We take pride in our commitment to corporate responsibility, especially on the occasion of our 350th anniversary. Our long-standing history of giving back to the community has also given rise to a tradition of reporting on our efforts, with this being our tenth Corporate Responsibility Report. Starting in 1993 as a series of environmental reports describing how we meet our obligations to society, in 2003 our reporting evolved into a full-blown compilation released every two years. In 2016, we started publishing the story of our dedication on an annual basis, a practice that continues to this day.
With transparency as a key goal, we aim to extensively inform our stakeholders of our activities and successes, as well as the challenges we face. Our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report meets the requirements for a combined separate non-financial report as defined in the German Federal CSR Directive Implementation Act. The index to the non-financial report provides an overview of the relevant content.
This CR Report also documents the progress we have made in implementing the guidelines of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress) and meets the criteria of the German Sustainability Code (DNK) of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), a body established by the Federal Government of Germany. Our Statement of Compliance with the German Sustainability Code can be accessed via the DNK database.
This CR report covers fiscal 2018 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. On December 1, 2018, our Consumer Health business was transferred to Procter & Gamble (P&G) after having been classified as a discontinued operation as of April 2018, pursuant to IFRS 5. Upon completion of the sale in early December, around 3,300 employees were transferred to P&G. Unless otherwise stated, our data incorporate the Consumer Health business pro rata for an 11 month period. The majority of the figures we publish reflect the status as of December 31, 2018. As such, figures calculated as of this date exclude Consumer Health because the sale of this business had been completed entirely by that point in time.
Data collection and consolidation systems
Since 2005, we have 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 headcount. 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 2018, we performed a comprehensive materiality assessment to determine the CR topics of relevance to our Group. Experts from our business sectors and relevant Group functions reviewed the findings and validated them. Moreover, as stipulated by Section 289c (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB), we checked the topics validated in 2018 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 analysis.
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, 2018 and issued an unqualified opinion. Furthermore, after undergoing a limited assurance audit, our company has received an independent audit certificate for the following chapters of this CR report:
- Strategy & management
- Business ethics
- Facts & figures
The additional content provided on the company's websites and external webpages linked in this report is not part of the non-financial report or the 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
Tel.: +49 6151 72-0
Fax: +49 6151 72-200
The previous CR Report was published in April 2018. Our next CR Report is scheduled for publication in April 2020.