At Fresenius, the patient always comes first. For more than 100 years, we have been working to save lives, promote health, and improve the quality of life of our patients. Economic success is not an end in itself for Fresenius; it rather enables us to keep investing in better medicine.
Every business decision we make is consistently guided by the well-being of our patients. It is at the center of everything we do. We are committed to integrity in conducting business with external partners and responsible action, as well as reliability in our communication.
With the Fresenius Code of Conduct, we set binding rules for our course of business that cover all employees of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, managers, and board members. The rules are intended to help us make the right decisions in our daily work. In addition, the Code of Conduct is the framework for the individual Codes of the business segments. The structure of this Group Non-financial Report is therefore aligned with our Code of Conduct and the Codes of the business segments.
The Fresenius Code of Conduct defines material topics for all our employees, which are mirrored in the materiality analysis conducted for this Group Non-financial Report:
We take responsibility for the well-being of the patient and commit to the highest quality in our products, therapies, and services.
We want to do the right thing and comply with all applicable rules and laws. In addition to legal requirements, we adhere to high ethical standards and rules of good corporate governance.
Our success and growth are based on the commitment of our more than 276,000 employees worldwide. As an attractive employer we want to attract talent, retain employees, and develop them in the long term.
With every business decision we make, we think and act long term. Therefore, it is natural for us to protect nature as a basis for life and to conserve resources.
We care for human rights as they are defined by international standards, e.g. the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.
Sustainability Governance Structure
At Fresenius, the Group CEO is responsible for sustainability. The Investor Relations department directly reports to the CEO, coordinates the operational implementation of sustainability guidelines and standards, and is responsible for the non-financial reporting of the Fresenius Group. In addition, Investor Relations provides further guidance on the development of sustainability policies and management concepts. The Management Board and the Supervisory Board discuss the results of the sustainability efforts in the form of the Non-Financial Report. In this context, the Supervisory Board reviews the Non-Financial Report and is supported by the auditor’s limited assurance engagement.
Fresenius Medical Care is a separately listed company and has its own sustainability governance structure. At Fresenius Medical Care, sustainability is also firmly established at Management Board level. Responsibility for the Company’s sustainability efforts lies with the Sustainability Decision Board, Fresenius Medical Care’s highest decision-making body for sustainable development, which is headed by the CEO.
The Sustainability Decision Board and the Corporate Sustainability Committee enable the Corporate Sustainability Office to manage Fresenius Medical Care’s sustainability program. The Corporate Sustainability Committee has an advisory and steering role. It consists of senior representatives of all regions and global functions who have been nominated so that regional and functional interests are appropriately represented in the company’s sustainability program.
The Corporate Sustainability Office has introduced a global sustainability program in 2018 to further strengthen and harmonize Fresenius Medical Care’s sustainability management concepts.