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Corporate Responsibility*

We take responsibility every day – and have been doing so for over 350 years. This commitment is codified in our corporate strategy and values. Responsible conduct with respect to employees, products, the environment, and society is a fundamental prerequisite for our business success.

Strategy and management

Our corporate responsibility (CR) activities are steered by our CR Committee, which consists of representatives from our business sectors and relevant Group functions, such as Environment, Human Resources, Compliance, and Procurement. The Chairman of the Executive Board is responsible for the Committee, which is chaired by the head of the Group Corporate Responsibility unit.

Humankind is being confronted with global societal challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, an increasing global population, rising life expectancy, and insufficient access to healthcare in low and middle-income countries. Responsible governance can help solve these global issues. We believe that in pursuing this approach, we can also strengthen our financial performance. In 2019, we continued the realignment of our CR strategy begun in 2018. We are increasingly pursuing a shared value approach and are working to make the value we create measurable for the company and for society. We have defined three strategic spheres of activity as the center of our CR strategy: Global Health, Sustainable Solutions, and Broad Minds. We focus our resources on those areas where we can have the greatest impact. Needless to say, we respect the interests of our employees, customers, investors, and communities in which we operate, and we work to minimize ethical, economic, and social risks, thereby sustainably contributing to our long-term corporate success.


Global Health: We are developing and producing medicine and intelligent devices that contribute to comprehensive healthcare. Awareness plays a key role in our approach to improving access to healthcare, which is why we regularly conduct campaigns to raise awareness of various diseases across the globe. We focus on those diseases that align with our core competencies, expertise and experience along the health value chain. In collaboration with our partners, we also support people in low and middle-income countries, for example by donating praziquantel tablets for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Through our Global Health Institute, we are developing diagnostics, therapies, and preventive solutions to fight malaria, schistosomiasis, and other infectious and tropical diseases.

Sustainable Solutions: We are constantly working to improve the sustainability footprint of our products – even during their use phase – which also helps our customers achieve their own sustainability goals. For example, with our Design for Sustainability program in our Life Science business sector, we have developed a systematic approach for product development. This approach allows us to review the sustainability of products during the development process. This is achieved, for instance, by product developers using product lifecycle analyses.

Broad Minds: As a science and technology company, we endeavor to excite people about science, inspire curiosity, and help creativity to soar. Our goal is to strengthen our reputation in the field of science, especially in those areas where we have particular expertise. We not only support educational programs for schools, but also back pioneering research at universities. Reflecting the way that music and literature inspire people, we promote a range of cultural initiatives worldwide. Creativity and curiosity are the bedrock of science, culture, and art, and they also underpin our holistic approach.

Our corporate responsibility efforts are aligned with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we are working to help achieve this ambitious agenda by 2030. However, our contribution toward achieving the SDGs does not limit itself to the strategic spheres of activity established in our Corporate Responsibility strategy. We report on which specific sub-goals of relevant SDGs we support through our management approaches, products, and projects, and we identify material goals based on these SDGs.

In addition to promoting the SDGs, we also support relevant responsible governance initiatives. Through our membership in the UN Global Compact, we are committed to upholding the Compact’s principles on human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anticorruption. We ensure that we live our own corporate responsibility principles by following the guidelines of the Responsible Care Global Charter, which is an initiative of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). Responsible Care aims to help the chemical industry enhance its environmental, health, and safety performance. We are also a member of the Chemie3 initiative in Germany, a collaboration between the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the German Employers’ Federation of the Chemical Industry (BAVC), and the German Mining, Chemical, and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE). This globally unique alliance seeks to make sustainability a core part of the chemical industry’s guiding principles and to drive the sector’s position within the German economy as a key contributor to sustainable development.

To us, corporate responsibility means listening and taking action, and so we place great importance on dialogue with our various stakeholders. These stakeholders include employees, business associates, the Merck family, investors, regulatory agencies, industry associations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This continuous exchange creates transparency and clearly demonstrates how we live our values.

In recognition of our dedication to responsible and sustainable business practices, we were able to maintain our good position in sustainability evaluations in 2019 and are listed on numerous indices. We are included in the FTSE4Good index, the STOXX Global ESG Leaders index, the Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 index, and the Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe. In early 2019, the independent rating agency EcoVadis granted us Gold status for our sustainability engagement. EcoVadis examines around 60,000 suppliers from 155 countries across four categories: environment, social affairs, ethics, and sustainable procurement.

