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Human rights are universal. As a global health care company, Fresenius views the respect for human rights as an integral part of our responsibility. Medical care for patients and the well-being of our more than 300,000 employees are among the most important engagement areas of our human rights due diligence.
 

We are aware that respecting human rights extends beyond our own company operations and core business. We consider human rights issues when selecting and cooperating with our suppliers and business partners, both in procurement, sales, and distribution. We expect them, among other requirements, to commit to compliance with the principles set out in our Human Rights Statement. We specify and communicate these expectations in our Code of Conduct for Business Partners. We are working to increase the transparency of our supply chains. The knowledge gained by doing so helps us to ensure secure supplies while reducing human rights risks in the procurement of important raw materials and supplies.

 

Health is a human right

According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human being has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing. This includes adequate health care. As a globally active health care group, Fresenius contributes to improving access to affordable, high-quality health care in many countries.

 

Fresenius Human Rights Statement

Fresenius is committed to respecting and upholding human rights. We underline this commitment with a Group-wide Human Rights Statement.

In the Declaration of Human Rights, we position ourselves on the following topics:

We are committed to ensuring that the necessary safety measures are taken and that working conditions are fair and safe for all our employees. We make sure that the necessary measures for the security of our employees are taken.

We support equal opportunities and take a clear stand against discrimination. No one may ever be discriminated against, e.g. for their skin color, race, gender, religion, political views, age, physical constitution, sexual orientation, appearance, or other personal characteristics. We also do not tolerate discrimination due to membership in unions or works councils.

We respect the privacy of every person. We feel accountable for the personal data of our patients, employees, customers, and suppliers.

We do not tolerate the use or threat of violence, or any other form of coercion. In particular, we are dedicated to protecting children from exploitation. We strictly forbid using, supporting, or approving of exploitative and illegal child or forced labor.

We respect the freedom of association and the recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Our employees can join labor unions, seek representation and engage in collective bargaining in accordance with local laws.

It is also part of our joint responsibility to protect nature as the basis of life, to preserve resources and to reduce our impact on the environment. It is our mutual duty to protect resources for future generations.

We expect our suppliers and business partners to commit to ethical standards of conduct in daily business, towards employees, society and the environment. This also includes the described areas in relation to respecting human rights.

Human Rights Program

Our human rights program is based on international standards e.g., the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Our primary goal is to establish and continually develop appropriate human rights measures for Fresenius to prevent, end, or minimize the possible negative human rights impact of our business activities and supply chain.

Fresenius established a Human Rights Council to drive the information exchange on current human rights topics across all Fresenius business segments. The council´s task is to promote the further implementation and development of our human rights program across the Group. It is composed of representatives of the four business segments and Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA. The approximately 20 members of the Human Rights Council are active in various functions within the Group, including compliance, legal, sustainability, communications, purchasing, human resources and medicine. The participants discuss Group-wide initiatives and present new concepts and methods.

 

Reporting channels

Employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders can report possible human rights or other types of compliance violations around the clock, either anonymously or by name, via our whistleblower system*. We treat all information confidentially. We carefully and comprehensively review every report received. We take appropriate action if we identify justified concerns or violations of laws and guidelines. We use the results of internal reviews and reports to review our business processes and implement corrective or improvement measures where necessary.

 

* The whistleblowing system can be used for reports concerning Fresenius Management SE, Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA and Fresenius Netcare. Please address reports for Fresenius Medical Care, Fresenius Kabi, Fresenius Helios or Fresenius Vamed to the relevant business segment.