With the introduction of the Global Business Partner Risk Management Policy, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, made great progress in the field of compliance in 2013.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, applies a systematic, risk-oriented approach to the selection of sales-related business partners such as distributors, agents, and wholesalers. In essence, the greater we estimate the risk to be with regard to a certain country, region, type of service, etc., the closer and more carefully we examine the company before doing business with them.
Our Global Business Partner Risk Management aims to ensure that business partners are selected diligently in order to minimize the danger of adverse legal, reputational, and financial effects. This process is especially concerned with fighting corrupt practices. Adopted at the end of 2012, the Global Business Partner Risk Management Policy now constitutes a fundamental component of the selection process for business partners, along with their overall assessment. The implementation of this policy is leading to an auditable business partner selection process with system-based documentation of relevant partner and business information, approval and evaluation. Through this systematic process, we are both minimizing our risk as well as taking into account the modified requirements resulting from new anti-corruption legislation such as the UK Bribery Act.
This policy, which is in effect throughout the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, encapsulates the eight mandatory principles to be taken into account when selecting business partners.
The policy stipulates that we shall only collaborate with partners who comply with all applicable laws, who do not engage in bribery, who adhere to environmental, health and safety guidelines, and who refuse to tolerate discrimination. Furthermore, we require them to demonstrate a commitment to internationally recognized human rights and labor standards (ILO), as well as to our own compliance standards as defined in our Code of Conduct.
In order to train the relevant employees on the revised selection process, our Group Compliance function initiated a training campaign in 2013. "Train the Trainer" kick-off events were held in Darmstadt as well as other regions to spread awareness of the new policy. At these events, employees from our Group Compliance organization received training, which they then took back to their respective sites to share with those (sales and distribution) employees affected by the new policy.