Strategic sphere of activity: Global Health

Our aim is to create a healthier future for all, including individuals, communities, and countries. We want to use innovation in science and technology to improve the health of underserved populations in low and middle-income countries. To achieve this, we are leveraging our expertise from all business sectors and collaborating closely with a wide range of partners. We also participate in industry-wide initiatives and work closely with other businesses to develop new approaches.

Our Global Health strategy is designed to overcome access barriers for underserved populations and communities in low and middle-income countries in an economically viable and sustainable manner to create shared value for our business and for society. We want to develop a business model that increases the value and competitiveness of our company while solving unmet health needs and strengthening health systems. We want to be instrumental in curbing schistosomiasis and fighting malaria and other infectious diseases while helping to build local capacity across the value chain. In the Access to Medicine Index, which is published every two years, we continued to rank fourth in 2018. This index assesses the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on activities and initiatives they have implemented to promote access to medicine in low and middle-income countries.

Strengthening the availability of healthcare solutions

We research, develop and refine healthcare solutions that address unmet needs, tailoring them to local environments. With our Global Health Institute, we have defined a comprehensive portfolio of R&D projects to develop integrated health solutions. This includes treatments, diagnostics, preventive measures against infections, and approaches to strengthen health systems — targeting schistosomiasis, malaria, and bacterial infections. For schistosomiasis, the portfolio also includes the development of a new pediatric formulation of praziquantel to treat the worm disease schistosomiasis in children under the age of six, through the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, a public-private partnership. We started a Phase III study in September 2019 and expect the product to be ready to launch in the first affected countries in Africa in 2022.

As part of our We for Malaria program, we completed a Phase I/Ib clinical trial of our anti-malarial compound M5717. In the upcoming next phase of the program, we will examine options for developing the substance in combination with other anti-malarial compounds for single administration in combination therapy to treat or prevent malaria.

In the drug discovery area, our strategic collaboration with the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the Medicines for Malaria Venture has continued the screening of our almost 100,000 proprietary substances with the aim of identifying new drug candidates for treatment of malaria, while also expanding our research capacity in and for Africa. This program is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Additionally, we are working toward making IR3535® available as a malaria prevention method in Africa. This insect repellent is already used for complementary prevention from vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and ZIKA. Products containing this active ingredient stand out due to their particularly good tolerance in young children and pregnant women.

In 2019, we continued our collaboration to support the National Malaria Control Program in Ghana. Alongside an integrated approach of prevention and diagnosis of the disease, we aim to expand local research competencies.

Addressing affordability challenges

Through intellectual property initiatives and equitable pricing strategies, we can assist those people who are unable to pay for the health solutions they need. We refrain from filing or enforcing patents in many low and middle-income countries and use a publicly available database to be transparent about our patents and patent applications.

Through our Open Innovation Initiative, we are addressing affordability challenges around intellectual property (IP) with an initial focus on neglected disease areas where we do not have portfolio competencies or expertise. Under this platform, we are a member of WIPO Re:Search, an open innovation platform sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to accelerate early discovery of active ingredients for compounds through the sharing of IP and know-how. Our newest collaboration is with the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, at which our compound library is being screened for a potential cure for Buruli ulcer. We are also a member of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) NTD Drug Discovery Booster, which simultaneously searches the compound libraries of the eight partnering companies.

In 2019, we continued our long-term partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), under which we undertake to donate praziquantel tablets every year. The tablets are distributed in 47 affected countries in Africa for the treatment of school children. In 2019, we donated over 233 million tablets for distribution in 35 countries. Since 2007 we have supplied more than one billion tablets free of charge, which is equivalent to the treatment of around 400 million school children. Latest numbers from WHO show that in 2017, 72% of all school-aged children in need of treatment in sub-Saharan Africa were treated. As a founding member of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance, we are at the forefront of the campaign to eliminate schistosomiasis worldwide.

