Insights / News

Celebrating community engagement in 2023

Throughout the year, Controlant has engaged with organizations and initiatives to support and give back to communities in the places where it operates.

Gisli Herjolfsson, CEO Controlant, and Birna Thorarinsdottir Director UNICEF, Iceland

Community engagement connects our actions beyond Contolant's traditional value chain. Balancing our environmental, social, and economic performance is an essential aspect of our ambition to become a sustainability leader in our industry. By collaborating with local causes and initiatives, we strive to put our weight on the scale when it comes to our social performance and give back to the communities that we are a part of.

To that end, we have had the privilege of working in partnership with a range of local community causes representing ambitious organizations and people who are dedicated to having a positive impact on society.

Here is an overview of some of the initiatives and community causes we have engaged with throughout 2023:


Coming full circle with innovation

Controlant was delighted to be one of the sponsors of the annual innovation competition Gulleggid, or Golden Egg, which took place for the 15th time this year. Controlant won the Golden Egg competition when it was held for the second time in 2009, bringing us full circle with this initiative as we evolved from a beneficiary to a sponsor.

At an event to promote Gulleggid, Controlant CEO and co-founder Gísli Herjólfsson presented to university students, highlighting the pharmaceutical industry's key issues and the many opportunities supply chain transformation presents for the environment and the people who rely on receiving vaccines and medicines without delay or friction. His message was clear: the opportunities for young and talented people worldwide are bright, and Controlant looks forward to being part of that future.

Controlant also supported the Startup Iceland conference which aims to build an antifragile entrepreneurial ecosystem through best practice tools, resources, and advice.


Growing a mustache in March

Controlant took part in the annual Mustache March campaign led by the Icelandic Cancer Society to fight against men’s cancer, including colon and prostate cancer. Our male colleagues received a special pair of socks as a gift from Controlant in support of the campaign. By the end of March, many Controlant men had clearly put their razors aside, with some impressive mustaches to show for it!

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Women make up over 41% of the team at Controlant. On 8 March, women from all divisions and teams of the company gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplace culture. Ultimately, a diverse workforce is the driving force behind Controlant’s innovative solutions which enable the delivery of valuable and often life-saving vaccines and medicines worldwide 24/7, and the talented women at Controlant are an important part of that diverse workforce.

The women working at Controlant are celebrating International Women's day in 2023.


New partnership with UNICEF focusing on child immunization

UNICEF and Controlant signed a partnership agreement with a focus on life-saving child immunization. Over the next three years, Controlant will donate to UNICEF yearly for its tireless work which positively impacts children’s welfare and supports their health as an essential foundation for learning, development, and happiness. UNICEF is the largest purchaser of vaccines in the world, providing over 40% of vaccines to children in impoverished countries.

Gisli Herjolfsson, CEO Controlant, and Birna Thorarinsdottir Director UNICEF, Iceland


Helping furry friends in Wroclaw

The local team at Controlant’s office in Wroclaw, Poland, organized a fundraiser to support a local animal shelter. To bring a successful fundraiser to a close, the team visited the shelter, donated gifts that had been collected, including food for dogs and cats as well as sanitary products, and took four-footed friends for a walk.

Controlant community engagement 2023 - helping furry friends Wroclaw animal shelter

Closing the loop with textiles

Employees in the Wroclaw office gathered a wardrobe of used clothes in good condition as part of an effort to support Ubrania do oddania. This Polish organization gives a second life to donated clothes and creates dual value by both raising funds for charities and helping to close the loop for a more circular textiles industry. As a company that takes a circular approach, reducing waste by offering reusable IoT devices and reverse logistics, we were happy to lend a helping hand to another organization applying similar principles in another field.


Raising a flag for the Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September, organizations around the world raised the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals flag in a united call for international cooperation to promote well-being and make the world a better place by 2030. As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact and as a company with a clear purpose to make a positive impact, Controlant employees raised the flag as a symbol of our commitment to a joint global effort.

