Sustainability as obligation

Publish Date

25 MAR 2022


Kai Beckmann


These days, every company needs to include sustainability in its business strategy. Overcoming global challenges requires top innovation performance from everyone. At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, we have set ourselves specific sustainability goals for shaping a more livable future.

We have derived strategic levers for our electronics business from these overarching goals. We're implementing these goals consistently and using our innovative power to create value for society. 

Since 2015, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have established the framework for securing sustainable development globally on an economic, social and ecological level. They are meant to help end world poverty for good, protect the planet and improve the lives of all people. Businesses, alongside governments and citizens, will have to lead the way towards a more equitable, sustainable future. That is why we are committed to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our contribution needs to be not only noticeable for society but also measurable.

Therefore, we have set three sustainability goals for our business:

1. Human progress: In 2030, we will achieve human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology. We provide our customers with sustainable innovations and technologies and contribute to improving the quality of life and health of humankind.

2. Sustainability at all value chain stages: Also by 2030, we want to embed sustainability in all our value chains. Here, we’re focusing on sustainability and transparency in the supply chain and on ensuring social acceptance in all regions as well as on our sustainability culture and values.

3. Smaller ecological footprint: We have set ourselves the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2040 and further reducing our resource consumption. This includes minimizing process-related emissions, increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions when transporting our goods. However, we also want to reduce our footprint when it comes to the use of water and other resources. In doing so, we will implement measures that go beyond the legal requirements in the areas of particular relevance to the chemical industry, such as waste and wastewater.

Sustainability at EMD Electronics

While demand is booming for our high-tech materials and solutions that are vital to our everyday lives, like smartphones, cars or any other device, hardly anyone knows that this comes at a cost: As the electronics industry grows, so will its carbon footprint. The more excited to see that sustainability is starting to be addressed at all parts of the supply chain.

And so do we: Like all business sectors, our electronics business contributes to the practical implementation of the overarching sustainability goals at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. It is a continuous process where we embed the sustainability goals into all growth aspirations and objectives. By the end of 2025, our electronics business will invest significantly more than € 3 billion in research and development as well as in the establishment of long-term capacities for advanced material solutions. These investments will focus on sustainable innovations, among other things.Germany

Moreover, EMD Electronics has defined strategic levers for each of the three overarching sustainability goals. In doing so, we continuously examine the core of our business activities as regards the requirements of our customers and their sustainability strategies. After all, our customers have clear expectations of our business and our products when it comes to sustainability. In addition, we've specified sustainability criteria for various areas, including research and development, which enable us to develop future products that meet our sustainability aspirations.

In doing so, we are committed to taking specific measures to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and to limiting the global temperature increase due to the greenhouse effect to 1.5 °C. We have set ourselves the following goals: By 2030, we intend to lower our direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared with 2020. Moreover, we plan to lower our indirect emissions along our entire value chain (Scope 3) by 1,500 metric kilotons of CO2 equivalents (CO2eq) by 2030. In addition, we will continue and expand initiatives we already started several years ago to reduce wastewater and waste production. For example, we are currently carrying out an analysis of our production wastewater. Our aim: by 2030, we plan to reduce potentially harmful residues in our wastewater to below the no-effect threshold. This is a scientifically defined threshold below which no negative environmental impacts are expected.

Hand in hand

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is committed to growth and sustainability – and the same applies to EMD Electronics. These goals can only be achieved by working hand in hand. We do everything we can to sustainably improve people’s lives with our materials and solutions on the one hand and to minimize our impact on the environment with the help of these products on the other hand. In the future, I will also report on the progress made along this journey here in my blog.

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