For more than 350 years, responsibility has been an integral part of our corporate identity. It is one of our six company values, alongside courage, achievement, respect, integrity, and transparency. We seek to balance environmental, social and governance aspects – for patients, customers and business associates – and find solutions for the world of tomorrow.
Our approach to responsible governance
The requirements we place on responsible corporate governance are derived from our company values on the one hand and from the regulations, external initiatives and international guidelines to which we are committed on the other hand. We have integrated these requirements into our sustainability strategy and our Group-wide guidelines. These guidelines comprise charters and principles that are valid for the entire company as well as specific standards and procedures for individual business sectors and sites.
Some examples: Our Human Rights Charter aligns with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. Our Group-wide Social and Labor Standards Policy reflects the labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Our EHS Policy (Corporate Environment, Health and Safety Policy) for environmental impact mitigation and health and safety forms the basis for implementing the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® Global Charter within our company. Our Regulatory Affairs Governance Policy for chemical products sets out the processes and management structures for product safety.
We comply with all applicable laws as a matter of principle. Where necessary, we review our internal guidelines, standards and instruction manuals on compliant behavior and adapt them to reflect changes in the regulatory landscape.
Roles and responsibilities
Based on the requirements set forth in charters, principles and policies, our internal standards give specific guidance for operational processes. They are constantly updated by the relevant departments and are available on our intranet. Our managers implement these standards in their respective areas of responsibility and ensure that they are adhered to. In addition, we educate and train our employees on all guidelines that apply to them.
We employ management systems to steer processes and define goals, actions and responsibilities. These systems are based on standards such as the internationally recognized quality management standard ISO 9001, good working practices (GxP) in the pharmaceutical industry and ISO 14001 for environmental management. Our company regularly undergoes ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certification, which are conducted by an independent auditing firm. We hold group certificates for both standards.
We support the following responsible governance initiatives:
- We have been a participant in the United Nations Global Compact since 2005 and are committed to complying with its principles. Our annual progress report illustrates how we live our responsibility in our day-to-day actions.
- As a signatory to the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® Global Charter, we voluntarily go above and beyond what is required by law and have adopted mandatory standards for product responsibility, environmental impact mitigation and health and safety.
- As a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) network, we are dedicated to improving the supply chain with respect to environmental, compliance and social standards.
- We are a member of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), which aims to continuously improve health, safety and environmental aspects throughout the supply chain.
- We are also a member of the Chemie3 initiative, a collaboration between the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the Federal Employers’ Association (BAVC) and the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE). The partners involved this globally unique alliance seek to make sustainability a core part of the chemical industry’s guiding principles and to jointly drive the sector’s position within the German economy as a key contributor to sustainable development.