Sustainability and compliance as a tradition
As an owner-managed family business and manufacturer of herbal remedies, Bionorica SE takes its social responsibility towards customers, suppliers, employees and the public very seriously. As part of this responsibility, the company acts at all times and everywhere according to applicable rules and laws (compliance) – an essential and actively practised component of the corporate culture.
Bionorica’s values and standards of conduct are set out in various documents. The Code of Conduct (CoC) describes, among other things, essential requirements for the corporate culture. For example, it regulates dealings with third parties – in particular with doctors and pharmacists – and the sharing of information about products, e.g. to patients.
Rules for business partners
Bionorica SE maintains no operating sites with a significant risk of child labour or circumstances in which young employees could be exposed to hazardous work.
However, for Bionorica, corporate responsibility also means paying full attention to fundamental ethical values when selecting business partners. For this reason, the CoC is supplemented by a specific Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Service Providers. The latter regulates, among other things, our business partners’ treatment of their employees their handling of natural resources and their obligation to comply with all relevant legal requirements within the scope of business activities for Bionorica. In particular, any exploitation of children and young people is not tolerated by the Bionorica Group. To ensure this, Bionorica is committed to long-term, fair cooperation for human rights and good working conditions throughout the world. In order to get a first-hand impression of the situation on site, Bionorica also carries out audits of business partners in various countries, though this could not be carried out in 2021 due to the pandemic. So far, these audits have not revealed any evidence of child labour among contract partners. On the occasion of these audits, Bionorica also examines how the contractual partners prevent child labour in the supply chain, e.g. through contractual arrangements or the training of subcontractors.
The Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Service Providers can be viewed by anyone on the Bionorica website. The “Conditions of Purchase for Business Partners” can also be accessed here. These contain the important section on “Compliance with laws and extra-legal standards”.
Bionorica SE has established a separate department for the purpose of meeting the growing requirements for compliance. The compliance processes include binding, transparent directives for all employees. Appropriate training and other communication measures (e.g. Helpdesk) ensure that all employees remain familiar with the requirements that are essential to them at all times.
In the event of suspected misconduct, employees and external third parties can use various communication channels to express their concerns to Bionorica: firstly, employees can contact the responsible line management. In addition, employees are always free to contact the works council confidentially. Concerns regarding the legal or ethical conduct of the company can also be directed to the Chief Compliance Officer of Bionorica at any time. The contact details are stored on the intranet and can also be viewed on the Bionorica homepage.
Audit of operating sites
Bionorica conducts a Group-wide compliance risk survey in which all Bionorica sites participate. The basic corruption risks are essentially identical across the entire company and are typical for the industry, most of which involving dealings with healthcare professionals and public officials. To avoid corruption risks, Bionorica has established process guidelines and controls for the following individual risks:
- Conflicts of interest
- Cooperation with third parties
- Commissioning of health care professionals/organisations
- Travel and accommodation expenses
- Sponsoring and memberships
Compliance training in the reporting period
As mentioned above, compliance training is an important tool employed at Bionorica SE to ensure that all employees are always familiar with the requirements that are essential to them.
Bionorica has a document management and training system (d.velop d.3) that contains the procedural instructions “Compliance Management System” and “Prevention of Corruption” as well as the CoC and the Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Service Providers. This tool is used to inform and train all relevant employees in Germany and Austria on the topic of anti-corruption. Employee training is carried out on the basis of training groups predefined according to the risk exposure of the respective function. Both sales representatives and relevant office staff in Germany (e.g. marketing and sales; new employees as part of a welcome event) and abroad (e.g. new country heads in Romania and Egypt) were additionally trained by the central compliance organisation in the 2021 reporting period in the scope of a digital training programme.
Employees abroad are informed and trained by the local compliance organisations on the topic of anti-corruption.
Bionorica informs its business partners on the topic of anti-corruption in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Service Providers under No. 13 “Prevention of Corruption”. Furthermore, each business partner is obligated to implement appropriate measures for the prevention and, if necessary, detection of corruption in high-risk areas of business.
In the 2021 reporting year, no incidents of corruption were confirmed in the company or among business partners. There were also no public legal proceedings in connection with corruption against Bionorica SE.