Human rights

UCB takes the protection of human rights seriously and is supportive of government initiatives aimed at upholding and promoting human rights around the world. UCB’s policy incorporated the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) ten principles on human rights, labor and environment into the company’s Code of Conduct. In addition, UCB subscribes to the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Code of Conduct encompasses those different guidelines and is available on UCB’s external website, under subsection Governance.

A company-wide due diligence process is being deployed to determine the initial and follow-up engagement with new partners, suppliers, etc. More specifically, when a new partner, supplier etc. is identified, UCB conducts an in-depth assessment of specific risks related to a number of critical standards, including human rights

The due diligence process may e.g. impact the decision on engaging with partners, suppliers etc., trigger specific monitoring of third party activities and processes, trigger specific training activities on industry and UCB standards reflected in our Code of Conduct.  

Monitoring of partners, suppliers, etc. includes screening of adverse media reporting human rights concerns. These concerns are assessed in full details in order to ensure appropriate decisions, such as non-entering into an agreement or premature ending of an agreement, if substantiated evidence is identified.

At UCB, sufficient procedures and policies are in place to mitigate risk, including anti-bribery, anti-corruption, and no child labor policies, and hence no direct risk of breaches in human rights are identified. However, risks to human rights might be associated with the collaboration of suppliers, partners, joint ventures, among others, and especially in high risk countries.

To date, no event of infringement of human rights has been identified to UCB.  In order to measure our success, the relevant KPI’s are listed in the GRI G4 Sustainability Indicators, category ‘Human rights’.

Slavery and human trafficking

In accordance with the U.K.’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015, UCB is conducting a review of its global operations to identify risk areas in the supply chains. UCB monitors its supply chains and its suppliers to ensure, to the extent possible, that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within those supply chains; it has in place systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistleblowers.

UCB has utmost respect for human rights and zero tolerance of modern slavery, supported by the ongoing roll out of a new Third Party Due Diligence process in 2017, whereby slavery and human trafficking risks are assessed for new partnerships. No such incidents have been reported or identified so far.

UCB’s commitment to ethical compliance and acting with integrity is also reflected in our global Code of Conduct.

UCB’s Global Internal Audit department periodically audits UCB’s operations for potential risks related to the areas described above in accordance with an established rotational schedule.

Furthermore, UCB complies with public disclosure obligations of financial transactions with healthcare organizations, healthcare professionals and patient organizations. Specific obligations are in place in Europe, U.S., Japan, New Zealand and Australia, and UCB strives to comply with transparency regulations and codes where available.