• Verification audits are also carried out every two years by an external monitoring committee. The participants are made up of an independent committee, including high-ranking representatives from IG-Metall and the international union BWI, as well as management representatives from Faber-Castell AG, representatives from the plants, works councils and local unions.
Over 15 years of successful cooperation have passed since then: Regular audits in the regions carried out jointly by union members and company representatives monitor compliance with the guidelines in the plants. For a long time now, the company has also been working to expand the Social Charter to include as many suppliers as possible. "Of course, we still face challenges", states head of quality control, Gisbert Braun. "The caste mentality in India makes it difficult to ensure equality among all employees. In China, employee representative bodies as we know them are still not common." A high level of sensitivity, perseverance and patience is required to identify and rectify grievances.
We face setbacks now and then – like on 5 November 2010, when a devastating fire destroyed the plant in Goa, India, and the workers were suddenly left without work. Bert Römer from IG Metall: "In some developing and emerging countries, the usual approach after an accident like this would be to simply give up the site in Goa and the people who work there. But Faber-Castell took a different approach. The workers continued to receive their wages, even though they were unable to produce pencils or erasers. This goes above and beyond the obligations that companies pledge to uphold with an international framework agreement."
Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell adds: "For me, social responsibility isn't just a matter of course as a human being, but is also a matter of "integrity" as a businessman. It is ingrained as a core value of the brand and this value will remain at the heart of our company philosophy in the future."
Continuous learningContinuous learning is supported through targeted development measures. Both internal and external trainings are offered. An exchange of experiences between the different plants also helps to expand the knowledge of employees. Regular review meetings promote openness and transparency between managers and their employees.
Company health insurance fundThe Faber-Castell company health insurance fund is the oldest health insurance fund in Bavaria. It was founded for the workers at the company in 1844 under the management of Lothar von Faber, long before it was a legal requirement in Germany. The Faber-Castell company health insurance fund can now look back on a successful history spanning 170 years. The Faber-Castell & Partner company health insurance recently achieved top marks in the 2015 national health insurance test featured in the business magazine Focus Money. The company health insurance currently covers 45,000 people at seven sites.
Day nursery in SteinIn line with our actively practised family policy, we opened the "Gräfin Katharina" day nursery in the renovated coach house on the company site in Stein in 2013. 36 nursery places offered, 24 of which are designated for communal use. Providing childcare close to work makes returning to work sooner from parental leave an attractive prospect for Faber-Castell employees.
Global commitmentFaber-Castell is also committed to supporting its employees abroad: Free training programs in Brazil, for example, include language and IT courses, through to helping people prepare for university and MBA programs.
Promoting creativityRegular "children's days" are organized at many sites, which many children take part in with their parents. The main goal is to encourage children to paint, as painting helps children to develop their natural creativity and stimulates their minds.