April 16, 2019 - Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has published its tenth Corporate Responsibility Report, covering the year 2018.
Since 1668, science has been at the heart of everything we do. It drives the discoveries we make and the technologies we create. Our work is fueled by our belief in science as a force for good. We work to enhance the human experience and create more joyful and sustainable ways to live. In 2018, we realigned our CR strategy, focusing more heavily on generating sustainable added value for ourselves as a company and for society. To achieve this, we are taking a shared value approach. In revising our strategy, we modified our three strategic spheres of activity to bring them more in line with our businesses. Our focus areas are now “Global Health”, “Sustainable Solutions” and “Broad Minds”, and our activities are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- Global Health: We were ranked fourth place in the 2018 Access to Medicine Index, honoring our engagement in making medicines, vaccines and diagnostics more accessible to people worldwide. In 2018 we refined our Global Health strategy for addressing the global needs that impact health access. As part of our efforts, we donated approximately 200 million tablets to fight the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis and entered into a partnership for malaria prevention in vulnerable communities. Moreover, we are working on highly pressing therapeutic challenges such as antimicrobial resistance.
- Sustainable Solutions: Through our Design for Sustainability (DfS) program, we have developed a comprehensive approach to increasing the sustainability of our Life Science products. In addition to DfS, we have created a quantitative green chemistry analysis tool called DOZN™ that enables us to assess the greenness of various chemicals. This provides transparency for our customers and helps us to offer alternatives such as bio-based solvents, which are more sustainable in comparison to petroleum-based ones. Moreover, we launched a new brand for our liquid crystal window technology, with initial estimates forecasting up to 40% energy savings for building climate control systems.
- Broad Minds: As a science and technology company, we endeavor to excite people about science, inspire their curiosity and help their creativity take flight. We support education and research programs at schools and universities, but also promote a myriad of cultural initiatives worldwide. Through the overarching SPARK Global Volunteer Program, for instance, more than 2,800 of our Life Science employees volunteered over 19,000 hours of their time throughout 2018, engaging over 66,000 students worldwide in science.
Our 2018 CR Report covers the year 2018. It was a year in which we celebrated a major anniversary, marking 350 years in pursuit of curiosity, science and technology – the great driving forces behind progress. This report engages readers on an interactive level, using a variety of innovative digital formats such as clickable, animated graphics, crosslinks between topics, quizzes, information pop-ups, and videos.
We have prepared our CR Report in accordance with the GRI Standards: “Comprehensive” option. Moreover, we have taken into consideration the requirements of the capital market for assessing companies’ sustainability performance. Through our 2018 CR Report, we meet the requirements for a combined separate non-financial report as defined in the CSR Directive Implementation Act that took effect in Germany in 2017. The CR Report also documents the progress we have made in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress) and meets the criteria of the German Sustainability Code (DNK).