Raising awareness

Through access to the appropriate tools, knowledge, and skills, we help health professionals, communities, and patients make informed decisions about prevention, diagnostics, treatment, and care. Our regular campaigns help increase awareness of certain diseases globally, with a focus on those diseases where we have extensive expertise, such as cancer, thyroid disorders, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and infertility. In addition, we have championed World Malaria Day with awareness campaigns and through engagement around the We for Malaria program.

Together with the NALA Foundation, we have been involved in a schistosomiasis health education project in rural southwestern Ethiopia since late 2017. The project helps to promote the long-term behavioral change that is needed to eliminate schistosomiasis. In 2019, we extended the project to two additional districts and reached around 188,000 people, of which nearly 40% were school children. In a survey, we learned that 58% of children had never heard of intestinal parasites. This demonstrates the importance of further health education.

Furthermore, Embracing Carers is a global initiative that we lead in collaboration with prominent caregiving organizations around the world. Embracing Carers is designed to heighten awareness of the often-overlooked needs of caring relatives and care staff as well as stimulating a public debate about this issue and any relevant measures. We believe that care in today’s healthcare policy is the issue that receives the least attention. In 2019, Embracing Carers backed up words with action and launched the global Time Counts campaign. The campaign calls for the support of caring relatives through gestures large and small and the offer of time.

Promoting accessibility and improving supply chains

We promote initiatives to strengthen supply chains and to develop localized health solutions in order to deliver and reach out efficiently at the point of care. We are a founding member of the Accessibility Platform, an informal, private-sector initiative that is working on a comprehensive approach to meeting supply chain and distribution challenges in countries with low or medium income. In a collective action, we are engaging in an Access Delivery mentorship program. A pilot was successfully launched and implemented in Tanzania with Bahari, a local private wholesaler, in collaboration with Business for Health Solutions (BHS).

NTDeliver is our digital information tool for improving transparency in medicine donation supply chains created through public-private partnerships. Deliveries from companies running donation programs are clearly displayed — from purchase orders made by WHO through delivery to the first warehouse in the destination country. This improves coordination and provides a more transparent overview of the in-country inventory. In Kenya, where schistosomiasis poses a significant risk to schoolchildren, we are collaborating with around 12,000 teachers across the country to support the de-worming program running with WHO. We deploy our NTDeliver tool to monitor volumes of medicines reaching schools, particularly “last mile” deliveries to remote, rural locations. In 2019, we further improved the tool and firmly established it as an essential part of the program. Building on this experience, we are reviewing the best way to retrieve unused medicines from the field and store them centrally for upcoming de-worming campaigns.

To realize our vision of achieving basic medical care everywhere and for everyone, we want to help eliminate inequality in access to healthcare in emerging economies. Our CURAFATM stations serve as points of care for integrated primary healthcare. In these communities, local pharmacists and nurses provide pharmaceutical and clinical services, medicine, digital health solutions, health education, and insurance and financing schemes. In Kenya we have five facilities running that in 2019 served a total of more than 2,000 patients a month. 

Falsified medicines pose a threat to millions of people. Latest figures refer to around one million deaths per year due to the use of ineffective or toxic products. We are fighting against falsified medicines — for instance through the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), a non-profit organization funded by our company. Its mission is to combat falsified and poor-quality medicines in low and middle-income countries. The GPHF Minilab™ fits into a tropics-resistant flight case and enables scientists and clinical staff to verify some 100 active pharmaceutical ingredients in medicines for authenticity. More than 850 Minilabs are currently in use. 21 Minilabs were delivered in 2019. Of these, 15 went to the Philippines and the remaining six to Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, and Mongolia.  Furthermore, we are collaborating with Boston University to explore new technologies against falsified medicines, particularly for antimalarials and antimicrobials. The objective is to test, validate, and optimize a new user-friendly technology to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the validity of drugs.

Strategic sphere of activity: Sustainable Solutions

Through our products, we are helping our customers reduce the impact of their own activities on sustainability and achieve their own sustainability goals.

Life Science: reducing environmental impact throughout the product life cycle

We aim to continuously improve the environmental impact of our products. This applies to the entire life cycle — from production and use through to the disposal of our products. To lower the environmental impact of our devices and instruments during use by customers, we apply our Design for Sustainability (DfS) program. This comprehensive approach keeps sustainability criteria in the foreground during product development or re-engineering and documents them in a scorecard. When developing a new product, our aim is to improve as many of these criteria scores as possible. Beginning with the concept stage, product teams identify potential environmental impacts and opportunities to make improvements. By the end of 2019, 32% of these product development projects met at least three or more sustainability criteria.

