- Constructive dialogue with stakeholders included
- Engagement intensified across the three strategic spheres of activity of health, the environment, and education & culture
- Non-financial report integrated in Corporate Responsibility Report
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has published its Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report for 2017. Responsible actions are an integral part of the company culture of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the foundation of sustained business success. This includes respecting the interests of employees, customers and investors, as well as the community. For the first time, the report contains an integrated non-financial report as defined in the new CSR Directive Implementation Act.
“This CR Report coincides with our 350th anniversary and underscores our focus on the dialogue with our partners who, just like us, see sustainability not just as an obligation but as a critical factor for our future success”, said Petra Wicklandt, head of Corporate Affairs at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “From fighting the tropical disease schistosomiasis and manufacturing eco-friendly products such as organic photovoltaics to our school sponsorships, which are aimed at sparking young people’s interest in science, we cover a kaleidoscope of topics. The report gives external stakeholders a prominent voice, as well as actively involving its readers.” Animated infographics and interactive topic choices, as well as feedback and download options offer additional value to the online report.
The corporate responsibility activities of the company align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, also reports on its progress in implementing the United Nations Global Compact and its principles. Here the focus is on the three strategic spheres of activity of health, the environment, and education & culture. On the occasion of its 350th anniversary, together with its employees the company is ramping up its social engagement; under the banner of “350 Good Deeds”, the company is conducting charitable activities in around 60 countries.
To improve access to healthcare, especially in developing countries, researchers around the world are working to develop innovative approaches and enhance existing programs for patients locally. One example is the battle against the tropical parasitic disease schistosomiasis. For the past ten years, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has been donating tablets to the World Health Organization (WHO) and provided 150 million tablets for distribution across 26 African countries in 2017 alone. Since 2007, this has enabled the treatment of more than 150 million patients, primarily school children. with the aim of eliminating the disease. Committed to achieving this objective is the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, a partnership initiated by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Together with the other members, the consortium is working to develop a new pediatric formulation of praziquantel to treat children under the age of six. In addition to this partnership, in 2017 the company founded the Foundation sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of people in developing countries and underserved communities. Through its array of programs, this organization improves access to health solutions, builds scientific research and healthcare capacity, and empowers people in STEM fields with a special focus on women and young people.
Its responsibilities also include ensuring that the company’s products are as eco-friendly as possible during the use phase. This applies to both the development of its own products and helping its customers improve the sustainability of their products. Overall, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, offers more than 750 products that align with the Principles of Green Chemistry. The green solvent
Cyrene™, for instance, is based on cellulosic waste and is used among other things as an alternative to dimethylformamide (formic acid), which has mutagenic properties. A further example is liquid crystal window technology: Comprising a pane of glass that can be darkened seamlessly, they block direct sunlight and thereby regulate the resulting heat. In this way, the technology can cut energy use in climate-controlled buildings by up to 40%.
Education & Culture
The promotion of education and culture also has a long tradition at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with a particular focus on sparking young people’s curiosity in science. School pupils, for instance, can discover the joy of experimentation in junior chemistry and biology labs run jointly by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the Technical University of Darmstadt. In 2017, more than 3,500 students visited these labs. Under the SPARK program, employees volunteer to hold science classes with school children. As part of this initiative, in 2017 the Curiosity Cube™, a freight container that has been transformed into a mobile laboratory, was launched. Traveling through the United States, in 2017 the cube visited 85 schools and city centers, allowing more than 38,000 students to conduct experiments. In addition to these efforts, the company also supports cultural initiatives, such as the Deutsche Philharmonie sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, whose concerts in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Morocco were attended by around 21,000 people.
The 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report is available online.