Climate protection

Climate change and its consequences, one of the key challenges facing society in the 21st century, are already impacting life on earth today.

Being a responsible company, we are resolute in our quest to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which we are accomplishing by lowering our greenhouse gas emissions and by offering products that help our customers reduce their own emissions in turn. Within the scope of the Carbon Disclosure Project, we have been reporting for several years now in detail to our stakeholders - in particular customers, NGOs and shareholders – regarding our activities, measures, and achievements. In addition, our engagement in climate protection activities is also of financial benefit since improved energy-efficiency means that we save on energy costs. Pressure from a growing number of statutory regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions – such as those found in emissions trading systems – has also encouraged us to take action. Furthermore, our customers are likewise increasingly expecting us to engage in climate protection activities.

Steering activities centrally

The Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany function Environment Health Safety Security Quality (EQ) is responsible for globally steering all climate protection measures. At our individual sites, operational units are responsible for implementing climate protection measures.

Strategic goal and EDISON program

Goal 2020


Greenhouse gas emissions

In 2009, we set the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, measured against the 2006 baseline. In order to achieve this goal, we initiated the EDISON (Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection) program, which consolidates the climate protection activities of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. 20 sites worldwide are responsible for around 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which is why EDISON is focusing on these sites. The reduction of our energy-related emissions is one of our primary measures. To this end, we are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own energy generation as well as to enhance the energy efficiency of research and production processes. Furthermore, we wish to lower process-related emissions through measures such as a quality control process at the life science tools division. Improving our building management in terms of energy-related aspects is another measure that will contribute.

EQ collaborates with a cross-divisional working group founded in 2011 to create and implement climate protection projects. This working group develops measures itself and evaluates site-related project proposals using a method it created to systematically evaluate projects. In 2012, the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany earmarked € 10 million for projects. Of the more than 130 approved projects, we have initiated or successfully implemented around half. This includes the construction of a biomass power plant at our site in Goa, India, and the cogeneration plant in Gernsheim, Germany that will go on line in mid-2013.

The Executive Board has also earmarked € 10 million for 2013 as well. Some of this will be used to continue projects that were launched in 2012, and some of it will go to support the 73 new projects that were submitted by the EDISON working group in September 2012 and were approved. Through approximately 200 individual projects, we are aiming to reduce emissions by around 64,000 metric tons of CO2 per year in the medium term.

Energy management is another component of EDISON. In 2012, our production sites in Darmstadt and Gernsheim, responsible for around 40% of our global energy consumption, were certified to ISO 50001 “Energy management systems”.

The economical use and energy efficiency of company cars also constitutes part of our climate protection measures. The Group-wide company car guidelines are being revised this year and will establish solid upper limits for vehicle CO2 emissions.

Climate protection figures for 2011 and 2012

We produced 521,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, and 516,000 metric tons in 2012. In 2012, the sites that produced the most emissions included the Darmstadt and Gernsheim sites in Germany, the Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Savannah, Georgia sites in the United States, the Cork site in Ireland, and the Molsheim site in France. Greenhouse gas emissions are reported in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, an international standard for greenhouse gas emissions reporting. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany currently reports Scopes 1 and 2 of the GHG protocol. Scope 1 covers direct emissions that the company produces itself through fossil fuel combustion or through its own processes. Scope 2 pertains to emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam. Scope 3 includes emissions such as those from the manufacture and transportation of raw materials, products, and waste, or from employee business travel. Due to the complexity of Scope 3 emissions reporting, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is currently only reporting on Scope 3 emissions from business travel (plane and train travel, rental cars).

The Darmstadt and Gernsheim sites in Germany were also our largest CO2 producers in 2011 and 2012. With the cogeneration plant in Darmstadt and the heating plant in Gernsheim, these two sites are subject to the EU Emissions Trading System. The final carbon credit allowances have not yet been defined for the third trading period (2013-2020). However, based on the current status, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will have to purchase additional allowances.

Increasing employee awareness

We want climate protection to be lived throughout the whole company. At several sites, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany calls on employees to contribute their own ideas for saving energy and conserving resources. In the United States, the life science tools division also supports employees’ personal climate protection activities, such as incentives for installing solar panels in their homes. With global campaigns such as the Energy Month campaign, the life science tools division is increasing employees’ environmental awareness.

In order to keep our employees informed, we publish a selection of climate protection facts and figures on our intranet. Furthermore, various tools such as energy checklists or best practice examples are also available to help employees share information and learn from one another. We also continuously provide information on climate protection at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in our employee newspaper and in an employee newsletter. In addition to this, we give our employees tips, such as how to reduce fuel consumption by modifying their driving habits. As an incentive to use public transportation. Our Darmstadt site offers a job ticket, for which the company covers part of the cost. More than 3000 employees take advantage of this offer.

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Goals: Climate protection











Strategic goal



Status in 2011 and 2012


20% reduction of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (2006 baseline)

Systematically examine the energy consumption at the individual sites

End of 2020

The production plants in Darmstadt and Gernsheim were systematically examined in terms of energy savings potential. In addition to this, energy checks were conducted at the Altdorf, Semoy, Taicang, Savannah, and Eppelheim sites.


Identify and implement potential ways to save energy

End of 2020

Nearly 70 projects to save energy or reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been initiated, and some of them have already reached completion.


Reduce process-related emissions

End of 2020

We have made progress in reducing process-related emissions. Despite increased production volume, we managed to lower emissions slightly.

Legend: Achieved In progress Not achieved New goal


Publication of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

In the United States and Canada the subsidiaries of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate under the umbrella brand EMD.


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