In addition, our researchers are developing innovative solutions in line with the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry developed by chemists Paul T. Anastas and John C. Warner. The objective is to enable research that is as environmentally conscious as possible and to minimize adverse effects on human health. More than 830 greener alternatives to conventional products are available so far. With DOZN®, we have developed a web-based quantitative Green Chemistry analysis tool. To date, we have used this matrix to assess and improve more than 45 products. In 2019, we launched a version of the tool for our customers. DOZN® 2.0 brings new possibilities for sustainable product design to our customers and empowers them with data to make more environmentally friendly choices in their development processes.

We are expanding our portfolio to include greener alternatives, such as the new bio-based solvent Cyrene™, which is derived from waste cellulose and is employed as an alternative to widely used solvents that are subject to increasing regulatory restrictions due to their associated toxicity. CyreneTM was named Environmental Product of the Year at the Environmental Leader Awards in 2019.

The application of single-use products, many of which pose a challenge to recycle in the current infrastructure, is growing as life science markets are expanding and adopting new technologies. We have developed innovative recycling programs that led to the recycling of almost 4,200 metric tons of our customers’ products from 2015 to 2019. The figure for 2019 alone was 1,500 metric tons, which means our target of recycling a total of 5,000 metric tons by 2020 is easily achievable.

In 2019, we launched a sustainable packaging strategy for Life Science called SMASH Packaging. The strategy is built on three pillars: optimizing resources, using more sustainable materials, and designing for a circular economy. We set specific 2022 targets, such as reducing air space in distribution packaging by 20%, demonstrating that our packaging materials do not contribute to deforestation, and reducing our use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) by 20%.

Performance Materials: increasing the sustainability of end products

Windows that can be darkened in a matter of seconds are now a reality, thanks to our liquid crystal window (LCW) technology. These darkened windows regulate the heat generated by direct sunlight. Based on initial estimates, this technology is capable of lowering the energy consumption caused by air conditioning in buildings, as well as replacing conventional sun protection systems. This helps save materials and costs during construction. The LC material is commercialized under our licrivision® and eyriseTM brands. 

In the cosmetics industry, we are addressing the continuing trend towards ingredients that meet stringent sustainability criteria. Our portfolio of fillers eliminates the need for microplastic particles that are heavily criticized for polluting waters and damaging marine life. Our cosmetic formulations comply with strict criteria. By the end of 2019, 73 of our cosmetic pigments and active ingredients were certified according to Ecocert’s COSMOS standard for organic and natural cosmetics. We also obtained halal certificates for our Eusolex T and UV-Titan product ranges.

Strategic sphere of activity: Broad Minds

The promotion of science, education, and culture in an integrated manner constitutes one of the central concerns of our engagement in society. In this way, we champion characteristics that are indispensable for our activities as a science and technology company: creativity, passion for new discoveries and curiosity, and the courage to transcend boundaries.

Boosting scientific education

We view education as a key component of culture — and vice versa. Education can help us understand culture. But culture can also build a bridge to education by stimulating curiosity and creativity. We therefore support educational projects at many of our sites. For instance, we grant scholarships and help to create interesting science classes in school through employee volunteering. We want to spark interest in science, particularly among young people. This is why we have been supporting the “Jugend forscht” (Young Researchers) competition for more than 35 years. Since 1996, we have been organizing the state-level competition for the German Federal State of Hesse. 72 future young scientists took part in the 2019 competition. In the reporting year, we awarded the Julius Adolph Stöckhardt prize for the first time. This award recognizes committed chemistry teachers who conduct innovative experiments to impart chemistry to students in captivating ways.

Through our Junior Labs, we want young people to enjoy conducting experiments. These learning labs at the Technical University of Darmstadt combine classroom instruction with trending topics and modern research methods. In 2019, around 2,500 school students used the chemistry laboratory and around 1,500 school students experimented in the biology laboratory.

