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Environmental protection

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Commitment, principles & goals

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is committed to conserving natural resources as well as protecting the environment. Our responsibility to protect the environment derives from our Values and our corporate strategy. Adherence to our corporate values is a key component of our Code of Conduct, which was described under Principles 1 and 2.

The policy document for operational environmental protection is the EHS Policy  described under Principles 3,4, 5, and 6.

We aim to continually improve our performance as well as to use energy, water and materials economically and efficiently. In addition to this, we want to boost our energy efficiency in order to reduce CO2 emissions, thus contributing to global climate change mitigation. We have set ourselves a goal of reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 20% by 2020 (relative to the 2006 baseline). In 2013, as in 2012 and 2011, the Executive Board earmarked around EUR 10 million for measures to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For the production of environmentally sustainable products, the Performance Materials division has implemented the Green Product Policy for liquid crystal products. Through this policy, we have committed ourselves to complying with all international and country-specific laws and regulations (REACH, RoHS) and also with voluntary bans on substances as well as self-imposed restrictions of certain industries or individual customers, such as the Halogen-Free Policy.

As part of the Design for Sustainability program, the life science tools division has developed a number of tools to drive sustainability across the product development process. The program is especially aimed at reducing our customers’ own environmental impact, including their carbon footprint and water use.


Environmental protection has been implemented in our production processes through the EHS management described under Principles 3, 4, 5, and 6.

  • EDISON program for climate protection and energy efficiency: We have consolidated our activities for climate protection and energy efficiency into the EDISON program for energy efficiency and climate protection. Under this program, energy audits are conducted at various sites and energy saving processes implemented. Through the 200 EDISON projects that were launched in 2012 and 2013, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, aims to annually save around 52 metric kilotons of CO2 per year in the medium term.
  • Product safety management: Through our Group-wide Product Safety Chemicals policy, we have established global processes for defining, steering and implementing product safety, as well as the corresponding management structures. This policy covers all relevant national and international chemical regulations, including the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and its implementation in regional legislation (such as the CLP regulation in the EU and HazCom in the United States), the European Union chemicals regulation REACH, the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA ), and the German federal law on protection from hazardous substances (ChemG). The policy also incorporates legal standards that relate to the transport of hazardous substances, biocides, cosmetics, chemicals used in food and animal feed, etc.

    The Group Product Safety Committee (GPSC) is responsible for continuously monitoring the relevant regulatory requirements; the Executive Board member responsible for product safety is a member of this committee. Corporate Regulatory Affairs, a department within Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, function Environment Health Safety Security Quality (EQ), and local units are responsible for compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements for product safety.
  • Product development: We strive to continuously enhance the sustainability footprint of our products, developing suitable product and process innovations in order to do so. And we are working to offer our customers products that enable them to reduce the impact of their own activities as well as achieve their own sustainability goals.

    With the Green³ concept, the Performance Materials division offers its customers a comprehensive package for liquid crystal products. We are developing innovative, environmentally sustainable materials for energy-efficient displays. We also help our customers create environmentally sustainable production processes and support them in producing more environmentally sustainable LC displays. For example, we have developed eco-efficient and WEEE-compliant (EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) recycling processes for used LCDs. An integral part of this concept is our Green Product Policy, under which we commit ourselves to complying with all international and country-specific laws and regulations (REACH, RoHS); we also comply with voluntary bans on substances and self-imposed restrictions of certain industries or individual customers, such as the Halogen-Free Policy. At the same time, our voluntary safety policy bans the use of acutely toxic, mutagenic or otherwise hazardous substances that remain in the end product. We have expanded the Green3 concept to include cosmetic products from our Performance Materials division. We are working to sustainably procure and produce cosmetic ingredients as well as optimize the related production processes.

    At our life science tools division the Design for Sustainability program looks to minimize the environmental and health impact at each stage of the product life cycle from manufacturing through use to disposal. At the same time, we look to maximize features that improve product performance and ease of use. We incorporate sustainability considerations early in the design process before impacts of design decisions are locked in, and we use a set of criteria for major impact areas like materials, energy and waste to measure improvements. Starting in 2014, the life science tools division will apply the Design for Sustainability process for all new products.

    An overview of innovative products from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, can be found on our website .

Gauging the results

  • EHS audits: The previously mentioned internal EHS audits are utilized to scrutinize compliance within Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with the specific regulatory requirements, standards, and business requirements for corporate environmental protection.

    In 2013, for the fifth year in a row, our group certificate for environmental management systems, which conforms to ISO 14001, was reconfirmed over the course of the annual audit.

    In addition to this, our suppliers' adherence to environmental standards is scrutinized in the supplier audits described under Principles 1 and 2.
  • EHS data management: A Group-wide EHS data management system is used to regularly collect environmentally relevant data at the individual sites and relay it to the EQ Group function. In 2013, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, emitted a total of 524 metric tons of CO2, which represents a reduction of 1% compared to 2006 levels.

    More environmentally relevant data can be found in our Corporate Responsibility Report – Update 2013.


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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