Darmstadt, Germany, May 11 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative, top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, made significant progress in achieving its corporate responsibility objectives in 2014. The Corporate Responsibility Report for 2014 documents the company’s ecological and social performance. Numerous examples demonstrate how sustainability is contributing to long-term entrepreneurial success and show how the company is meeting current and future challenges, such as access to health and climate change.

"We have been taking responsibility since the company was founded nearly 350 years ago. That is because we are convinced that success can only be sustainable if it is achieved responsibly. In order to live up to our responsibility even more effectively, last year we defined three strategic spheres of activity: health, the environment and culture," said Stefan Oschmann, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board & Deputy CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

In its Group-wide corporate responsibility efforts, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany places emphasis on climate protection and energy efficiency. By 2020, the company intends to reduce its total global greenhouse gas emissions by 20% (measured against the 2006 baseline). In 2014, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by around 8% despite growth in its operating business. Spending on environmental protection, health and safety amounted to € 146 million, which was € 4 million more than in 2013.

In addition, the company undertakes numerous activities to help underserved populations and patients in low- and middle-income countries gain access to health solutions. An important project is the company’s Praziquantel Donation Program. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has committed itself to eliminating the tropical disease schistosomiasis in Africa in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2014, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany produced more than 75 million praziquantel tablets. As of the end of 2014, the company had supplied more than 72 million tablets to the recipient countries in Africa in coordination with WHO, representing an increase of 44% over 2013.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has also made good progress with respect to workforce diversity. In 2011, the company had set itself the goal of increasing the proportion of female executives Group-wide to between 25% and 30% by 2016. In 2014, the proportion was 26%.

The company's renewed inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index, the leading international corporate responsibility index, underscores the fact that the company performs well in complying with global corporate responsibility standards. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany shares are additionally included in the following sustainability indices: STOXX Global ESG Leaders, the Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120-Index, the Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register, and the Ethibel Sustainability Index Excellence Europe.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has prepared its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2014 for the first time in accordance with the comprehensive option of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines. The online report is available in German and English on the company's website.