As part of SPARK, our global volunteer program, employees from our Life Science business sector share their skills and experience with students and support our local communities. The program is intended to spark curiosity in science and inspire students to consider a STEM1-related career. In 2019, more than 2,300 employees invested more than 19,400 hours in the program, reaching over 66,500 young people. As part of SPARK, in 2019, we once again sent our Curiosity Cube™ on a journey through the United States and Canada. This is a freight container that has been transformed into a mobile laboratory and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Directed by our employees, school students can use it to carry out scientific experiments. In 2019, the Cube traveled approximately 48,000 kilometers across the United States and engaged students in 99 communities. 94% of schools visited fall under the Title 1 category, where students mainly come from low-income backgrounds.

1 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

The Deutsche Philharmonie, sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The Deutsche Philharmonie, sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is our musical ambassador. We consider classical music to be the universal language that brings people together; as such, it is an important part of our culture. The concerts of this professional ensemble represent an integral part of cultural life in the vicinity of our Group headquarters in Darmstadt and remain highly popular, with around 21,000 people having attended these concerts in 2019. In the orchestra workshop, children and teenagers gained their first experience in a professional orchestra. We also fostered enthusiasm for classical music among young people through cushion concerts for children aged four years and above, as well as through youth concerts. In addition, the orchestra again toured internationally. In 2019, one concert took place in Moscow.

Promoting literature

Like music, literature is an important mediator between cultures. That is why we support five literary prizes in Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Russia. The awards primarily recognize those authors who build bridges between cultures as well as between literature and science. We awarded two of the prizes in 2019: The Johann Heinrich Merck Award for Literary Critique and Essay of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Germany went to author Daniela Strigl, and the winner of the Merck-Tagore Literature Award of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in India was Kris Manjapra.

Responsibility for our products

The safety of our products is at the core of our corporate responsibility. When used properly, they must pose no risk to customers, patients, consumers, or the environment. Our goal is to ensure a positive benefit/risk profile for our products, which is why we regularly examine safety across their entire life cycle and continuously take steps to minimize risks. We provide patients, consumers, and customers with extensive informational material so they can use our products in a safe, responsible, and proper manner.

In our pharmaceutical marketing activities, the focus is always on the health and well-being of patients because we want them to receive effective and high-quality treatment. All guidelines pertaining to marketing and advertising are part of our Group-wide compliance program, which is complemented by our internal guidelines and various voluntary commitments that, in many cases, far exceed the applicable statutory regulations.

Safety of our chemical products

Numerous regulations are in place to ensure that chemicals pose no risk to humans or the environment. Compliance with these regulatory requirements is an important part of our work. Our Group-wide Regulatory Affairs Governance Policy governs the processes with which we implement and manage product safety as well as the corresponding management structures. We incorporate all relevant national and international chemical regulations into our policies and guidelines. This includes the EU chemicals regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures, EU GHS). We issue all chemicals classified as hazardous with safety data sheets, which contain information on the physicochemical, toxicological, and ecotoxicological properties of the agent and reflect the relevant regulatory requirements of the countries in which they are published. We have standardized and automated the majority of our Group-wide hazard communication processes. In the course of integrating the companies we acquired, Versum Materials and Intermolecular, we are examining compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements and our internal standards and making any necessary adjustments to the underlying processes.

Safety of our Healthcare products

Patient safety has a top priority in everything we do. During the entire life cycle of our medicines, we provide patients and physicians with up-to-date risk-benefit evaluations. To this end, company experts process safety-relevant information from various sources such as clinical trials, adverse reaction reports, and medical/scientific literature. Our Global Patient Safety unit continuously monitors and evaluates the safety and risk-benefit ratio of our pharmaceutical products worldwide (pharmacovigilance). Presided over by our Global Chief Medical Officer, our Medical Safety and Ethics Board examines and assesses, where necessary, significant medical safety risks and questions regarding risk-benefit evaluations. For products in our Allergopharma business, we have also developed comprehensive clinical efficacy and safety profiles that we continuously update. For the safety of patients, we have established a global pharmacovigilance system that we are always working to enhance.

Quality of our products

Our goal is to provide customers and patients  with high-quality products at all times. Through our quality vision – “Quality is embedded in everything we do!” – we remind our employees of their responsibility across all business sectors, all Group functions, and all levels of the company.

