Our corporate culture has always been characterized by responsible conduct – whether with respect to products, employees, the environment, or society. In line with this approach, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is committed to protecting human rights, as demonstrated by our participation in the UN Global Compact.
In 2012, we conducted an extensive human rights risk assessment in the course of implementing the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, which were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. Based on the results of this assessment, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, adopted a Group-wide human rights charter at the end of 2013, thereby achieving another milestone.
The charter underscores our commitment to respecting and protecting human rights. It brings together and complements other regulations and guidelines that pertain to human rights, such as our Code of Conduct, our Social Charter, our Environment, Health and Safety Policy, and our Charter on Access to Medicines in Developing Countries. The Human Rights Charter defines our company's expectations while increasing awareness of human rights within the company. It also allows us to more accurately assess Group-specific risks and to align our business operations with our Values.
In the course of drafting the charter, we asked external stakeholders what they thought of our approach to human rights. These stakeholders included experts for companies and human rights from various countries, trade unions, associations, and specialists in individual aspects addressed in the charter. This step was crucial as it allowed us to consider the situation from various perspectives.
Within the German Global Compact Network, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a member of the Human Rights Peer Learning Group, a working group that facilitates best-practice sharing with regard to business and human rights.
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights