Strategy & management


Responsibility has been an integral part of our corporate identity for nearly 350 years. It is therefore one of our six Values, accompanied by courage, achievement, respect, integrity, and transparency. These core values guide us in our daily work and define how we interact with our customers and business partners. In all our endeavors, we aim to create added value and help people achieve a better quality of life.

Framework for responsible governance

Our Group Mission Statement and Values, as well as the external regulations and initiatives to which we are committed, give rise to requirements for responsible governance that are integrated in both our Corporate Responsibility strategy and our Group-wide guidelines.

We support the following initiatives on responsible governance:

  • The United Nations Global Compact: Since 2005, we have been a member of the United Nations Global Compact and are committed to complying with the compact’s principles regarding human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption. Our annual progress report illustrates how we live our responsibility in our day-to-day actions.
  • Responsible Care® Global Charter: As a signatory to the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative, we voluntarily do more than is required by law and have adopted mandatory standards for product responsibility, environmental impact mitigation, health, and safety. We were among the first companies to sign the revised version of the Responsible Care® Global Charter in 2014.
  • Together for Sustainability: In 2014, we joined the Together for Sustainability network, an initiative dedicated to improving the supply chain with respect to environmental, and social standards.
  • “Chemie3”: We are a member of the “Chemie3” initiative, a collaboration between the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the German Employers’ Federation of the Chemical Industry (BAVC) and the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE). This globally unique partnership aims to make sustainability a core part of the chemical industry’s guiding principles and drive the sector's position within the German economy as a key contributor to sustainable development.

Our Group-wide guidelines

Our Group-wide guideline system comprises charters and principles valid for the entire company, as well as specific standards and procedures for individual business sectors and sites.

Our Corporate Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy, for instance, forms the basis for implementing the Responsible Care® Global Charter. Our and Quality Manual guides our product safety, environmental impact mitigation and occupational safety efforts across the Group, while our Safety Policy for chemical products defines product safety processes as well as the corresponding management structures.

Standards ensure implementation

Derived from the provisions contained in charters, principles and policies, our standards give specific guidance on how to implement our core values to those responsible for operational processes. These standards are continually updated by the relevant departments and are available on our Intranet. Our managers implement these standards in their respective areas of responsibility. We educate and train our employees on all guidelines that apply to them.

Guidelines integral to management systems

We use management systems to steer processes as well as define goals, actions and responsibilities. These systems are based on standards such as the internationally recognized quality management standard , good working practices () in the pharmaceutical industry, and for environmental management. We regularly undergo an ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certification process conducted by an independent auditing firm to ensure our compliance with these standards. We hold Group certificates for both.

Adherence to laws and regulations as well as to voluntary codices that are internal to the Group. Compliance is a component of diligent corporate governance.
Environment, Health and Safety describes environmental management, health protection and occupational safety throughout the company.
This term stands for all necessary measures and governance activities to detect, analyze, handle, and mitigate security- and crime-based threats to the company. This helps to protect employees as well as the tangible and intangible assets of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
ISO 9001
This international standard defines globally recognized requirements for a quality management system.
The general term for good (anything...) practice quality guidelines and regulations that are used in many fields, including the medical, pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical chemistry industries.
ISO 14001
This international environmental management standard sets globally recognized requirements for an environmental management system.