witnesses of the pioneering spirit of Paris in the 1900s,” according to the company.
The building is crowned by a rooftop terrace all staff members can visit. Overall, the HQ is designed to be “as welcoming as ‘a home,’” Sanofi continued.
Sanofi snared a lease for the Paris property from private investor Ardian almost two years ago exactly in November 2020. With plans to make the reworked buildings its new headquarters, Sanofi at the time said it aimed to extend a “state-of-the-art working environment” to all its employees by 2022.
“This choice confirms Sanofi’s commitment to meeting its employees’ changing needs and expectations,” the company previously said.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new digital modes of working around the globe, and Sanofi is keeping those shifts in mind by deploying video conferencing technologies and more throughout the new site.
Many other Big Pharma companies, such as GSK, have tweaked their offices to accommodate changes in work behaviors.
The Sanofi facility’s opening is joined by the launch of a companion phone app employees can use to manage their entire day. The app keeps track of employees’ remote workdays or arrival on site. It also helps manage locker access, offers the ability to book rooms or catering services and alerts users to events at the headquarters.
La Maison Sanofi represents a big leap in the company’s global push to modernize its workspaces around the world. In its release, Sanofi highlighted other new sites that embody the “same spirit” in Cambridge Crossing near Boston plus other French sites in Paris and Lyon.
It was only in July, in fact, that Sanofi cut the ribbon at its biggest U.S. site in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sanofi has said it aims to boost collaboration between its research and development, medical and specialty care business units, among others, at the sprawling East Coast campus.
Sanofi is charting upgrades across its manufacturing operations, too. Of note, the company is building out two so-called Evolutive Vaccine Facilities (EVFs) in France and Singapore, which it had bolstered with investments in the vicinity of 900 million euros back in April.
Taking a closer look at the Singapore EVF, Sanofi has described the upcoming plant as “first-of-its-kind,” sporting fully digitalized and modular vaccine production capable of cranking out shots for Asia on a major scale. Sanofi envisions its vaccine modules will be able to crank out up to four vaccines at once regardless of the technology used, whether that be protein, mRNA or some other platform, the company has said.
By Fraiser Kansteiner
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