TAG overview

Which topics are key to our long-term, environmentally and socially responsible business success? What expectations do our have of us? In which areas do we help create a more sustainable future? To answer these questions, in 2019 we updated the materiality analysis we conducted in 2018, thereby meeting the applicable reporting requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the German CSR Directive Implementation Act.

Material issues updated and validated

We regularly conduct a comprehensive materiality assessment to help us define key topics for our Corporate Responsibility (CR) management and for our report content.

We conducted our last comprehensive analysis in 2018, which reflected the requirements and expectations that our stakeholders place on us. In the process, we reviewed:

  • Relevant regulations
  • Goals and positions of our competitors
  • Requirements imposed by investor ratings
  • Expectations that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • Relevance of various CR topics to our economic environment.

Likewise, we analyzed how our industries, value chain and sites impact sustainable development. For our 2019 CR Report, we updated the existing analysis by including the media as a further external stakeholder group. We additionally conducted a media analysis and integrated the results into our previous approach.

Materiality process

Materiality process (graphic)

Results of the update

The 35 topics identified as being of significance to our CR strategy and reporting did not change relative to the 2018 analysis. As a result of having incorporated a structured media analysis into the materiality process, the results changed minimally, but this impacted neither the reporting framework nor the contents.

Since our stakeholders additionally expect information and transparency regarding less significant issues, we also report on these, albeit in less detail.

Topics for the non-financial report

The German CSR Directive Implementation Act obliges us to review the “double materiality” of topics according to section 289c (3) of the German Commercial Code. The principle of double materiality requires companies to disclose non-financial information when the following two criteria are met. Firstly, the information is necessary to understand the company’s business performance, business results and financial situation. And secondly, the information makes it possible to understand how the company’s business activities affect non-financial aspects.

In 2019, we again reviewed the double materiality of the topics identified. Those that fall within the scope of this definition are marked in the materiality matrix and linked to the respective chapters in this report.

Material topics

Material topics (graphic)
Close

Health for everyone

Part of the non-financial report

Close

Ethical conduct

Part of the non-financial report

Close

Technology

Part of the non-financial report

  • Very high importance
  • High importance
  • Medium importance

Material issues in our value chain

The following table shows where our material issues fall within the value chain: upstream in our supply chain, in the course of activities within our own business sectors, or downstream with our customers and patients. Moreover, we listed the issues to show the breakdown of materiality by stakeholder groups.

 

Activities (graphic)

ACTIVITIES OF Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Upstream activities
Healthcare
Life Science
Performance Materials
Downstream activities

Product safety and quality

Chemical product safety
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, Merck family, shareholders, government agencies, NGOs, commercial and business partners associates

Patient safety
0
X
0
0
X

Material for:

Merck family, shareholders, government agencies, NGOs, health systems, patients

Product-related crime
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, Merck family, shareholders, federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs, commercial and business partners, health systems, patients

Transport and warehouse safety
X
0
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, government agencies, suppliers, commercial and business partners, communities

Ethical conduct

Bioethics
0
X
X
0
X

Material for:

Customers, federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs, media, scientists

Clinical studies
X
X
0
0
X

Material for:

Merck family, shareholders, federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs, media, suppliers, scientists, patients

Animal welfare
X
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Government agencies, NGOs, media, suppliers, scientists

Good business practice

X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Employees, Merck family, shareholders, government agencies, NGOs, suppliers, commercial and business partners, health systems, competitors

Responsible marketing
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, federations and policy makers, media, commercial and business partners, health systems, patients

Community involvement
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Merck family, employees, NGOs, media, communities

Interactions with health systems
0
X
0
0
X

Material for:

Federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs, health systems, patients

Governance
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives, Merck family, shareholders, government agencies, suppliers, commercial and business partners, customers

Data protection
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives, suppliers, commercial and business partners, customers, patients

Health for all

Access to health
0
X
X
0
X

Material for:

NGOs, media, commercial and business partners, health systems, patients

Prices of medicines
0
X
0
0
X

Material for:

Merck family, shareholders, NGOs, media, commercial and business partners, health systems, patients

Health awareness
0
X
0
0
X

Material for:

NGOs, media, commercial and business partners, health systems, patients, communities, competitors

Supply chain standards

Supply chain standards
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, Merck family, shareholders, federations and policy makers, NGOs, media, suppliers, competitors

Human rights

Human rights
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, federations and policy makers, NGOs, media, suppliers, communities, employees

Sustainable products

Sustainable product design
0
0
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, scientists

Attractive employer

Diversity
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives, Merck family, media

Recruiting and retaining employees
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives, Merck family, shareholders, competitors

Employee development
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives

Good leadership
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives

Employee engagement
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives

Health and safety
X
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives, government agencies

Work 4.0
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, employee representatives

Technology

Innovation and R&D
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, Merck family, shareholders, Scientists, health systems, patients

Digitalization
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Scientists, commercial and business partners, customers, patients

Resource efficiency

Waste and recycling
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Government agencies, NGOs, communities, customers

Water management
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Government agencies, NGOs, communities

Environmental protection

Energy efficiency and renewable energy
0
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Federations and policy makers, NGOs, customers

emissions
X
X
X
X
X

Material for:

Customers, federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs, media, suppliers

Plant and process safety
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Employees, shareholders, Merck family, government agencies, media

0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs

Emissions
0
X
X
X
0

Material for:

Federations and policy makers, government agencies, NGOs

Stakeholder
People or organizations that have a legitimate interest in a company, entitling them to make justified demands. Stakeholders include people such as employees, business partners, neighbors in the vicinity of our sites, and shareholders.
Compliance
Adherence to laws and regulations as well as to voluntary codices that are internal to a company. Compliance is a component of diligent corporate governance.
Greenhouse gases
Gases in the atmosphere that contribute to global warming. They can be either naturally occurring or caused by humans (such as CO2 emissions generated by burning fossil fuels).
Biodiversity
The diversity of ecosystems, habitats and landscapes on earth, the diversity of the species, and the genetic diversity within a biological species or population.

Information

The current Sustainability Report 2020 can be found here.

Cookie Disclaimer

This website uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using this website means you’re OK with this. You can change which cookies are set at any time - and find out more about them in our cookie policy. Privacy Statement