Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Publishes 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

May 2, 2018 5:00 AM ET

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has published its ninth Corporate Responsibility Report, covering the year 2017. It is available online at At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, responsible conduct has been embedded in our fundamental principles for 350 years and is an integral element of our global strategy. In this vein, we meet global challenges in a variety of ways.

In living our corporate responsibility, we focus our strengths on those areas where we can have the greatest impact. We pursue three strategic spheres of activity, namely health, environment, and education & culture. Our activities are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Health: To broaden access to health, we research innovative solutions, develop new approaches and improve existing programs to help people at the point of care. Moreover, we strive to make health solutions affordable, raise awareness of diseases and their treatment. One striking example of our commitment is the fight against the tropical disease schistosomiasis. Since 2007, we have been donating tablets to the World Health Organization (WHO) every year – enabling the treatment of more than 150 million patients to date, primarily school children. In 2017 alone, approximately 150 million donated tablets were distributed across 26 African countries. In 2017, we furthermore founded the Global Health Institute of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which aims to develop innovative, integrated solutions to improve the health of underserved populations in the developing world. Through this institute, we’re engaged in projects such as the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, a research alliance that we initiated. Within this consortium, we are partnering with fellow actors to develop a suitable pediatric praziquantel formulation for treating schistosomiasis in children under six.
  • Environment: We see it as our duty to not only conserve resources in developing our own products, but also to help our customers increase the sustainability of theirs. To do so, we integrate sustainability right from the earliest stages of product development. For instance, we offer materials for innovative organic photovoltaic modules. These printable, state-of-the-art high-performance polymers enable flexible, semi-transparent, lightweight solar cells; they can be used not only on rooftops, but also on building facades, on curved or straight surfaces, and even in clothing. Moreover, our liquid crystals in smart windows can reduce the energy use of air conditioned buildings by up to 40%. We therefore invested € 15 million in the construction of a new production plant in the Netherlands. In our Life Science business sector, we offer more than 750 products that align with Principles of Green Chemistry, making them a greener alternative to conventional products. Take for instance our solvent Cyrene™, which is bioderived from waste cellulose.
  • Education & Culture: We seek to promote curiosity. In 2017, our company invested € 5.1 million in educational and cultural activities worldwide. Under our global volunteer program SPARK, our employees share their skills and experience with students to motivate them towards a STEM-related career. In 2017, more than 2,500 of our people volunteered over 13,700 hours to provide exciting insights into the world of science. Beyond continuing SPARK, in 2017 we furthermore initiated an international pilot project to build teacher capacities and provide them with the tools to ignite their students’ curiosity in science. Having already launched one such project in India in 2017, others are scheduled to follow in Chile, Kenya and Tanzania in 2018.

Our 2017 CR Report is being published in 2018, the year in which we’re celebrating a remarkable 350 years of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Driven by curiosity, we have been contributing to the advance of science for 350 years, doing so by engaging all our stakeholders in an open, constructive dialogue that underpins our 2017 CR Report. As well as giving external stakeholders a prominent voice, this Report also involves readers on an interactive level using a variety of innovative digital formats to bring the dialogue to life (

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. Our 2017 CR Report is the first time we've met 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’ve made in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress) and meets the criteria of the German Sustainability Code (DNK).

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 53,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2017, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the „Merck” name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

Media Contacts:
Judith Rahner:
+49 6151 72 7694

Friederike Segeberg:
+49 6151 72 6328

Read the Report