Our basic expectations for suppliers and service providers include their compliance with fundamental environmental and social standards, which are derived primarily from the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Core Labor Standards and the principles of the UN Global Compact.
Our Group Procurement Policy specifies these expectations and defines the methods used to monitor compliance with our standards. It reflects numerous internal guidelines, such as the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Code of Conduct, our Human Rights Charter, and our Corporate EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) Policy. It also reflects the principles of the Code of Conduct of the German Federal Association for Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME), a code that we have endorsed. This document contains provisions for combating corruption, violations of antitrust law, and child labor, and also features provisions on promoting human rights, environmental protection, and human health. In addition to this, we have integrated the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Responsible Sourcing Principles into our general terms and conditions, which apply Group-wide. These principles define what we require of our suppliers with regard to corporate responsibility (CR), obligating them to apply our corporate responsibility standards to their upstream value chain.
At the end of 2014, we joined the industry initiative known as Together for Sustainability (TfS), which has given us access to CR evaluations along with the results of CR vendor audits.
Via our central SpeakUp Line, our employees can report compliance violations as well as violations of CR standards that occur within our supply chain. In the 2015 period, we received no such reports.