Human Rights


Boston Scientific’s commitment to embracing and exemplifying inclusiveness extends throughout our business. We believe in maximizing the individual contributions of our employees, and encouraging the teamwork that makes us a stronger company. We believe that the similarities, the differences and the power of our people allow us to sustain competitive advantages that lead to extraordinary business results. And we are committed to those beliefs because a truly inclusive work environment - one with a richness of backgrounds and perspectives - is a better, more rewarding place to work.

Support of United Nations International Bill of Rights

The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols.  Its basic tenet is as follows: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Boston Scientific supports the UN International Bill of Human Rights.

Commitment on United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Boston Scientific believes that corporations have a responsibility to respect and protect human rights.  Boston Scientific supports the UN’s foundational principles of human rights, including the following:

  • Boston Scientific respects human rights, seeks to avoid infringing on the human rights of others, and seeks to address adverse human rights impacts with which they are directly involved.
  • In order to meet this responsibility, Boston Scientific has policies, procedures and processes appropriate to its size and circumstances that help it fulfill its responsibility to respect human rights and enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts caused by Boston Scientific.

Community Investments

Boston Scientific giving programs help to provide improved education and healthcare to members of our communities.  We support independent medical research, educational programs and charitable projects that further medical and scientific knowledge by offering funding and resources to US-based health care institutions, academic medical centers, medical societies, and national associations.  Through the Boston Scientific Foundation, we fund non-profit, health and education-related organizations in the communities where we live and work throughout the United States, with a specific focus on at-risk communities and removing barriers to access of care.  Further information describing Boston Scientific’s grants and donations program and the Boston Scientific Foundation can be found on the Company internet in the Corporate Citizenship section.

Children's Rights

Boston Scientific supports the rights of children to have access to education, healthcare, and protection from criminal behavior. 

Commitment to Local Labor and Sourcing

Boston Scientific seeks to recruit and employ local labor when it is compatible with company strategy and hiring needs, as well as product quality and regulatory requirements.

Human Rights Risk Assessment

Boston Scientific complies with US and international human rights principles and conventions as explained in the Compliance and Ethics section of the Boston Scientific internet site.  When reviewing existing or planned operations, human rights aspects are assessed under these criteria.

Stakeholder Engagement to Verify Human Rights

Boston Scientific is committed to acting ethically in dealing with customers, employees, shareholders, partners, suppliers, competitors and the community, and with respect for applicable laws. One way we make this happen is through the implementation of our Global Compliance Program. The primary purpose of this program is to detect and prevent violations of laws, regulations, and company policies, taking into account and tailoring the program to our unique environment.   Our Code of Conduct is a cornerstone of our compliance program, and provides guidance regarding business conduct and practices to all Boston Scientific team members. 

Grievance Mechanism for Individuals Impacted by Business

Our Global Compliance Program is designed to meet each of the elements of an effective compliance program and Boston Scientific is committed to acting ethically in dealing with customers, employees, shareholders, partners, suppliers, competitors and the community and with respect to applicable laws.  Individuals can contact the Advice Line to ask a question, raise a concern or file a report relating to integrity in the workplace; this process allows questions or concerns to be raised anonymously if the individual so desires. The Advice Line is managed by an independent third-party vendor, and each issue raised within this process is tracked and investigated.

Actions Taken on Human Rights Violation

Boston Scientific is unaware of any human rights violations perpetrated by the company, its employees and its affiliates in the past 5 years.  In the event that Boston Scientific determined such a violation occurred, Boston Scientific would take swift and appropriate action to address the issue, as previously discussed.

Participation in Human Rights Initiatives

Boston Scientific encourages employees to participate in human rights initiatives.  Reflecting this commitment to human rights, Boston Scientific received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.

Output of Community Investments

Boston Scientific supports our communities through a combination of charitable giving and volunteerism.  As discussed in the Corporate Citizenship, Giving section of the company’s web site, donations and grants are provided to multiple local organizations, with additional detail provided in the Boston Scientific Foundation annual report. 

Boston Scientific supports extensive community volunteer activity.  As a whole, the company advances major health initiatives through its involvement with the American Heart Association, World Stroke Day, and Pancreatic Cancer Research.  At a local level, BSC employees are provided time to participate in volunteer activities to benefit their local communities, ranging from providing specialized housing for those in need, assisting children with special needs, conducting clean-up work in conservation areas, and planting trees in deforested areas.  Further discussion of these types of community investments can be found on the Company internet site in the Corporate Citizenship, Community Involvement section and Sustainability section, as well as the 2014 Boston Scientific Global Sustainability Report. 

Employee Engagement with Charitable Partners

Boston Scientific provides dedicated time for employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work.  Partnering organizations include local and national non-profit organizations, local schools, environmental non-governmental organizations, and local health care organizations. 

Amount of Donations/Community Investments

In 2013, Boston Scientific provided approximately $1 million in grants and donations to community partners.