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How We Do Business

We believe it's important to take an active role in shaping the future. That’s why we take on responsibility everyday – for our products as well as for our employees, the environment and local communities.


Taking on responsibility is part of our everyday business

Offering innovative solutions for a better life, our Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors stand for high-quality products. They must be safe and should not pose any danger to patients, customers or the environment. That’s why we carefully examine product safety across the entire life cycle, by implementing globally applicable policies, standards and processes. Patients and customers receive extensive informational material with our products so that they understand them as fully as possible and can use them safely. 

Learn more about our Regulations & Guidelines

Looking beyond ourselves

Our business activities require raw materials, packaging, technical products, components, and services, which we source from over 60,000 suppliers across 130 countries. When sourcing supplies, we look for quality, safe delivery and competitive pricing. But we also insist that fundamental environmental and social standards are met. To make sure that our suppliers uphold these standards, we regularly request self-disclosures or initiate audits. We procure most of the mica, a raw material for our pigments, from India. There we also take special measures for the local supply chain to ensure compliance with our environmental and social standards.

We are a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) chemical industry initiative. Developing and emerging countries are becoming increasingly important to us as sourcing markets. We feel a particularly strong sense of responsibility where these countries are concerned.
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We are committed to preserving human rights within our sphere of influence and welcome the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. In the United Kingdom, we are required by the UK Modern Slavery Act to report on the steps and measures we are taking to counter forced labor and human trafficking.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Modern Slavery Statement 2016

Strong team

50k

employees worldwide contribute to our success with their curiosity

66

nationalities make up our global team

We empower our employees

Our success is founded on the abilities of our employees – and on their ideas and enthusiasm for our company. Because they are central to who we are and what we can achieve, we are keen to develop their talents at every opportunity. We seek to offer the best possible working conditions, as well as encouraging people to develop their talents through continued training and education. This also means empowering women to take on leadership positions within our company. By offering flexible hours, childcare facilities, or the chance to stretch their legs on our running track, we do all we can to help our employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. As a team, we treat each other with fairness and respect, and value equal opportunity and diversity. Find out more in the Diversity section of our CR report.

We support local communities

Wherever we are in the world, we take on responsibility for the local community. Our social projects are built around our focus areas of Health, the Environment as well as Culture and Education. The exact aims and strategies of these projects are decided locally, allowing them to be tailored to individual needs. Our social engagement ranges from drinking water purification initiatives and sustainability awareness talks for schoolchildren in China, to programmes supporting young scientists in schools around Germany. Have a look at our projects all around the globe

Climate protection and resource scarcity are key challenges for society in the 21st century. This makes them our challenges too. We aim to be as efficient as possible in our use of resources like energy, water and raw materials. At the same time we keep looking for new ways of reducing emissions and waste.

Martin Hostalek

Head of Group Function Environment, Health, Safety, Security and Quality

Reducing our climate impact

In 2009 we launched EDISON – a comprehensive climate impact reduction program. We have set ourselves the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to levels in 2006. On a global level, we have discovered that 20 of our sites jointly account for 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions. EDISON therefore focuses on these sites in particular. Since 2012, we have already set over 400 measures into motion. They will help us to cut our CO2 emissions by around 90,000 metric tons per year in the medium term. Have a look at some of the projects that help us reach these goals:

Protecting the environment

270

measures to mitigate our climate impact have been implemented since 2012.

94k

tons of CO₂ emissions per year will be avoided thanks to our efforts.

Through intelligent energy management at our Darmstadt and Gernsheim sites in Germany, we'll be cutting our CO₂ emissions by roughly 9,500 metric tons per year. Our site in Gernsheim operates a co-generation plant with an electrical output of roughly four megawatts, which covers around half the site's power needs. At our headquarters in Darmstadt we've invested approximately € 27 million into the construction of two state of the art energy stations.

New sources

At our site in Japan, we're working toward reducing dependence on electricity. After the devastating tsunami destroyed the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, we completely realigned our energy concept in Japan. At our research and development center in Atsugi, we tested the use of geothermal energy to generate heat and cold. Through this shift, we've lowered our primary energy consumption by roughly 10%. The site is now one of the biggest geothermal plants in Japan. In 2015 we came up with new ways of cutting down emissions at our plant in Onahama, one of the five largest CO2 producers of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. By using natural gas to meet all the site's energy needs and by replacing old boilers for steam production with new ones, we will save roughly 3,200 metric tons of CO2 per year. Our efforts are viewed as a best practice throughout the country.

Carbon Disclosure Project

For a number of years now, we have issued reports through the Carbon Disclosure Project to tell our stakeholders about the ways in which we work to protect the
environment. The latest results show that our company has achieved the status of sector leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the first time. 

Awards & Rankings

Access to Medicine Index
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Access to Medicine Index

In 2016, our company moved up to fourth place in the Access to Medicine Index. This index assesses 20 pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to improve access to medicine in developing countries. It is published every two years by the Access to Medicine Foundation.

Carbon Disclosure Project
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Carbon Disclosure Project

In 2016, we scored an A- in the CDP Index, achieving “Sector Leader Health Care, Pharma & Biotech” status for climate change reporting in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are one of the top companies in this sector and, ranking fourth, have moved up two places over the previous year.

Ethibel Sustainability Index
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Ethibel Sustainability Index

In 2015, our company was added to the Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe, which selects the 200 top-rated European companies based on their corporate responsibility performance. We are also included in the Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register.

Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 Index
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Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 Index

Since 2015, our company has been included in the Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 Index, which comprises the 120 highest-ranking European companies in terms of their environmental, social and governance efforts.

FTSE4Good-Index
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FTSE4Good-Index

Since 2008, our company has been included in FTSE4Good, an internationally leading sustainability index that annually measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and ethical practices.

Good Company Ranking
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Good Company Ranking

In 2016, Kirchhoff Consult, a management consultancy, published its fifth Good Company Ranking. Among the 30 DAX-listed companies, we took tenth place.

oekom Research Sustainability Rating
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oekom Research Sustainability Rating

In 2016, the sustainability ratings agency oekom research AG gave Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a B- on a scale of D- to A+ (top grade). We thus once more achieved Prime Status.

STOXX® Global ESG Leaders Index
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STOXX® Global ESG Leaders Index

In 2016, our company was once again included in the STOXX Global ESG Leaders sustainability index, which assesses companies based on key environmental, social and governance criteria.

Vigeo Eiris Menschenrechtsstudie
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Vigeo Eiris Menschenrechtsstudie

Vigeo Eiris, a sustainability rating and research agency, analyzed how 3,189 companies meet their social responsibility to respect human rights. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, ranks among the top 30 companies and achieved a total of 69 out of 100 points (“advanced”).

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