For us, sustainable entrepreneurship and profitable growth go hand in hand. Through our business, we want to create sustainable value for our company, our stakeholders and society while balancing ecological, social and business aspects. In doing so, we are helping tackle the great challenges facing today’s world, such as disease, poverty, hunger, and climate change. Our ambition is to leverage science and technology to achieve progress for humankind. In this report, we comprehensively present our understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship.
We have a long-standing history of embracing corporate responsibility, which is also reflected in our reporting practices. We have been detailing our efforts to live up to our corporate responsibility since 1993, focusing initially on environmental topics. In 2003, we began reporting on sustainability topics every two years. Since 2016, we have been publishing a report annually.
In this report, we describe the strategic direction of our sustainable entrepreneurship as well as the focus areas in which we intend to achieve our sustainability goals. We want to inform our stakeholders transparently and comprehensively about our activities and successes as well as the challenges we face.
Moreover, in 2021, we integrated our disclosures pursuant to the SASB standards (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) and the requirements of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) into the Sustainability Report. Through this step, we aim to meet the increasing transparency expectations of our investors and other stakeholders.
In addition, this Sustainability Report documents the progress we have made in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Communication on Progress).
This report covers fiscal 2021 and pertains to our entire Group, including its 227 companies in 66 countries. Any deviations from this reporting framework are indicated on a case-by-case basis.
Transformation of the Electronics business sector
In 2018, we commenced a transformation in order to reposition the Performance Materials business sector and to develop it into a leading company in the global market for electronic materials. With the acquisitions of Versum Materials, Inc. and Intermolecular, Inc. in 2019, we achieved two important milestones. In 2021, we renamed the Performance Materials business sector Electronics. The new name is the visible result of the strategic realignment of previous years.
Determining report content
We align the content of our 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. Furthermore, we have taken into consideration the requirements of the capital market for assessing companies’ sustainability performance.
Every year, we carry out a materiality analysis to determine the sustainability topics of relevance to our Group. We have derived the content of this Sustainability Report from the results of the materiality analysis, which can be found together with the materiality matrix under Materiality analysis.
Our Executive Board has reviewed and approved the Sustainability Report for 2021.
Data collection and consolidation systems
The 2021 Sustainability Report generally provides non-financial indicators for the entire Group. The majority of the figures we publish reflect the status as of December 31, 2021. We explicitly state when, in individual cases, the information provided deviates from these parameters.
Since 2005, we have been using a Group-wide electronic data collection system to collect environmental and occupational health and safety data, which are tracked locally at our individual sites and approved following review. To improve the quality of this data, we support the sites in optimizing their collection processes and their corresponding quality assurance measures. Moreover, our Corporate Sustainability, Quality and Trade Compliance function takes measures, such as internal EHS audits to review both the processes and the data provided.
We collect environmental performance indicators across all our production sites. We also record these indicators for the warehouse, research and office locations that are relevant in terms of their environmental impact. This report’s scope of consolidation therefore covers all Group sites that have relevant impacts on the environment.
All employee master data is continually updated in an SAP database. Some employee data is only disclosed for select sites or countries, which is accordingly indicated in the respective text passages.
We use community data management software to track data pertaining to our community outreach activities.
Non-financial statement pursuant to the German Commercial Code
The combined management report of the whole Group and the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany for fiscal 2021 includes for the first time a combined non-financial statement in accordance with sections 315b and 315c in conjunction with 289b to 289e of the German Commercial Code (HGB) in the form of a separate chapter. Our non-financial statement orients towards the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. It also includes our reporting in accordance with the EU taxonomy regulation. The content of this non-financial statement 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, 2021 and has issued an unqualified opinion. The non-financial statement contained in the management report underwent a limited assurance by KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft.
Furthermore, after undergoing a limited assurance, our company also received an independent audit certificate for this Sustainability Report for 2021.
The additional content provided on both the company’s websites as well as external web pages that are linked in this report are not part of the information assured by KPMG. This also applies to the voluntary information contained in the SASB and the TCFD indices.
We welcome your feedback and are happy to answer any questions.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Corporate Sustainability, Quality and Trade Compliance
Group Corporate Sustainability
Frankfurter Str. 250
Tel.: +49 6151 72-0
We published the previous Sustainability Report in April 2021. Our next Sustainability Report is scheduled for publication in April 2023.