For our business activities, we require energy, water, and raw materials, along with numerous other materials, which we mostly utilize for production purposes. Given that these resources are becoming ever scarcer and more costly, we consider it important to utilize them efficiently. We strive to not only cut costs, but also to preserve the environment and conserve resources.
We have therefore implemented programs and processes throughout the company in order to continually make resource management and consumption more efficient. This is a core component of our operations and a prerequisite for maintaining our competitive edge.
In 2014, we utilized 1,622 GWh of energy in total, particularly in production, which represents a slight increase compared to 2013 (1,566 GWh). Our energy management processes are described in detail under .
In its production processes, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany uses water primarily for cooling, as process water, and for exhaust air purification. For the most part, we draw groundwater from our own wells and drinking water from the local water supply. In 2013, we utilized a total of 9.6 million cubic meters of freshwater, with 11.1 million cubic meters consumed in 2014. The water utilized in 2014 consisted of 57% groundwater from our own wells, 41% water from the public water supply, and 2% surface water. No sensitive water sources were impacted by our water intake.
In the 2013-2014 period, we used public databases such as the and the to determine which of our sites are located in areas of high water stress and consume more than 30,000 cubic meters of water per year. Three of our sites - located in Mexico, Spain and Pakistan - meet these criteria. Furthermore, at our facility in Savannah, Georgia (USA) we identified an increased risk to local water availability. Within the scope of their ISO 14001 environmental management systems, these four sites will be focusing on sustainable water management, setting for instance water targets.
Where expedient, we also plan to help sites in areas of moderate water stress implement more efficient water management systems as well. At the end of 2013, we therefore created a best practice sharing platform for water management projects, which we will be continuously expanding.
At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, cooling water for production processes is utilized in both closed/open circuit systems and in once-through cooling systems; in some processes, production wastewater is treated and reused. We recycled a total of 16.6 million cubic meters of water in 2013, and 16.0 million cubic meters in 2014.
From the very start of the process development phase, we focus on making the processes efficient and minimizing the resulting waste. We furthermore ensure that the materials utilized pose as little danger to people and the environment as possible.
In particular, we use production materials such as chemical and pharmaceutical raw materials. In addition to these, we also employ operating supplies and packaging materials such as folding boxes, glass bottles and ampules.
The purchased materials that go directly into our pharmaceuticals and chemicals are generally quantified by weight. We utilized a total of 209 metric kilotons of these materials in 2013 and 176 metric kilotons in 2014. These figures do not include packaging materials and operating supplies such as energy or lubricants.
The portfolio of our life science business business features numerous devices and tools whose production requires semi-finished and finished materials, such as fully assembled electronic components or device casing. We log these by the piece.