»Health and education for everyone«
Pharmaceuticals today are not a luxury product. They need to be available for everyone, at any time, in any place. 177 years ago on 1 May 1835, the businessman Franz Ludwig Gehe founded his chemist's and dye business in Dresden with the aim of »doing everything possible to advance pharmaceutics«. He wanted to make medicines affordable and available for everyone - and use his resources as a way to help »improve the health of the nation«. That was the start of corporate social responsibility in practice and the tradition continues today. Besides health, Gehe was also committed to education. The Gehe trust was set up in 1885 and was so well received that it soon attained the status of an academy. With well over 25,000 participants each year, the GEHE Academy is an integral part of the company's ongoing commitment to sustainable health and education.
Now, 177 years on, corporate social responsibility remains a firm feature of Celesio's corporate identity. As member of society, we are involved in areas that naturally emerge from our line of business and the story of our foundation: health and education.
Sustainability as a leading principle
For us, sustainability means using resources responsibly, considering economic, social and environmental aspects. We constantly review our actions to ensure that this principle is cemented in our corporate culture.
Sustainability at Celesio
People, knowledge, experience, motivation, satisfaction and employee health - just some examples not only of core personal values, but also a company's economic assets. They are major resources requiring a responsible approach.
Corporate responsibility at Celesio
CR refers to our voluntary contribution to social, economic and environmental goals beyond that required by law. We meet a range of voluntary commitments which underscore our belief that entrepreneurial and social acts are complementary and not mutually exclusive. At Celesio, CR includes:
- Our mission, vision, values and guiding principles - for our identity and our shared success.
- Our code of conduct - embedding high ethical standards.
- Our charta of diversity - our commitment to a working environment that is free of prejudices and discrimination and to a corporate culture of openness.
- Our code of conduct in business - describing the main principles governing entrepreneurial action as well as risk areas.
- Our environmental guidelines - protecting and preserving the environment.
- Our Advisory Committee on Social Responsibility and Sustainability - Celesio's internal planning, steering and control instance for significant sustainability activities, reporting to the management board on all sustainability-related matters.
- Our regular workshops and stakeholder dialogue - aimed at integrating and refining our CR activities.
We support the aid organisation »Doctors For Developing Countries - German Doctors« financially, but also by providing professional expertise and the personal input of our employees. Great emphasis is placed on pharmaceutical safety. In cooperation with »Doctors For Developing Countries - German Doctors«, we opened a pharmacy in Calcutta in 2012. This facility ensures that pharmaceuticals are correct procured, stored and dispensed for the five major projects currently being run by the aid organisation in Calcutta. Pharmaceutical safety is a core issue in developing and emerging economies. We believe that these engagements by our pharmacists will make a contribution to securing the supply of pharmaceuticals in the long-term.
Celesio pursues its founder's philosophy when it comes to promoting education, too. In addition to training and further education for our employees, we are in dialogue with universities throughout Europe. We support research and publications related to the topic of corporate responsibility, thus fostering the academic development of this field. We have already cooperated with researchers from universities in Lisbon, Maastricht, Berlin, Cologne, Hohenheim and Bonn. We are currently involved in nine ongoing research and publication projects about Celesio and the company's history. At the international CSR conference of Humboldt University of Berlin, the world's largest and best-known conference on corporate social responsibility, a CSR workshop for around 130 PhD students was held with our support for the second time in 2012.
In addition to health and education, we are, in our role as a service provider, naturally also active in the field of environmental protection. A core element of this is effective management of buildings, IT infrastructure, logistics and our vehicle fleet. In our wholesale operations, we optimise route planning, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet. Furthermore, when purchasing company cars we take care to select energy-efficient models as a way of really reducing emissions from the use of private transport. Reducing energy consumption is one of the aims of our ongoing efforts to optimise the IT infrastructure across the group.
Celesio's contribution to the current debate on CR
To enable us to refine our CR work, we are regularly involved in dialogue with the representatives of our partner organisations, political and social stakeholders and our employees and investors. In pursuit of this aim, we entered into a cooperation with the Wittenberg Centre for Global Ethics in 2010. Drawing on our wealth of experience from numerous talks and workshops, we contributed to the CSR Practice Group working session of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as well as the »WegeWissenWirkung« (»WaysKnowledgeEffect«) event hosted in Berlin by the Council for Sustainable Development of the Federal Government. Celesio was also actively involved in the German CSR Forum 2012 in Stuttgart.
We will publish a sustainability report for the first time in 2013.