We believe that our commitment to sustainability needs to be reflected in our procurement practices. Therefore, we expect our suppliers to comply with ethical standards of conduct towards employees, society and the environment, and establish adequate procedures for this purpose.
Our Sustainability Procurement Principles
As we are committed to sustainable procurement, we expect that our suppliers also share this commitment. For this reason, we have implemented a standard document – our Sustainability Principles – which describes our minimum expectations towards our suppliers in the areas of environmental management, human rights, occupational health and safety, as well as compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The Sustainability Principles are based on international environmental and social standards and comprise the following aspects:
• compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including environmental legislation,
• protection of the environment,
• working conditions, occupational health and safety as well as process safety,
• data protection, and
• human rights such as non-discrimination, the prohibition of forced labor and exploitative child labor.
Our Sustainability Procurement Principles are an integral part of our supplier contracts along with contract specifications, general terms and conditions and supplementary information. Where applicable local laws impose stricter requirements than those provided by the Sustainability Principles, the stricter standard applies.
Monitoring and evaluating the sustainability performance of our suppliers
Forward-looking planning and long-term partnerships with strategic suppliers are key to ensure the reliable supply of raw materials for production and service. To identify, assess, and mitigate procurement-related risks in our supply chain, our global GMQS Procurement function has developed a risk management solution which monitors supplier- and country-related aspects of compliance and sustainability, such as anti-bribery and corruption, labor practices and human rights, environmental protection, and conflict minerals. Thanks to this strategic risk management process, we were among the finalists in the Procurement Leaders World Procurement Award for Risk Management in 2019.
To evaluate the sustainability performance of our suppliers, we may ask them to self-assess their compliance with our Sustainability Principles. To obtain an objective evaluation of the supplier’s processes, we may also request a third-party assessment as well as documented evidence to confirm compliance with the Sustainability Principles. In accordance with these principles, Fresenius Medical Care is entitled to conduct on-site inspections to verify the information provided.