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We All Can Make a Difference

Former CEO Rice Powell shares his thoughts on sustainability and how we can contribute together to a better future for everyone.

Today, people want more than good products – they expect companies to contribute to a better future and a healthier planet. At Fresenius Medical Care, we want to nurture an environment in which everybody can make a difference.

Sustainability has always been a big part of what we do at Fresenius Medical Care, but we didn’t always call it that. The word we used to describe our relationship to society over the past 25 years was right there in our company’s name: Care.

As the leading provider of products and services for people with renal diseases in the world, we care for our patients, their well-being, and health. But now there’s a tectonic shift going on around us, in the way the world does business. People aren’t satisfied with great products and services anymore – they expect companies to create a better and healthier future

We at Fresenius Medical Care have embraced this challenge. In 2020, we kicked off our Global Sustainability Program, which I oversee myself. I see it as a “catalyst” to drive sustainability across the business and measure how we’re progressing. I believe in the old management truth “what gets measured gets done,” so we applied it to topics ranging from labor rights to our environmental footprint. In the end, we set new standards and ambitious goals for ourselves – because if we want to continue thriving, we will have to hold ourselves accountable.

Sustainability is not just a top-down affair – it’s everybody’s business. We want to nurture an environment in which anybody can contribute.

Rice Powell
Former CEO and Chairman of the Management Board

But sustainability is not just a top-down affair – it’s everybody’s business. We want to nurture an environment in which anybody, including our patients, employees, suppliers, and partners, can contribute.

And many already do! Last year, our production sites alone reported more than 90 initiatives to lower CO2 emissions, save water, energy, and reduce waste. And when a nurse at one of our North American clinics noticed how much waste was produced due to throwaway plastic cups, she convinced her manager to switch to paper cups instead. Other clinics in the U.S. followed suit, and now we expect to use about 30 million fewer plastic cups every year.

Still, sustainability is a journey, and we are in it for the long haul. I see this as an investment in a future worth living – just like our mission says. It will underline our credibility as a partner, a good corporate citizen, and a company worth believing in. 

That’s why I want to encourage all of you to speak up when a new idea strikes you or you notice room for improvement at Fresenius Medical Care. We want to nurture an environment in which everybody who cares can make a difference. I am taking sustainability personally – and I hope you do, too.

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Managing sustainability successfully means creating lasting value – economically, ecologically and socially.