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.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Modern Slavery Statement 2016