Sustainability has been part of our company culture for centuries and is reflected in our values. Our new sustainability strategy is a natural step in our evolution and is actively supported by the Merck family. To put this strategy into practice, we are focusing on amplifying this aspect of our company culture, which includes educating our workforce on sustainability. Additionally, the company is planning to also link the long-term variable compensation of the Executive Board from 2022 onward with the progress made toward achieving the company’s sustainability goals.
For us, sustainable entrepreneurship also means taking social responsibility. We see ourselves as part of the community – both at our individual sites as well as worldwide. Our mission is to help shape society, not only through our products and technologies but also through our community engagement. We therefore work with our employees to promote a diverse array of social initiatives that help tackle challenges at the local level.
Our community outreach primarily focuses on those areas where we can leverage the expertise from our core business. For instance, we promote health and educational initiatives – especially in the natural sciences – along with cultural programs. Moreover, we provide disaster relief and offer support to people in need in the vicinity of our sites. In 2020, we spent around € 53 million in total on community engagement, carrying out 274 charitable projects in 96 countries worldwide. We empower and encourage our employees to take action and engage in activities that benefit the community. Employees are granted up to two days of leave per year to support volunteer efforts on behalf of our company.
Boosting scientific education
Because education is key to raising awareness for sustainability, we focus our community engagement in part on the holistic promotion of science and education. In doing so, we nurture characteristics that are essential to our business activities as a science and technology company, namely creativity, enthusiasm for new discoveries, curiosity, and the courage to transcend boundaries. For instance, we grant scholarships and, through the volunteer efforts of our employees, help make science classes more engaging.
In 2020, Covid-19 prompted us to take our science education program virtual; our Curiosity Labs™ at Home program features 20 simple experiments that can be conducted using materials commonly found around the home. Each experiment is explained via video and comes with step-by-step instructions. In 2020, the program generated more than 2.7 million video views, reaching users in 132 countries.
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.