Due to the ever-increasing importance of the topic among our customers and in society in general, we focused our impact measurement on human rights in 2017. We examined not only our own companies but our partners along the supply chain as well.
We began identifying the important effects of our human rights commitment during the reporting period. Some of the issues we examined were salaries and benefits, working hours regulations, continuing education as well as maintaining a high standard of health protection, diversity, integrity, compliance and environmental protection. In developing and newly industrialized countries, the focus of our activities is on improving working and living conditions, fighting discrimination and forced labor and helping promote respect for human rights.
Our commitment to human rights is not limited to our role as a responsible employer in our international subsidiaries. We also pursue a partnership-based approach to supplier management. We regularly verify the effect of our activities by means of human rights impact assessments, employee relations policy reviews and on-site inspections at our suppliers' place of business.
Everyone involved benefits from our commitment to protecting the rights of workers – even in the business respect. That's because better working conditions have a positive effect on employee satisfaction, loyalty and motivation and decrease the staff churn rate, thereby increasing productivity and improving product quality.
We will further specify the above-mentioned interdependencies in 2018. We will then integrate the results into our strategic orientation, including suitable metrics and reports, if possible.
The following diagram illustrates our approach: