All Eyes on Sustainability

Apr 15, 2021 3:00 AM ET
Article

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has published its 2020 Sustainability Report. The report details the company’s new sustainability strategy and covers the company’s approach to multiple challenges related to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Acting responsibly has been deeply ingrained in our corporate culture for more than 350 years. Our business conduct is guided by strong values that support sustainability – across all our businesses.

Sustainability firmly embedded in the corporate strategy

Our sustainability strategy is built on our ambition to contribute positively to society. It is based on our endeavors as a science and technology company. Building on our progress in recent years, we developed three new, strategic sustainability goals:

  • In 2030, we will achieve human progress for more than 1 billion people through sustainable science and technology.
  • By 2030, we will integrate sustainability into all our value chains.
  • By 2040, we will achieve climate neutrality and reduce our resource consumption.

These goals have become an essential element of our corporate strategy. Within seven focus areas, we are implementing numerous initiatives and projects today and in the future. We record and evaluate the progress we make towards increasing our sustainability performance by tracking various internal key performance indicators. In order to assess the sustainability impact of our products, technologies and business activities, we have developed the Sustainable Business Value (SBV) method.

Climate action is part of our corporate responsibility, which is why we are intensifying our efforts to mitigate our climate impact. In 2020, we lowered the greenhouse gas emissions of our legacy business by roughly 25% compared with our 2006 baseline (excluding Versum). And we are constantly working to improve the sustainability footprint of our products. These efforts also help our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals. So far, we have made more than 1,100 greener alternatives to conventional life science products available to our customers.

Our impact on the SDGs

We also align our sustainability activities with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our aim is for our business activities to create shared value that is both measurable and makes a recognizable contribution. In 2020, we analyzed how we could contribute actively to achieving the SDGs. Our analysis showed that we stand to make the greatest positive impact on five of the goals. In this report, for the first time, we have visualized how our strategies, goals and actions relate to individual SDG targets, using an interactive SDG tool.

Our contribution to fight the pandemic

We believe that through science and technology, we can achieve progress for all people. This is how we also want to tackle global challenges, such as pandemics and climate change. In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented situation for businesses and society in 2020.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, our company has been intensely involved in the fight against the coronavirus. Worldwide, we support more than 35 testing solutions, 50 vaccine projects and 20 programs for the development of Covid-19 therapies.

Broad and transparent information

Our 2020 Sustainability Report engages readers on an interactive level, using a variety of innovative digital formats such as clickable, animated graphics, expert statements and videos, quizzes and crosslinks. In the magazine section of the report, we present our new sustainability strategy and explore how it was developed. Therefore, we looked ahead to the future, considering how different scenarios would affect our company’s businesses.

We have prepared our 2020 Sustainability Report in accordance with the GRI Standards “comprehensive” option. The report also meets the requirements for a combined separate non-financial report, as defined in the German CSR Directive Implementation Act, and documents the progress we have made in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress).

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

Read the Report