More than 350 years of ethical conduct
Responsibility is one of our six company values – along with courage, achievement, respect, integrity, and transparency. We live and breathe these core values not just within our company, but also in how we interact with our customers and business partners.
We comply with applicable laws and regulations and are committed to international guidelines. Our products and technologies are aimed at improving people’s lives. When developing them, we follow strict guidelines concerning quality and product safety.
In our work, we encounter various bioethical and digital ethics topics and issues, including stem cell use, the use of genetically modified microorganisms, use of health data, and the potential impact of new genome editing techniques. We are strongly committed to conduct our research in an ethical manner and develop frameworks that meet rigorous ethical standards.
As an international company, we have a duty to respect human rights worldwide within our sphere of influence and to ensure that they are not compromised by our business activities. Of course, this also applies to our supply chain.
Compliance – responsible entrepreneurship in accordance with the law – is one of our primary considerations worldwide. For us, however, there is more to compliance than simply adhering to regulatory provisions. We consistently aspire to act in accordance with the principles defined in our values and believe that profitability should go hand in hand with the highest ethical standards. We also support responsible governance initiatives to go above and beyond of today's requirements. This ambition underlies our corporate “Mobilize for Growth” strategy.
A single framework: our Code of Conduct
Our compliance hotline
We take violations against our Code of Conduct seriously: we thoroughly investigate known cases and take disciplinary actions where appropriate. Report suspected violations via www.bkms-system.net/ISPEAKUP.
Transparency in healthcare
The treatments and solutions offered by our Healthcare business sector improve the lives of millions of people. The assistance that doctors, medical institutions and patient organizations provide for our research and development activities is very valuable to us. That is why we comply with clear and transparent standards when supporting partner organizations.
Ethics – clear principles!
It is our objective to comply with the highest ethical principles and standards. As an innovative company, we cannot always simply fall back on existing standards for new technologies and developments. Instead, we need to define standards. For this reason, we set up the our Ethics Advisory Panel for Science and Technology in 2011 and the Digital Ethics Advisory Panel in 2019.
Especially technological advances based on the collection of data and their processing by algorithmic systems are confronting us with significant societal change. People’s trust is crucial if we are to seize the opportunities offered by digital progress and minimize the risks. Responsible entrepreneurial action increasingly calls for ethical standards and requires us to take positions on critical issues in the nascent field of digital ethics. We have therefore developed a Code of Digital Ethics – CoDE: five core principles that guide our work.
Respect Human Rights
As an international company, we have a responsibility to observe human rights globally. We are committed to our responsibility to respect human rights – above all, this means ensuring that none of our business activities violates human rights within our sphere of influence. To this end, we need to find out which measures for protecting human rights at our sites are already being implemented. Using this knowledge, we can develop effective strategies, processes and support offers that have been coordinated precisely according to the conditions in individual countries and human rights risks on-site.
Our commitment to observing human rights is enshrined in our Human Rights Charter. It is oriented toward the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights and defines the expectations that we set for ourselves and our business partners. In Australia and the United Kingdom, we additionally report on the steps and measures with which we want to prevent forced labor and human trafficking in accordance with the Australia Modern Slavery Act as well as the UK Modern Slavery Act.
Sustainable supply chains
To develop, manufacture and commercialize our products, we procure raw materials, products and services from all over the world. We expect our suppliers to share our ethical, social and legal foundations and to orient their supply chains accordingly.
Transparency in animal research
We are convinced that transparency can improve scientific outcomes and create benefit for animal well-being. We are proud to be recognized for best-practice communication in animal research by "Tierversuche verstehen" (Understanding animal testing).
Stronger together with our partners
UN Global Compact
Together for Sustainability
Kigali Declaration on NTDs
Sustainable innovationsScience and technology are at the heart of everything we do, driving innovations that enable us to contribute to a sustainable future.Learn more
Our impactThe United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Find out how we are contributing.Learn more
Sustainability by numbersKey figures help us to assess how sustainable our company is. They enable us to measure our progress.Explore more