Engaging with our various stakeholders is crucial for us. Through this dialogue, we communicate our decisions and actions transparently in order to secure our social license to operate. We aim to unite divergent interests, as well as build and sustain trust.
Dialogue at various levels
Our key stakeholders include our employees, customers and business partners, various patients, the Merck family as the majority owner of the company, shareholders, and our suppliers. We pursue a continuous dialogue with our stakeholders and use this exchange to identify trends and developments in society and in our business fields so as to take them into account in our corporate responsibility endeavors.
We regularly conduct a systematic materiality analysis to learn about our stakeholders’ expectations. In doing so, we identify the economic, social and environmental issues that are important to our stakeholders – and thus also to us.
We have established guidelines and principles for interactions with certain stakeholders, with a focus on compliance. For example, we have defined internal policies and review processes for patient relationships, interactions with healthcare stakeholders, and business partnerships.
The Sustainability Advisory Panel (MSAP), a group of external experts from various disciplines, has been advising us on the topic of sustainability since 2021. It enables our company to understand even more diverse stakeholder perspectives and helps us to develop our sustainability strategy further. More information on MSAP and its members can be found under Sustainability strategy and goals.
We communicate regularly with our stakeholders through a variety of channels. For instance, we conduct stakeholder surveys and organize topic-specific dialogues at regional, national and international level. We also participate in discussions and informational forums as well as through our advocacy work and industry coalitions. Here are some examples of the dialogue formats used:
Employee engagement surveys
Patient Advisory Boards (PAB) to engage patient organizations in our clinical research
Member of various initiatives on the quality and efficiency of clinical trials
Involvement of local employee representatives in company decisions
Ethics Advisory Panel (MEAP); Digital Ethics Advisory Panel (DEAP); TU Darmstadt
- Ethics Advisory Panel
- Digital Ethics Advisory Panel
- Fruitful strategic partnership
- Promoting the circular economy
Discussion and information forums for residents in the vicinity of our sites
Collaborating with health authorities and other stakeholders as well as event series and network meetings
- Engaging stakeholders
- Collaborating with patient advocacy groups
- Close dialogue with patients and advocacy groups
Collaboration in working groups
Annual General Meeting
Events for investors
Further information on stakeholder dialogues can be found in the individual report chapters.
Roundtables and informational forums
We hold roundtable discussions and informational forums for local residents at our major sites. Since 1994, we have been holding an annual public planning forum in Darmstadt to discuss the development of our site with members of the city council, local authorities and the community.
Involvement in initiatives
We collaborate with an array of civic organizations such as the World Environment Center (WEC) and also participate in other initiatives that share our commitment to responsible corporate conduct, such as Chemie3 and Responsible Care®.
Advocacy groups and industry coalitions
We actively participate in the political process and advocate our positions and views by engaging policymakers in a direct dialogue as well as through our work with industry coalitions. The major national and international industry associations in which we are members and also hold positions include:
- The German Federation of Chemical Employers’ Associations (BAVC)
- The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
- The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)
- The German Chemical Industry Association e. V. (VCI)
- The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)
- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
- United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC)
- Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM)
Our interactions with actors in the political sphere focus on political dialogue, information exchange and open and transparent knowledge sharing. Our guidelines stipulate that our interactions and contributions must comply with all applicable laws and must never aim to inappropriately influence or compensate officials for political favors. Even if permitted by local law, we do not make contributions in the form of donations to or sponsorships of political parties or related organizations. Furthermore, we do not make donations to or sponsor holders of public office or candidates for such, nor do we make other types of financial contributions.
In the United States, political action committees (PACs) have been set up through which our employees can donate money to support political candidates and organizations. These are not donations made by our company, but rather contributions made by employees. The contributions donated are reported to the U.S. Federal Election Commission and are fully disclosed.