Sustainable supply chain management

We procure raw materials, products and services from all over the world and ensure compliance with ethical and legal standards.

Partnership and Control

Through our supplier management, we make sure that fundamental ethical, environmental and social standards as well as legal requirements are complied with – while also ensuring high quality, reliable delivery and competitive prices. To avoid violations of these supply chain standards, we follow corresponding strategies, processes and guidelines, which we continuously improve.

We invite our suppliers to allow us or trusted partners conduct assessments or audits to increase our supply chain transparency and identify areas of improvement. To this end we are a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative. Through TfS, suppliers are assessed either based on audits conducted by TfS or based on self-reported information provided by the rating agency EcoVadis.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

Together for Sustainability

  • 1,460

    Through TfS, we have access to more than 1,460 assessments of our suppliers.

Evaluating the sustainability of our suppliers

In line with our sustainability strategy, we aim to create transparency in all our sourcing regions and fully integrate sustainability into all our value chains. Two key indicators help us measure our progress by evaluating the sustainability performance of relevant suppliers with valid sustainability assessments: In 2021, 65% of relevant suppliers in terms of purchase volume and 21% in terms of number of suppliers were covered by a valid sustainability assessment.

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Supplier Decarbonization Program

We believe that climate protection will pay off in the long run – for the environment and our business. But we know that reducing our own emissions is not enough. Over 40% of our carbon footprint occur upstream in our value chain. This is why we collaborate with suppliers through our Supplier Decarbonization Program to reduce emissions associated with purchased goods and services as well as capital goods. 

Read more in our Sustainability Report

Responsible conflict minerals sourcing

We procure and use minerals from multiple sources worldwide. We recognize that there can be risks of significant adverse impacts associated with the extraction, trade, handling and export of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Therefore, our overarching goal is to source minerals responsibly.

We have developed a comprehensive due diligence management system to address the sourcing of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Our basic principles of responsible minerals sourcing are laid down in our Responsible Minerals Sourcing Charter.

As we work to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate adverse impacts, we aim to ensure we are not blocking market access for compliant artisanal and small-scale miners, who represent some of the world’s most marginalized communities.

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Preventing child labor in the mica supply chain

Mica is an important raw material for our pigments, which are used in the cosmetics and food industries and for automotive coatings alike. We purchase mica mainly in the Indian states Jharkhand and Bihar. These are among the poorest regions of India and also politically unstable, which is why child labor is also found here. We are taking on responsibility in the region and have deliberately decided to maintain our business relationship with local suppliers in eastern India.

We explicitly reject child labor and are committed to safe working conditions in the mines and the processing plants. We are working to ensure that the jobs are a livelihood for the workers and their families, but are also committed to improving the overall living conditions – for example by supporting four local schools and a health center. We have taken a number of measures to monitor compliance with our strict social and environmental standards. We carry out regular on-site inspections at our suppliers, both with our own employees and by third parties. 

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  • Sustainable innovations

    Science and technology are at the heart of everything we do, driving innovations that enable us to contribute to a sustainable future.
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  • Ethical conduct

    We are convinced that profitable business activities go hand in hand with ethical standards.
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  • Smart and Green

    With our products, we make a contribution to overcoming global challenges and we support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals.
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