We have a long tradition of corporate responsibility reporting, with this being our ninth Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. This started in 1993 as a series of environmental reports describing how we fulfill our responsibility to society, but then evolved in 2003 into a full CR Report that was released every two years. Since 2016, we've been publishing this report on an annual basis.
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 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report is the first time we've met the requirements for a combined separate non-financial report as defined in the CSR Directive Implementation Act that took effect in Germany in 2017. An index on the non-financial report provides an overview of the relevant content. This CR Report also 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). Our Statement of Compliance with the DNK can be accessed via the DNK database.
This CR report covers fiscal 2017 and pertains to our entire Group including our subsidiaries across 66 countries. Any deviations from this reporting framework are indicated on a case-by-case basis.
Data collection and consolidation systems
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 warehouse and research sites that are relevant in terms of their environmental impact and employee count. The scope of consolidation therefore covers all Group 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 database. We use community data management software to log data pertaining to our community involvement 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. This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: 'Comprehensive' option. Moreover, we have taken into consideration the requirements of the capital market for assessing companies' sustainability performance.
In 2016, we performed a comprehensive materiality assessment to determine the CR topics of relevance to our Group. In 2017, experts from the responsible business sectors reviewed these issues and validated them once again, taking into account current trends. Moreover, as stipulated by Section 289c (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB), we checked the topics validated in 2017 for "double materiality". 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.
Our Executive Board has reviewed and approved this report. The content of the non-financial report has also been reviewed by the Supervisory Board in accordance with Section 111 (2) of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG).
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft has audited the annual financial statements and management report of our company for the fiscal year spanning January 1 to December 31, 2017 and issued an unqualified opinion. Furthermore, after undergoing a limited assurance audit, our company has received an independent audit certificate for the following criteria:
- Strategy & management
- Facts & figures
The additional content provided on the company's websites and external webpages indicated in this report is not part of the non-financial report or information assured by KPMG.
We welcome your feedback and are happy to answer any questions.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Group Corporate Responsibility
Frankfurter Str. 250
Telephone: +49 6151 72-0
Fax: +49 6151 72-200
This CR Report was published in April 2017. Our next CR Report is scheduled for publication in April 2019.