We have a long tradition of corporate responsibility reporting, with this being our eighth Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. This started in 1993 as a series of environmental reports, but then evolved in 2003 into a full CR Report that has since been published every two years.
With transparency as a key goal, we aim to inform our stakeholders of our activities and successes, as well as the challenges we face. Our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report documents the progress we’ve made in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress) and meets the criteria of the German Sustainability Code (DNK).
This CR report covers the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years and pertains to our entire Group including our subsidiaries in 66 countries. The activities of the U.S.-based life science company Sigma-Aldrich, which we acquired in 2015, are also integrated in this report. Any deviations from this reporting framework are indicated on a case-by-case basis.
Systems for collecting and consolidating data
Since 2005, we’ve been using a Group-wide electronic data acquisition system to collect environmental and occupational health and safety data, which is input locally at our individual sites and approved following review. To maximize the quality of this data, we support the sites in optimizing their collection processes and their corresponding quality assurance measures. Moreover, our Group function Environment, Health, Safety, Security, Quality (EQ) conducts internal EHS audits that review both the processes and the data provided.
We compile environmental performance indicators from all our production sites across the Group, as well as those storage and research sites that are relevant in terms of their environmental impact and employee count. The scope of consolidation therefore covers all Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany sites that have relevant impacts on the environment.
The data on employees and community outreach pertain to our entire Group. All employee master data is continually updated in an SAP-based database. Additional employee data, for instance on ILO core labor standards, are generated on an annual basis using a special data software. We use community data management software to log data pertaining to our community outreach at subsidiary level.
Some employee data is only disclosed for select sites or countries, which is accordingly indicated in the respective text passages.
Determining report content
We align the content of our CR Report with the internationally recognized guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the principles of completeness and materiality, as well as input from our stakeholders. The present report was drafted in accordance with the GRI G4 standard and complies with the “Comprehensive” application level of the GRI guidelines. Moreover, we have taken into consideration the requirements of the capital market for assessing companies' sustainability performance.
In 2016, we performed a materiality assessment to determine the CR topics of relevance to our Group. As part of this process, we conducted an international online survey as well as interviews with key stakeholders in summer 2016. In autumn, we then held an internal materiality workshop at our site in Darmstadt. We have derived the content of this CR report from the results of the materiality assessment, addressing all issues identified as material. Detailed information on the materiality assessment and the materiality matrix can be found under Materiality assessment.
Our Executive Board has reviewed and approved this report.
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft has audited the annual financial statements and management report of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany for the fiscal year spanning January 1 to December 31, 2016 and issued an unqualified opinion. Furthermore, after undergoing a limited assurance audit, our company has received an independent audit certificate for the following criteria:
- identifying material aspects and boundaries, and involving stakeholders
- select management approaches to the material aspects
- CR performance indicators
The additional content provided on the company's webpages and external internet sites indicated in this report is not part of the information assured by KPMG.
We welcome your feedback and are happy to answer any questions.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility
Frankfurter Str. 250
Tel.: +49 6151 72-0
Fax: +49 6151 72-200
Our next CR Report is scheduled for publication in April 2018.