For our business activities, we require resources such as energy, water, and raw materials, as well as numerous other materials, which we mostly utilize for production purposes. Given that resources are becoming ever scarcer and more costly, efficient energy and material use is a crucial factor in staying competitive.
Through our Group-wide program to continually improve business processes, called Operational Excellence (OE), we are aiming to achieve the most economic, efficient level of operation in all our production facilities. All Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany production sites were included in the program in 2011 and 2012. In previous years, the program focused primarily on globalizing structures and processes, as well as enhancing efficiency. For example, utility management (with an emphasis on energy management) became mandatory for chemical production in 2012, after having already been applied to pharmaceutical production in 2011.
In 2012, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany consumed 1,438 GWh of energy, which represents a slight decrease compared to 2011 (1,446 GWh).
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany also operates its own plants to generate power and steam, such as the gas turbine power plant in Darmstadt and the heating plant in Gernsheim. The power plant in Darmstadt is a cogeneration plant, which means that the heat created from generating power is then utilized for other purposes. Using a generator, a gas turbine transforms natural gas into power; the waste heat from the turbine and the hot exhaust resulting from combustion are then utilized to create steam and warm water for production.
In mid-2013, a cogeneration plant is also scheduled to go on line in Gernsheim, which will save around 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
We utilized 17.6 million cubic meters of fresh water in 2011, and 16.2 million cubic meters in 2012, consisting of 33% groundwater, 43% surface water, and 24% water from the public water supply. No sensitive water sources were impacted by our water intake.
The largest percentage of water, 86%, was utilized in Europe; 8% was used in Asia, Australia and Africa, 5% in North America, and 1% in Latin America.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany especially utilizes production materials such as chemical and pharmaceutical raw materials. In addition, we also employ operating supplies and packaging materials such as folding boxes, glass bottles and ampules.
We generally quantify the weight of purchased materials used directly in our chemicals and pharmaceuticals.We utilized 389 metric kilotons of these materials in 2011, and 360 metric kilotons in 2012. The portfolio of our life science tools division includes numerous devices and work instruments for whose production we need semifinished and finished materials such as ready-assembled electronic components or casing for devices. We record these in unit numbers.
The figures do not include packaging materials and operating supplies such as energy or lubricants.