Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA
Investor Relations & Sustainability
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As a health care Group, Fresenius feels a responsibility to protect the environment and use natural resources carefully because only a healthy environment can be a home for healthy people. It is important to avoid possible negative effects on the environment and health. To this end, we identify and evaluate potential hazards and take the necessary measures to protect the environment. In our Group-wide materiality analysis, we identified the following topics for our internal environmental management strategy as particularly relevant to our core business:
In its business operations, the Fresenius Group is subject to numerous guidelines and regulatory requirements that must be applied and complied with at all times. We integrate national requirements into our internal guidelines which are defined in ISO-based management systems, among others.
The four business segments of the Fresenius Group independently align their environmental management strategy to their respective business models. The foundation of the respective environmental management in our business segments is the ISO 14001 standard. We are continuously expanding the number of sites certified to ISO 14001. In 2020, 4 manufacturing plants were added at Fresenius Kabi. Due to the impact of COVID-19, not all certifications at Helios Spain planned for the 2020 reporting year could be completed. This now scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.
Fresenius Medical Care is dedicated to developing, producing, and applying its products and services in a sustainable way. This means that the company pays attention to how its business impacts the environment. Fresenius Medical Care monitors the environmental performance of its operations globally and aim to use resources efficiently. At the same time, the company needs to ensure that the safety and quality of its products and services is not compromised.
Fresenius Medical Care's global Code of Ethics and Business Conduct includes its commitment to work continuously to reduce any adverse effects of its activities on the environment. In accordance with the Code, Fresenius Medical Care is also committed to increasing awareness of environmental issues. The company's standards and procedures for environmental management are defined in various policies and manuals based on regional requirements. One example is the environmental policy for the global Research and Development organization and the manufacturing function in the regions Latin America and Europe Middle East and Africa. In accordance with this policy, complying with environmental laws, enhancing eco-performance, preventing pollution, and recycling waste are core elements of Fresenius Medical Care's efforts to protect the environment.
In the company's vertically integrated organization, responsibility for environmental management is shared between global and regional functions. The Global Manufacturing Quality and Supply function under the leadership of Kent Wanzek, member of the Management Board, is accountable for sustainable plant operations in Fresenius Medical Care's manufacturing business. Responsibility for environmental protection in Fresenius Medical Care's clinics lies with the respective management in the company’s four regions.
Fresenius Medical Care identifies and evaluates environmental risks as part of its enterprise risk management. In 2020, the company additionally performed an assessment on water scarcity risks at its manufacturing sites. As part of the Global Sustainability Program, Fresenius Medical Care has set itself the objective to develop and implement a harmonized global environmental strategy, including a new, global environmental policy and impact reduction targets.
Fresenius Medical Care monitors and analyzes environmental data from its clinics and manufacturing sites around the globe. The company uses different systems to monitor energy and water consumption and to help reduce the use of resources. These systems help Fresenius Medical Care to improve the quality and consistency of environmental data. To further increase data quality and boost efficiency in environmental reporting, the company prepared the launch of a new digital eco-reporting tool in 2020. This tool will aggregate regional environmental data on a global level. It also provides the company with a foundation to report further environmental data in the years to come.
Fresenius Medical Care monitors national and international regulations concerning environmental issues on an ongoing basis so that internal policies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures are up-to-date. External certifications complement the company's own environmental standards if they add value. In 2020, a total of 10 production sites were certified according to ISO 14001 standards. In addition, 2 production sites have ISO 50001 certification. Our manufacturing sites, distribution centers, laboratories and clinics are subject to internal and external audits in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
At Fresenius Medical Care's manufacturing sites, the company is involved in local sustainability projects which it reports as part of our global Green & Lean initiative. This is part of the business segment's efforts to continuously improve its environmental performance. The management of each plant is responsible for defining, planning and implementing environmental initiatives. Fresenius Medical Care's Green & Lean reporting enables best practices to be shared across the organization with a view to reducing emissions, promoting the efficient use of natural resources and increasing recycling rates. By the end of 2020, more than 70 initiatives were reported. They demonstrated improved production processes and recycling activities, among others. Consequently, the business segment was able to save water and energy and reduce the amount of waste produced at various manufacturing sites.
Fresenius Kabi has implemented mandatory environmental guidelines worldwide, which provide the framework for environmental protection in all Fresenius Kabi’s organizations. The guidelines include general principles on how to address and prevent environmental risks as well as how to avoid environmental pollution. Fresenius Kabi also expects careful and responsible handling of nature and its resources from its suppliers; this is set out in the Suppliers’ Code of Conduct.
