Community involvement

We take on responsibility for the community in those areas where we can leverage our expertise to achieve the most. In particular, we support health, culture and education projects in the vicinity of our sites and in the countries where we operate. Moreover, we provide disaster relief in emergency situations.

Our principles

Organization and management

Our Group function Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility coordinates our Group-wide community involvement and manages global projects, reporting directly to the Executive Board. In addition, our business sectors and subsidiaries initiate their own projects, choosing for themselves the spheres of activity within our CR strategy that they would like to support.

The Merck family, too, has long been committed to addressing social issues. Their activities fall under the umbrella of the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Family Foundation.

Framework for our projects

Our individual business sectors and subsidiaries align their projects with our Group-wide Responsibility for the Community Policy, which emphasizes that our activities should have a positive effect on the community. That is why we mainly promote long-term initiatives through which we seek to strengthen our relationship with our stakeholders and reinforce our social license to operate.

Our community involvement in numbers

In 2016, our subsidiaries were involved in 197 projects, while in 2015 they were involved in 138. In 2016, we spent a total of around € 43 million (€ 100 million in 2015). This figure does not include initiatives that primarily serve to market our products.


Partnership with the German Red Cross

In April 2015, we entered into a three-year partnership with the German Red Cross (DRK) that aims to provide quick and straightforward assistance in the event of a catastrophe. In December 2015, for instance, we donated € 50,000 to run medical emergency stations in refugee camps in Lebanon in an effort to fight local causes for fleeing and support the people in these regions.

Supporting refugees

In response to the rapidly increasing numbers of refugees, we rendered aid at various sites in 2015. Our subsidiary in Austria, for example, donated € 19,000 in medicines and medical equipment to relief organizations and emergency accommodation for refugees. Moreover, we also supported causes such as hospitals in Lebanon by providing medical expertise, and Iraqi cancer patients by sending free medicines.

In October 2016 – based on our “Start in die Ausbildung” program – we launched the “Integrating refugees through training” program in Darmstadt to support people forced to flee their home countries. This initiative is preparing 12 young people for vocational training and thus for the German labor market. The project comprises linguistic, technical, cultural, and career-related training.

Our apprentices, too, have helped out. In November 2015, for instance, 88 of them renovated refugee accommodations in Darmstadt. As part of our Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Rest Cents campaign, we also donated € 20,000 to build a playground in front of the housing facility, along with € 3,500 to create a mobile studio that will be used for art therapy. Moreover, we offered the use of our gym for the activities of clubs and schools in Darmstadt that have made their own gymnasiums available to accommodate refugees. Employees at our various sites have also organized their own initiatives and in the last two years have continually been collecting donations of supplies and cash for refugees.

Fast Fact

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Rest Cents program

For 28 years, many of our employees in Germany have been donating the cents or euros from their payslips. We double the total amount at the end of the year and give the money to charitable organizations in the region. In 2016, we raised more than € 90,000 together with our employees.

Award-winning efforts in Thailand

Our site in Thailand is a shining example of how our subsidiaries take on corporate responsibility in their communities. For ten years, our employees there have been supporting the reforestation of rain forests through the “Together we Grow” project. In 2015, for instance, 300 employees planted around 10,000 trees in just one day. Moreover, we have been partnering with the Raks Thai Foundation since 2002. We support several of the foundation’s projects, such as an initiative to teach sustainable rice farming methods. In 2015, we received the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Award (ACES Award) in the sustainability category, in honor of our many years of purposeful commitment in Thailand.

Fast Fact

Raks Thai Foundation

A local branch of the global humanitarian organization CARE International, the Raks Thai Foundation deploys development programs in the most impoverished regions of northern and southern Thailand. The aim of these programs is to empower people to earn their own income while still safeguarding their natural resources.

China: Award for school water project

As part of the School Water Project, our employees in China teach children at six primary schools about the environment and clean water, educating around 400 school children per year. At the same time, we support the schools by providing drinking water purification systems. In 2016, this project won the More than a Market Award from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Shanghai, China. In recognition of our efforts, we also received the EU Chamber CSR Award in 2015.