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 64,000 suppliers across 145 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 2019

Strong team


Employees worldwide contribute to our success with their curiosity


Nationalities are represented among the workforce

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, environment as well as education and culture. 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

Advance Climate Protection

Energy conservation represents an important component of our climate impact mitigation activities. By adapting and updating our technology, we are improving the energy efficiency of our R&D operations, our production processes and our buildings. Just as important is the reduction of process-related emissions. Furthermore, we are working to lower the emissions resulting from energy generation. Where financially viable, we additionally utilize renewable energies to generate our own power.

strict environmental management


of our waste was recycled in 2019


of our sites worldwide are currently covered by the ISO 14001 certificate.

At our Life Science facilities in Jigani and Peenya (Bangalore, India), we spent € 775,000 on solar power units. We installed solar collectors with a 920 kilowatt power rating. The plants produce 1,265,000 kWh per year and lower our emissions by approximately 1,200 metric tons per year, covering roughly 30% of the energy required by each site.

Awards & Rankings

ESG Rating from MSCI
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ESG Rating from MSCI

In May 2019, MSCI gave us an “AAA”, their highest ESG rating and one that puts us among the top 2% of all companies evaluated. They particularly praised our Group-wide ISO 9001 certification, our compliance activities and our robust quality management system.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Good Company Ranking
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Good Company Ranking

In 2018, Kirchhoff Consult, a management consultancy, published its sixth Good Company Ranking. Among the 30 DAX-listed companies, we took fourth place.

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Access to Medicine Index
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Access to Medicine Index

In 2018, 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.

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In the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) we scored a C in 2019. In addition to reporting on our climate action, since 2016 we have been reporting our water-related performance and processes to the CDP. In 2019, we received a B for our water management practices, up from a B- in 2018.

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EcoVadis rating
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EcoVadis rating

The independent rating agency EcoVadis assesses suppliers from 150 countries across the categories of environment, social affairs, ethics, and sustainable procurement. In 2019 we were awarded the Platin recognition level and were thus among the top 1% of all participating companies.

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ESG company rating
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ESG company rating

In 2019, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) group of companies again gave our Group a B- on a scale of A+ (top mark) to D-, once more granting us Prime Status (“good” to “very good”) as in 2018.


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