Environmental management

Our responsibility to protect the environment stems from our Values and our Group strategy. We aim to continually improve our performance and reduce our impact on the environment by applying the precautionary principle. This especially means efficiently conserving resources such as raw materials, auxiliaries, operating supplies, energy, and water. In addition to this, we strive to lower our emissions and waste so that we can reduce our costs as well as our impact on the environment.

Our Corporate Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy , in effect throughout the Group, establishes the framework for principles, strategies and organizational structures for environmental protection at the company. The topics of health and safety are covered under Employees: Occupational Health and Safety.

Our EHS policy is implemented through internal guidelines and instruction manuals on compliant behavior, such as the "EHS, Security and Quality Manual". This manual describes, for instance, the fundamental global processes and organizational structure for environmental protection and occupational safety at the company. Our guidelines are based on the Responsible Care® Global Charter , which the chemical industry drafted in 2005. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany was among the first companies to sign the revised version of this charter in 2014. We have furthermore aligned our guidelines to the ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management systems) standards. We have developed Group-wide standards as well as standard operating procedures for all environment, health and safety issues relevant to the company.

For our environmental protection activities, we have established a management system that is structured according to ISO 14001. We require all production sites with more than 50 employees to implement our environmental management system, which is optional for sites with 50 employees or fewer. This system is certified on an annual basis by an accredited, independent organization. New production sites must subsequently set up and implement an environmental management system that conforms to Group standards and meets the requirements for ISO 14001 certification.

Since 2009, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has had an ISO 14001:2004 group certificate  for its environmental management system. As part of the certification process, multiple surveillance audits are conducted every year, which we passed with flying colors in both 2013 and 2014. Suitable action plans have been drawn up and are now being implemented. The group certificate currently covers 58 sites, including eight of nine production sites from AZ Electronic Materials, a company that was acquired in 2014. Due to site acquisitions made mid-year and the time needed to fully implement an environmental management system, there are generally always a few production sites still undergoing implementation that have not yet been certified to ISO 14001:2004 by year-end. At the time of the surveillance audit in 2014, four sites fell into this category.

A new version of ISO 14001 is scheduled for publication in 2015. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will be adapting its Group-wide environmental management system and corresponding documents such as the "Corporate EHS Policy" and the "EHS, Security and Quality Manual" to meet these new requirements.


Bernd Reckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, bears overall responsibility for environmental protection at the company. The Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany function EQ is responsible for globally steering all environmental protection measures and is furthermore in charge of occupational health and safety, security, and quality.

Each site has specific employees in charge of EHS-related matters. The local site managers are responsible for operational environmental protection as well as occupational health and safety. When it comes to these matters, they receive support and guidance from EHS managers or, at smaller sites, from EHS coordinators.

The company AZ Electronic Materials, acquired in 2014, has been completely integrated into EQ's structural organization and processes since the beginning of 2015.

Environmental management (graphic)

The processes for complying with local environmental protection laws, regulatory requirements, standards, and business requirements are stipulated by EQ, but are also partially defined by the sites themselves. EQ has created internal standards and standard operating procedures for all key environmental topics. Regular internal and external audits are conducted to verify compliance with these standards, the frequency of which is based on the site's risk potential. Employees can report violations to Compliance. In the 2013-2014 period, no significant violations of environmental laws or regulations were recorded within the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Using the Group-wide LION electronic data management system, environmental data is recorded at the individual sites and reported to the Group function EQ at least once a year.

For all capital expenditure projects, either EQ or the local EHS unit will conduct environmental impact assessments to ensure sufficient environmental protection and occupational safety, as well as a proper degree of building and plant security. When sites and property are acquired or divested, EQ performs its due diligence, drawing up detailed EHS statements in order to ensure that contaminated or otherwise problematic sites are neither bought nor sold.

All employees tasked with environmental protection responsibilities are trained on a continuous basis and obtain additional qualifications. In addition to local programs, this training also includes the annual international EHS Congress in Darmstadt, as well as the regional EHS Forum. These events inform attendees about new EHS issues as well as planned guidelines and laws, and furthermore encourage best practice sharing at an expert level. In 2014, these events focused on topics such as management systems, pharmaceutical residue in the environment, and environmental performance indicators.

In 2014, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s spending on corporate environmental protection totaled € 146 million worldwide (€ 142 million in 2013). These figures also include capital investments made during 2013 and 2014.

Goals: Environmental management














Status in 2013 and 2014


Audit and implement environmental management systems at acquired sites

Certify environmental management systems at further acquired sites




Perform gap analysis on the life science business acquisitions (e.g. Heipha and Biochrom), along with the Allergopharma production site in Reinbek

End of 2014

We conducted a gap analysis on Biochrom and Allergopharma production sites.

Due to production issues, the implementation of ISO 14001 has been delayed for Heipha.


Integrate AZ Electronic Materials production sites

End of 2015

Eight out of nine production sites of AZ Electronic Materials, which was acquired in 2014, have been incorporated into the group certificate.

Implement the OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management system for all Performance Materials production sites


End of 2016


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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