Controlant team working together towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Running for good

The team in Wroclaw put on their running shoes and took off in the 2023 Poland Business Run. A group of five people ran four kilometers each, raising funds for every kilometer completed. The funds were raised to support assistance for people with locomotor dysfunctions, including amputees.

Running for good 2023 community engagement Wroclaw Business Run


A successful partnership with Employment Horizon

Through its partnership with Employment Horizons, Controlant provides work opportunities for people with special needs through its service center in New Jersey. In October, Controlant joined the agency’s Annual Recognition Dinner to raise awareness and funds to support the non-profit agency in fulfilling its mission of transforming the lives of people with disabilities by helping them obtain and thrive at the job of their choice.

Employee Horizons news story image October 2023. Pictured are Daniela Toennes, senior project manager at Controlant, Frances Harber, Director of Global Facilities & Office Management at Controlant, Lisa Montalbano, CEO of Employment Horizon, Glenn Neville, Service Center Manager at Controlant

Pink in October

Controlant joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Iceland this year. According to the World Health Organization, 2.3 million women were affected by breast cancer globally in 2020, and there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 5 years, making it the most prevalent cancer. In addition to symbolic financial support towards the Icelandic Cancer Association, our employees took part in the international campaign by wearing pink on the special Pink Awareness Friday on 20 October.

2023 community engagement bleikur október pink October breast cancer

World Mental Health Day

In our continuous pursuit of well-being, we embrace certain principles in our workplace culture including lifelong learning, fun, and purpose-driven work. To celebrate World Mental Health Day and remind ourselves of the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health and supporting others in doing the same, we made a contribution to the Pieta Association in Iceland, which provides critical support, accessible services, support, and therapy for people at risk of suicide and a bridge to further support.


Fostering inclusion through children’s literature

Controlant sponsored the publication of a new children’s book, Súper Kröftug, which sheds light on the importance of sports and hobbies for children as a way to adapt to a new society, make friends, and learn a new language. As a workplace that welcomes people of over 42 nationalities, Controlant is proud to support the publication of the book which fosters inclusion and embraces diversity.

From left to right: Paola Cardenas author, child psychologist, and founder of Sjálfstyrkur, Gísli Herjólfsson, CEO and co-founder of Controlant, and Soffía Elín Sigurðardóttir, author, child psychologist, and founder of Sjálfstyrkur.

Answering an urgent call

Each year, Controlant proudly supports ICE-SAR, the Icelandic association for search, rescue, and injury prevention, which plays a vital role in prevention and rescue work in Iceland. We were honored to welcome Gudmundur Svansson as a representative of this organization and receive the Neydarkall (emergency services worker figurine) as a token of our support for this critical work.

Controlant 2023 community engagement ICE-SAR bjorgunarsveit search and rescue team neydarkall


A noble gift

Controlant is supporting the Noble Gift charity in Poland which helps those affected by poverty and misfortune. Volunteers on behalf of Noble Gift visit families across the country, learn about their needs, and decide on the best form of help in each instance. Controlant’s support will go towards helping a family in need this Christmas, enabling them to buy much-needed supplies.

Vital vaccinations

With the help of UNICEF, Controlant is providing 50 children per employee with vital vaccinations, helping to protect them and keep them healthy. ​The Christmas gift is a valued part of our dedicated three-year partnership with UNICEF, through which we strive to better the lives of children worldwide. ​

Throughout the year

Nurturing the roots

We welcomed and engaged with over 300 students from a range of universities and schools, as well as student associations. Our roots go back to the University of Iceland where the founders of Controlant met, and their ideas sparked what has become a globally leading real-time visibility solution for pharma companies and logistics providers. It is our privilege to be able to connect with students, share our vision of zero-waste pharma supply chains, and be inspired by the new perspectives that they bring to the table which will be essential in finding solutions to the future challenges we face.