Our Responsibility

We are committed to responsible and sustainable management as part of our corporate culture and day-to-day business practice. We place great importance on fulfilling our legal and ethical responsibility as a company. Only by doing so can we be perceived as a trustworthy and reliable partner in the health care sector.

At Fresenius, our patients’ well-being always comes first. For more than 100 years, our mission has been to preserve life, promote health, and improve patients’ quality of life. Economic success is not an end in itself for Fresenius, but rather a means that enables us to continuously invest in better medicine.

Every business decision we make is ultimately guided by the well-being of our patients. It is at the center of everything we do. We are committed to integrity in the way we conduct business with our partners as well as to socially responsible behavior, and open communication.

In the Fresenius Code of Conduct, we have set ourselves binding rules for our activities. They apply to all employees, executives, and board members of the Fresenius Group and are designed to help them make the right decisions in their daily work. In addition, the Code of Conduct is the basis for the respective codes of the individual business segments. The structure of this Group Non-financial Report is therefore aligned with our Code of Conduct and the Codes of the four business segments.

The material non-financial topics that Fresenius has defined in its Code of Conduct for all employees are reflected in the materiality analysis on which this Group Non-financial Report is based:

  • We take responsibility for our patients’ well-being and are committed 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.
  • We largely owe our success and growth to the commitment of our more than 290,000 employees worldwide. Our aim is therefore to be perceived as an attractive employer to attract talent, retain employees, and allow them to develop their skills further in the long term.
  • We think and act long term in our business decisions. It therefore goes without saying that we protect nature as the basis of life and treat resources with care.
  • We are committed to respecting human rights as defined by international standards, such as the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

Sustainability Governance Structure

At Fresenius, the topic of sustainability is the responsibility of the Group Chief Executive Offer (CEO). The Investor Relations & Sustainability department reports directly to the CEO, coordinates the implementation of sustainability guidelines and standards at operational level, and is responsible for the non-financial reporting of the Fresenius Group. In addition, Investor Relations & Sustainability supports the business segments in developing policies and management concepts on the topic of sustainability. On the business segment level, each CEO has named a person responsible for the coordination of all sustainability matters. The Management Board and the Supervisory Board of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA review the progress and the results of the sustainability management, which are then published in the Group Non-financial Report. The Supervisory Board is supported in this process by the auditor’s limited assurance engagement.

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA is a listed company and has its own sustainability governance structure. Here, too, sustainability is firmly established at Management Board level. The Sustainability Decision Board, which is headed by the CEO, supports the Management Board in coordinating Fresenius Medical Care’s sustainability efforts. Together with the Sustainability Decision Board, the Management Board takes the final decision concerning sustainability targets and the incorporation of sustainability aspects in the company’s strategy.

Another important part of Fresenius Medical Care’s global sustainability governance is the Corporate Sustainability Committee, which acts as an advisory and steering committee. It comprises senior representatives from all regions and global functions who have been nominated to adequately represent regional and functional interests in the company’s sustainability activities. The Sustainability Decision Board and the Corporate Sustainability Committee enable the Corporate Sustainability Office to manage Fresenius Medical Care’s sustainability activities.

Developments in 2019

The Management Board of Fresenius Group discussed the way forward for the company’s sustainability program in three meetings in 2019. The CEOs of the four business segments reviewed their sustainability programs and the current reporting and have defined measures for continuous improvement of their respective programs and reporting. We report on initial progress achieved in the respective activity areas on the individual business segment’s level.

Fresenius Medical Care has established a Global Sustainability Program in 2019. As part of the program, the company has defined eight sustainability areas, which allow it to manage key sustainability topics. These include patients, employees, anti-corruption and bribery, data privacy and security, human / labor rights, supply chain, environment, and occupational health and safety. For further information, please see Fresenius Medical Care’s separate Non-financial Report.

For more information about how we protect data see the Non-financial Report.