Supplier management

We procure many raw materials, packaging materials, technical products, components, and services worldwide. We aim to promote supply chain stability while providing our customers with high-quality products and services. Our supplier management focuses on compliance with fundamental environmental and social standards in addition to high-quality, delivery reliability, and competitive prices. They are set out in our Responsible Sourcing Principles and primarily derived from the core labor standards of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) and the UN Global Compact.

Due to the global focus of our procurement, we are continuously working to ensure adherence to our supply chain standards. As a member of the industry initiative Together for Sustainability (TfS), we are able to use the supplier self-assessments and audit results shared among all member companies, who in turn abide by all restrictions stipulated within competition law.

In the course of integrating Versum Materials and Intermolecular, we are examining conformance with our policies and processes and will make any necessary adjustments.

Responsibility for our employees

Our employees contribute to groundbreaking progress in science and technology across the world. They are the basis of our success and therefore play a central role in the success of our business. In accordance with the our company values, we live a culture of mutual esteem and respect. To remain successful in the future, we want to attract people to our company who contribute their curiosity, courage, and spirit of invention. We therefore place a strategic focus on employee development, leadership, and performance management. Furthermore, we strive to foster diversity among our employees (more information can be found under “People”).

Responsibility for the environment

We seek to impact the environment as little as possible while doing business. This is the reason we work to efficiently conserve resources such as energy, water, and raw materials, while also continuously reducing our emissions and waste.

Environmental management system

In our Corporate Environment, Health and Safety Policy, which is applicable Group-wide, we have defined our principles and strategies for environment, health, and safety. It is an integral component of our EHS management system, which is certified annually by external auditors in accordance with the international standard ISO 14001. At all our sites, local EHS managers oversee operational environmental protection measures. These employees continually receive training and obtain additional qualifications. Since our businesses are constantly changing, we carry out internal audits of our environmental management system and have this audited externally on a regular basis to ensure that the ISO 14001 requirements are still being met. In 2019, we obtained an ISO 14001 group certificate for the 11th consecutive year. This certificate covers 81 sites around the world. In the course of integrating Versum Materials and Intermolecular, we are examining compliance with our requirements and making any necessary adjustments to the underlying processes. The environmental KPIs reported do not yet include any data relating to these two acquired companies.

Focus areas: Energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, and recycling

Climate impact and resource scarcity are key challenges facing society. Seeking to make a positive contribution is for us a given. We have therefore set ourselves the goal of reducing total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 (2006 baseline), irrespective of production growth. In total, we emitted 665,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents (CO2eq) in 2019. We have thus reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by around 15% when compared with 2006, even though our operating business has grown. 

In 2019, our company received a “C” rating from the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), thus maintaining the results achieved in 2018 (likewise “C”). The CDP analyzes companies in terms of their performance and transparency in climate impact and water management.

Energy consumption1
In gigawatt hours 2016 2017 20182 20193
Total energy consumption 2,117 2,194 2,2274 2,240
Direct energy consumption 1,330 1,319 1,3234 1,339
Natural gas 1,260 1,254 1,2574 1,273
Liquid fossil fuels5 36 32 32 33
Biomass and self-generated renewable energy 34 33 34 33
Indirect energy consumption 787 875 9044 901
Electricity 692 729 7554 756
Steam, heat, cold 95 146 149 145
Total energy sold 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.1
Electricity 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.1
Steam, heat, cold 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1 In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, for all previous years (up to the 2006 baseline) the energy consumption has been calculated based on the corporate structure as of December 31 of the reporting year and retroactively adjusted for acquisitions or divestments of (parts of) companies, or for changes in emission factors (portfolio-adjusted).
2 Since 2018, our reported figures have excluded the Consumer Health business, which was divested on December 1, 2018.
3 Since 2019, our reported figures have included Intermolecular (acquired on September 20, 2019). Data on Versum Materials (acquired on October 8, 2019) are not yet available. We are presently reviewing the current process for collecting greenhouse gas and energy consumption-related indicators and are working to harmonize methodologies and timelines. Starting in 2020, we will be incorporating the environmental figures for Versum Materials into our reporting.
4 Figure retroactively adjusted.
5 Light and heavy fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel and gasoline.