Each Fresenius Kabi manufacturing site must identify environmental protection measures associated with environmental aspects of its activities and services. This can include: emissions to air, water, or soil, consumption of natural resources and raw materials, waste and wastewater, packaging, transport, or other local environmental impacts. Each organization’s impact on the environment is evaluated. Necessary environmental protection measures are implemented, and their effectiveness is assessed. In cases of environmental incidents, further activities are defined to avoid negative environmental impacts as far as possible. In addition, using internal audits, Fresenius Kabi identifies further improvement opportunities at its own sites and develops appropriate measures with locally responsible managers to tap that potential.
The business segment also uses an environmental management system in line with the international standard ISO 14001 to improve its environmental performance. A handbook for the management system as well as standard process guidelines provide all certified local units with a framework for their environmental management. The focus of the environmental management system at Fresenius Kabi is primarily on reducing energy and water usage, as well as wastewater, waste, and emissions – depending on the overall production volume.
39 Fresenius Kabi organizations are currently certified according to ISO 14001, 4 additional manufacturing plants have been certified in 2020. The business segment is working to introduce the environmental management system according to the international standard ISO 14001 at all manufacturing plants worldwide by 2026.1
Fresenius Kabi has a matrix certification for its global environmental management system, which is audited and certified by TÜV Rheinland annually. Fresenius Kabi continuously monitors certified organizations to ensure that they comply with the standard process guidelines that are binding for them. To this end, globally appointed auditors conduct regular internal audits of the organizations. The local management reviews the environmental management system at least once a year to ensure the continued suitability, appropriateness, and effectiveness of the systems, and to identify potential for improvement. On a global level, the local management reviews of the environmental management system are consolidated, analyzed, and evaluated on an annual basis. Appropriate corrective measures will be initiated if deviations from the requirements of the ISO 14001 management system are identified. The same applies to opportunities for improvement at a global or local level.
Responsibility for environmental management lies with the divisional and local organizations; global management responsibility lies with the central organization, which reports to the responsible member of Fresenius Kabi’s management board. The responsible department analyzes and evaluates workflows and processes at the global and local levels, facilitating the exchange of environmental management practices.
The environment has a direct impact on people's health. As a hospital operator, Fresenius Helios therefore feels a responsibility to protect the climate and the environment. With its environmental management strategy, the business segment works to reduce the environmental impact of hospital operations. It is the aim of Fresenius Helios to control energy consumption, raise employee awareness of the environment, and with these measures, improve the sustainability performance of its hospitals in the long-term.
In Germany, the Infrastructure business unit is responsible for the environmental management strategy of Fresenius Helios hospitals. It supports hospitals in the central purchasing of products or services and in sharing best practice procedures. The business unit reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the parent company Helios Health. Fresenius Helios prepared the introduction of an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 in Germany in 2020. Implementation will start in 2021.
In Spain, environmental management is part of operational management and is assigned to the Quality Management department. In the clinics of Helios Spain, designated environmental officers are responsible for local environmental management. In addition, interdisciplinary working groups define environmental guidelines and support the hospitals in their implementation. This also includes pursuing relevant certifications according to internationally recognized standards: In 2020, Helios Spain started to certify further hospitals in accordance with ISO 14001. In addition, the management policy, which applies to Helios Spain as a whole, contains the following obligations: to protect and preserve the environment, to promote environmental initiatives, to apply environmental protection, and conservation measures, and to comply with the applicable requirements.
Fresenius Vamed continuously monitors national and international regulations on environmental and climate protection. Internal principles, guidelines and standard operating procedures are updated as necessary. The division also expects its suppliers to treat the environment and natural resources with care and responsibility; this is set out in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
As part of our Global Sustainability Program, we have set the objective to develop and implement a harmonized global environmental strategy, including a new, global environmental policy and impact reduction goals.
In the framework of our Global Sustainability Program, we are planning to define qualitative environmental goals as well as quantitative reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions.
Fresenius Kabi is working to introduce the environmental management system according to the international standard ISO 14001 and the energy management system according to ISO 50001 at all manufacturing plants worldwide by 2026.1 Certified organizations set local targets to continuously improve their environmental and energy performance.
Fresenius Helios is evaluating the extent to which the share of renewable energies relative to total energy requirements can be increased at the German clinic sites. The business segment is also exploring opportunities to increase the proportion of energy generated in-house - e.g., by installing photovoltaic systems at its own sites.
At Helios Spain, environmental protection targets are set locally as part of the ISO certifications. The business segment intends to extend the certifications to further Spanish sites. For 2020, Helios Spain also set itself clear targets to reduce electricity and gas consumption in ISO-50001-certified and 14001-certified clinics. In addition, a defined percentage of annual investments is meant for improving environmental and energy performance with sustainable projects.
Over the next two years, Fresenius Vamed plans to evaluate its strategy on the basis of sustainability criteria and to identify performance indicators that will serve the long-term strategic development. This is intended to make successful implementation measurable.
1 The certification roll-out is going to be concluded at all Fresenius Kabi manufacturing plants in 2026. The certification issuance from the individual certification companies may extend into the following year.