Our business is based on responsible management with a focus on integrity, sound corporate governance and compliance. We expect and encourage our employees and managers to behave impeccably. Our code of conduct is applied in every division worldwide and forms the framework for our conduct, both internally and towards our stakeholders. Our corporate responsibility is grounded on the Company’s core values of quality, honesty, integrity, innovation and progress, as well as respect, teamwork and dignity. It also emphasizes our commitment to operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Our code of conduct and the underlying corporate values are further informed by Fresenius Medical Care’s commitment to respecting human rights, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles govern all our actions.
We engage in dialogue with our stakeholders
Fresenius Medical Care places great importance on cultivating regular, trust-based dialogue with all stakeholders. Our procurement strategy is geared toward purchasing high-quality materials and components through long-term mutual relationships with our suppliers.
We treat our employees responsibly
Fresenius Medical Care is committed to maintaining responsible and mutually beneficial relationships with our employees. By ensuring fair working and pay conditions, continuous personnel development and a healthy work-life balance, we aim to be attractive as an employer.
Research and development geared to ethical standards
Whenever Fresenius Medical Care launches a new medical device or pharmaceutical product, the Company is required by law to conduct clinical studies that prove and extensively document new products’ effectiveness and safety.
Fresenius Medical Care is aware of its responsibility towards its employees. By ensuring fair working and pay conditions, continuous personnel development and a healthy work-life balance, we aim to become more attractive as an employer.
The health and safety of our employees is one of our top priorities. Occupational health and safety (OHS) measures include identifying, mitigating and preventing potential work-related hazards and risks.
We defined a global Occupational Health and Safety Policy that outlines our commitment to providing a healthy and safe workplace for our employees and contractors. This is also incorporated in our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. The policy provides guiding principles on worker’s protection, compliance and management systems, awareness and training, and monitoring and improvement. Click here to download the Global OHS Policy.
Sourcing of mineral raw materials is a further important aspect of our commitment towards sustainable procurement.
We are committed to compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act and encourage our suppliers to foster similar commitments of their supply chain related to conflict minerals disclosures. Suppliers who are non-compliant with our Conflict Minerals Policy are reviewed for continued business.
For more about Fresenius Medical Care’s Conflict Minerals Policy Statement and annual reports, click here.
We strive to continually improve our environmental performance and are dedicated to developing, producing and providing our products and services in an environmentally sustainable way. We are committed to business practices that promote environmental protection.
In our Global Environmental Policy, we commit to using natural resources as efficiently as possible. The policy also includes our commitment to business practices that promote the protection of the environment and the minimization of adverse environmental impacts. We strive for continuous improvement in our environmental performance. Click here to download the Global Environmental Policy.
As a global player in the health care sector, our responsibility extends beyond our business operations. We monitor the environmental performance of our operations both regionally and globally, with the aim to use resources efficiently. At the same time, we need to ensure that the safety and quality of our products and services are not compromised. We fully conform with the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard at our Company headquarters, in our certified plants and at the certified national clinic organizations. We monitor national and international regulations concerning environmental issues on an ongoing basis so that out internal policies and manuals are up to date. We have established internal environmental standards, which we complement with external certification, if it adds value.
We have set ourselves the goal of continuously improving the eco-efficiency of our production sites worldwide. For example, led by St. Wendel, our largest production site in Europe, we developed performance indicators for energy use and raw materials consumption to verify the environmental performance of our production processes. Additionally we implement projects like the construction of a gas turbine to generate energy in St. Wendel; it can supply about 90% of the site’s electricity needs and enables us to cut emissions on site by approximately 30%.
To continuously improve our environmental performance, we are involved in local sustainability projects which we report as part of our global Green & Lean initiative. These initiatives enable best practices to be shared between plants with a view to using natural resources efficiently and implementing environmentally sustainable operations.
We are continuously endeavoring to make our products and processes more environmentally friendly, for example by using new materials with improved environmental properties or developing new technologies that further reduce the resource consumption of our dialysis machines. To enable us to improve and report on the company’s environmental performance, it is essential to track and analyze the impact of our products and services on the environment over their entire life cycle (ecological audit) which we have started to fulfill with the implementation of our “Comparative life cycle assessment” project, based on the IEC 60601-1-9 standard.
Our latest dialysis machine generations, the 5008 and 6008 series, are both designed to be more eco-efficient. These machines automatically adjust the dialysate flow to the patient’s blood flow, which allows us to save significant amounts of dialysate, water, and energy while maintaining a consistently high dialysis quality.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to have a positive impact on our environment. Our dialysis machine recycling process helps with our mission to care for the well-being of our patients, our staff and our planet.
The first environmentally friendly products were introduced in 1996 with the stay.safe® CAPD system made of 100% Biofine®. Many other PVC-free products have followed since then. Biofine® has received global recognition, including a valuable certification from the Nordic Ecolabel organization. Biofine® is used in the majority of Fresenius Medical Care’s products for peritoneal dialysis.
One of our core objectives is to further reduce the impact of dialysis treatment on the environment while saving on resources and ensuring cost efficiency. We manage this by using ecologically sustainable dialysis products as well as constructing environmentally friendly dialysis centers.
Across our dialysis clinics in Asia Pacific, Fresenius Kidney Care collects and evaluates data via a global eco-controlling (e-con5) software. Information on our electricity and water consumption enables us to design action plans to decrease the impact of dialysis on the environment. This activity is being extended to examine clinical and non-clinic waste generated from our operations, including recyclable waste such as plastics, glass, metal, and cardboard from packaging materials.
In a global market, Fresenius Medical Care has a decentralized organization with a high degree of responsibility at local level. This structure also applies to our Company’s social commitment. Accordingly, we not only support global organizations and projects, but also regional and local initiatives. We focus on projects aimed at the common good that follow the principle of helping people to help themselves and have a long-term impact.
Our objective is to improve the quality of life of kidney patients. Beyond our core range of products and services, we pursue this aim by cooperating globally with associations and institutions that champion the interests of dialysis patients. We also develop our own initiatives to help patients lead healthier and more active lives. In the U.S., for instance, we sponsor the Renal Support Network, a charitable association run by and for patients with chronic kidney failure. It provides patients and their families with health information, giving them more confidence in their everyday lives.
Fresenius Medical Care organizes and supports scientific conferences with international nephrology experts as well as training programmes for doctors and dialysis specialists worldwide. One example of this is our partnership with the Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation, which promotes projects, mainly in Africa, to give patients access to dialysis treatment in regions without an existing supply structure.
We are also involved in raising health awareness among the general public. One example is the World Kidney Day which our employees use each year to inform people about the negative impact of kidney disease as well as the connection between kidney and cardiovascular disease.
In crisis situations and in the event of global natural disasters, we provide funds, dialysis machines and medical supplies to institutions that need specific aid at short notice. Our global crisis team can be deployed immediately.