How We Do Business
Taking on responsibility is part of our everyday business
Offering innovative solutions for a better life, our Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors stand for high-quality products. They must be safe and should not pose any danger to patients, customers or the environment. That’s why we carefully examine product safety across the entire life cycle, by implementing globally applicable policies, standards and processes. Patients and customers receive extensive informational material with our products so that they understand them as fully as possible and can use them safely.
Looking beyond ourselves
Our business activities require raw materials, packaging, technical products, components, and services, which we source from over 64,000 suppliers across 145 countries. When sourcing supplies, we look for quality, safe delivery and competitive pricing. But we also insist that fundamental environmental and social standards are met. To make sure that our suppliers uphold these standards, we regularly request self-disclosures or initiate audits. We procure most of the mica, a raw material for our pigments, from India. There we also take special measures for the local supply chain to ensure compliance with our environmental and social standards.
We are a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) chemical industry initiative. Developing and emerging countries are becoming increasingly important to us as sourcing markets. We feel a particularly strong sense of responsibility where these countries are concerned.
We are committed to preserving human rights within our sphere of influence and welcome the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. In the United Kingdom, we are required by the UK Modern Slavery Act to report on the steps and measures we are taking to counter forced labor and human trafficking.
Employees worldwide contribute to our success with their curiosity
Nationalities are represented among the workforce
We empower our employees
Our success is founded on the abilities of our employees – and on their ideas and enthusiasm for our company. Because they are central to who we are and what we can achieve, we are keen to develop their talents at every opportunity. We seek to offer the best possible working conditions, as well as encouraging people to develop their talents through continued training and education. This also means empowering women to take on leadership positions within our company. By offering flexible hours, childcare facilities, or the chance to stretch their legs on our running track, we do all we can to help our employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. As a team, we treat each other with fairness and respect, and value equal opportunity and diversity.
We support local communities
Wherever we are in the world, we take on responsibility for the local community. Our social projects are built around our focus areas of health, environment as well as education and culture. The exact aims and strategies of these projects are decided locally, allowing them to be tailored to individual needs. Our social engagement ranges from drinking water purification initiatives and sustainability awareness talks for schoolchildren in China, to programmes supporting young scientists in schools around Germany. Have a look at our projects all around the globe.
Advance Climate Protection
Energy conservation represents an important component of our climate impact mitigation activities. By adapting and updating our technology, we are improving the energy efficiency of our R&D operations, our production processes and our buildings. Just as important is the reduction of process-related emissions. Furthermore, we are working to lower the emissions resulting from energy generation. Where financially viable, we additionally utilize renewable energies to generate our own power.
strict environmental management
of our waste was recycled in 2019
of our sites worldwide are currently covered by the ISO 14001 certificate.
Awards & Rankings
ESG Rating from MSCIView Website
ESG Rating from MSCI
In May 2019, MSCI gave us an “AAA”, their highest ESG rating and one that puts us among the top 2% of all companies evaluated. They particularly praised our Group-wide ISO 9001 certification, our compliance activities and our robust quality management system.
Since 2008, our company has been included in FTSE4Good, an internationally leading sustainability index that annually measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and ethical practices.
STOXX? Global ESG Leaders IndexView Website
STOXX? Global ESG Leaders Index
In 2016, our company was once again included in the STOXX Global ESG Leaders sustainability index, which assesses companies based on key environmental, social and governance criteria.
Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 IndexView Website
Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 Index
Since 2015, our company has been included in the Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 Index, which comprises the 120 highest-ranking European companies in terms of their environmental, social and governance efforts.
Ethibel Sustainability IndexView Website
Ethibel Sustainability Index
In 2015, our company was added to the Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe, which selects the 200 top-rated European companies based on their corporate responsibility performance. We are also included in the Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register.
Good Company RankingView Website
Good Company Ranking
In 2018, Kirchhoff Consult, a management consultancy, published its sixth Good Company Ranking. Among the 30 DAX-listed companies, we took fourth place.
Access to Medicine IndexView Website
Access to Medicine Index
In 2018, our company moved up to fourth place in the Access to Medicine Index. This index assesses 20 pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to improve access to medicine in developing countries. It is published every two years by the Access to Medicine Foundation.
In the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) we scored a C in 2019. In addition to reporting on our climate action, since 2016 we have been reporting our water-related performance and processes to the CDP. In 2019, we received a B for our water management practices, up from a B- in 2018.
EcoVadis ratingView Website
The independent rating agency EcoVadis assesses suppliers from 150 countries across the categories of environment, social affairs, ethics, and sustainable procurement. In 2019 we were awarded the Platin recognition level and were thus among the top 1% of all participating companies.
ESG company ratingView Website
ESG company rating
In 2019, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) group of companies again gave our Group a B- on a scale of A+ (top mark) to D-, once more granting us Prime Status (“good” to “very good”) as in 2018.