Issued by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
-10% GHG emissions and moving closer towards gender parity – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has published its 2022 Sustainability Report.
At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, our sustainability efforts are centered around three critical goals: achieving human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology, integrating sustainability into all of our company’s value chains, and becoming climate neutral while reducing resource consumption. Our 2022 Sustainability Report details how we are tracking our progress towards meeting these goals with an ambitious timeline.
Our continuing efforts to minimize our climate impacts are yielding positive results. For example, we reduced our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by almost 10% in 2022. We achieved this by lowering our process-related emissions, implementing new energy efficiency measures, and increasing the share of purchased energy we use from renewable sources from 30% in 2021 to 47% in 2022.
We also aspire to foster diversity and equity and create a genuinely inclusive culture for all employees. We increased the percentage of women in leadership positions from 36% in 2021 to 38% in 2022 and are on track to achieve gender parity by 2030. Additionally, we encourage our leaders to reflect on how they can lead more inclusively. By the end of 2022, 64% of our leaders participated in training programs that foster inclusivity.
Our company advanced from eighth to fifth place in the 2022 Access to Medicine Index, a benchmarking report on the 20 largest research-based pharmaceutical companies published by the independent Access to Medicine Foundation. This improvement was primarily due to our strong performance in R&D, intellectual property waivers and local capacity building efforts.
In 2022, we implemented a new project that coordinates and aligns our three business sectors on core sustainability criteria and makes the contribution of R&D to sustainability more transparent. For example, we introduced our Design for Sustainability framework across all business sectors, enabling them to integrate sustainability criteria in the early stages of product development.
We also launched several initiatives to investigate and develop product packaging with a lower environmental impact. One example is a new packaging solution for cosmetics and skincare products which we created in collaboration with five other companies. This packaging consists of new lightweight tubes that require 37% less material and is produced with mono-materials that simplify waste separation and recycling. Our pigment-based laser marking technology ensures durable labelling on this new type of packaging.
Steering towards sustainability
Our newly formed Sustainability Board steers and monitors the Group-wide implementation of our global sustainability strategy. It aligns the strategy with the individual business strategies, defines priorities and specifies globally applicable sustainability guidelines. It also recommends corresponding initiatives to the Executive Board. Our Sustainability Advisory Panel comprises six renowned independent international experts on sustainability-related topics. It provides strategic advice on selected issues and assesses the sustainability of our company’s business models.
As of the end of 2022, we had partnered with more than 100 organizations to develop Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic solutions. While this challenge to society is becoming increasingly controllable, we are also working to create solutions for other threats to public health. For example, we continue to fight schistosomiasis, the world’s second-most devastating tropical disease in terms of public health burden and economic impact. By providing more than 1.7 billion tablets of our medicine to WHO over the last 15 years and creating new ways to prevent and treat the disease, we expect to eliminate it as a public health problem by 2030.
Sharing sustainability insights
Our 2022 Sustainability Report engages users on an interactive level with a variety of innovative digital formats. In a unique story section of the report, we highlight a broad range of hands-on topics and projects on issues such as animal welfare, CO2 reduction and access to health that illustrate our commitment to sustainable progress.
We have prepared our 2022 Sustainability Report in accordance with the 2021 GRI Standards. The report also reflects the requirements of the SASB standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Our non-financial statement in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB) as well as the pertinent EU Taxonomy Regulation disclosures form part of our 2022 Annual Report.
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