We see more sustainability in our supply chain as an opportunity – for our reputation and our business success. Apart from the general risks associated with our global procurement activities, we can be exposed to country- and supplier-specific risks. These include, for example, the use of child labor, the conscious acceptance of environmental damage or inadequate local working and safety conditions. We reduce these risks by systematically reviewing our suppliers. We conduct these audits within the scope of the Joint AuditCorporation (JAC). The aim of the JAC is to reduce sustainability risks in our supply chain and to improve ecological and social aspects, including the issue of human rights. As such, the audit is compliant with internationally recognized guidelines and standards, such as the ILO Core Labour Standards, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Our partnerships with suppliers that comply with international sustainability standards ensure a high level of product quality and reliable procurement. We have a special development program in place to help strategic suppliers introduce business practices that are both socially and ecologically acceptable while remaining economically efficient. This program again showed measurable successes in the reporting period and has three major advantages: It has a positive impact on our suppliers’ working conditions, enhances their profitability, and makes the economic relevance of sustainability clear for both sides, i.e., for our suppliers and for the Group alike. For instance, better working conditions at our suppliers reduces the number of work-related accidents as well as the staff churn rate. That, in turn, ensures high product quality and increases productivity, while at the same time lowering costs for recruitment and training. Thus, not only are we strengthening our suppliers’ profitability and CR performance, we are also significantly reducing identified risks.