We have consolidated all our climate impact mitigation and energy efficiency activities in the Edison program. Overall, thanks to the Edison programm, we have saved approximately 89,000 megawatt hours of energy since 2012. Most of this is power. By deciding to purchase increasing quantities of energy from renewable sources, in 2019 we took a further big step toward reaching our climate protection target.

Energy management plays a key role in our efforts toward energy efficiency and climate impact mitigation. Our production sites in Darmstadt and Gernsheim account for 28% of our global energy consumption. Both sites meet the international energy management standard ISO 50001. Currently, 13 of our production sites have a certified energy management system.

Total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2 of the GHG Protocol)1
In metric kilotons 20062 2016 2017 20183 20194
Total CO2eq5 emissions 782 681 689 6666 665
Direct CO2eq emissions
378 384 373 3536 359
Indirect CO2eq emissions 404 297 316 3136 306
Biogenic CO2 emissions 0 14 13 13 12
1 In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, for all previous years (up to the 2006 baseline) the greenhouse gas emissions have been calculated based on the corporate structure as of December 31 of the reporting year and retroactively adjusted for acquisitions or divestments of (parts of) companies, or for changes in emission factors (portfolio-adjusted).
2 Baseline for our emission targets is 2006.
3 Since 2018, our reported figures have excluded the Consumer Health business, which was divested on December 1, 2018.
4 Since 2019, our reported figures have included Intermolecular (acquired on September 20, 2019). Data on Versum Materials (acquired on October 8, 2019) are not yet available. We are presently reviewing the current process for collecting greenhouse gas and energy consumption-related indicators and are working to harmonize methodologies and timelines. Starting in 2020, we will be incorporating the environmental figures for Versum Materials into our reporting.
5 eq = equivalent.
6 Figure retroactively adjusted.

Our acquisition of Versum Materials is expected to increase our reported greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 by around 1.3 million metric kilotons. This estimate is based on the figures reported by Versum Materials for 2017 and 2018. Most of these emissions are generated in manufacturing processes. In the course of the integration, we are investigating the specific causes of these high emissions and analyzing where they could be reduced. Since Versum Materials does not have any data going back to the 2006 baseline for our climate impact mitigation goal, we cannot include these additional emissions in our current goal. In 2019, we began to develop a new climate impact mitigation goal for the period through 2030. We will include Versum Materials’ emissions in this.

Alongside energy efficiency and climate protection, we also focus on water. Since 2016, we have been pursuing the goal of implementing a sustainable water management system at sites with high consumption levels by 2020. At sites with relevant water use located in areas of high water stress, we are aiming to cut our water consumption by 10% by 2020 (2014 baseline). At the end of 2019, we had lowered our water consumption at the relevant sites by 21% in comparison with 2014. In 2019, the CDP gave our activities to conserve water a “B” rating (2018: B–). However, it is not just water that is becoming scarcer; other resources are too. This makes it imperative for us to use raw materials as efficiently as possible and reduce the waste generated from these. In 2016, we developed a company Waste Score, which allows us to compare the amount of waste our sites are producing and monitor the development of the amount of waste we produce. Based on this score, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing the environmental impact of our waste by 5% by 2025 (2016 baseline). For this purpose, we continuously analyze the improvement potential of our production processes and disposal routes.

Responsibility to society

We see ourselves as part of society – both at our individual sites and worldwide. Taking responsibility in society is an integral part of our entrepreneurial approach. We believe we can make an important contribution to the community through our knowledge, our skills, and our products.

Our social responsibility activities are primarily focused on those areas in which we have particular expertise stemming from our core businesses. We are thus engaged in health and culture projects and furthermore support education, especially in the natural sciences. Additionally, we provide disaster relief and support people in need in the areas in which we operate.

Our subsidiaries are engaged in a wide variety of local projects. We have defined a general set of criteria for selecting projects, and the decisions concerning the implementation of specific projects are made by our subsidiaries. In 2019, we spent a total of around € 46 million on community engagement activities. This figure also includes the activities of Versum Materials and Intermolecular since October 2019. It does not include contributions from the Group Foundation.

We carried out more than 300 charitable projects in 60 countries worldwide in 2019. In more than half of all initiatives, our colleagues joined us in our efforts, whether through donations in cash or in kind or through their active collaboration in projects.

* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.