Where can Merck’s 2012 Responsibility data be found?

Merck published a printed Highlights summary, available here, which contains highlights of our 2012 complete online responsibility report along with our 2012 key performance indicators (KPIs). This website serves as our comprehensive report, and thus contains additional metrics and information. Both the highlights summary and this website were updated in July 2013. For a downloadable Excel spreadsheet that includes all of the performance data found on the website, please click here.

Why is Merck publishing this report?

Merck is committed to increasing transparency in its reporting and engagement with stakeholders on those issues and concerns that matter most—both to our stakeholders and to Merck’s future success. We believe that the best way to address the concerns, risks and questions facing our business, and to build a foundation of trust, is to be more transparent about the way we operate.

We published this year’s online report and highlights summary to provide information about our approach to corporate responsibility, as well as background on our initiatives. We seek to be clear not only about our opportunities, but also about the challenges we face, what we are doing to address them, and why. We discuss our approach, our performance and impact, and our priorities and commitments for the future.

What does this report contain?

Merck’s reporting details the company’s corporate responsibility performance during 2012, with some additional information relating to 2013. Based on feedback from stakeholders and the company’s own analysis, our reporting focuses on four specific, nonfinancial material issues:

  • Access to Health
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Employees
  • Ethics and Transparency

For each of these issues, the report details the challenges we face as a company, our strategy and our performance.

In our reporting, Merck also seeks to articulate the business case for corporate responsibility at Merck; to provide greater emphasis on our impact; to explain how corporate responsibility is integrated and governed within Merck, and why; and to be more explicit about how the company measures and manages its operational risks.

What is included in the report and why?

In 2010, Merck conducted a materiality assessment that included discussions with both internal and external stakeholders to identify those environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues of greatest significance to multiple stakeholders and to Merck’s future success, as well as those that we have the ability to control or influence.

Based on this assessment, we identified four priority ESG issues for the company:

  • Access to Health
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Employees
  • Ethics and Transparency

These issues were then assessed by Merck based on three parameters: 1) their impact on Merck’s ability to achieve our business strategy; 2) the level of concern for them on the part of external stakeholders; and 3) the degree to which Merck can control and influence them.

Merck also recognizes the importance of issues that may not be within the company’s immediate or total control, such as access to medicines, climate change and poverty, particularly in the developing world. In these areas, we believe that we can at least influence how progress is made, particularly through public policy and advocacy or through partnerships with others.

In addition, Merck continues to engage with external stakeholders representing a variety of constituencies. In one-on-one discussions, we talk about our approach to reporting, Merck’s materiality assessment process and the broad material issues we have identified. Our goal in these discussions is to listen to our stakeholders’ perspectives and recommendations.

In 2011, Merck’s Public Policy and Responsibility Council affirmed the report’s four issue areas as the company’s ongoing priority ESG issues, and reaffirmed its support for a systematic process to identify specific goals, targets and KPIs with which to measure Merck’s performance in each area.

We are using several external guidelines and measurement frameworks to inform the scope of our reporting, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 3.1 Guidelines, the Millennium Development Goals, the Access to Medicine Index and the UN Global Compact, which Merck signed onto in January 2009.

Does Merck report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)?

Yes, Merck’s online corporate responsibility report was developed according to the GRI G3.1 guidelines on our corporate responsibility report website. The voluntary G3.1 guidelines offer a useful framework for transparent reporting about environmental, social and governance performance. Greater transparency on such matters is beneficial to our business, because it helps to inform our stakeholders and also enables us to compare performance with peers on relevant metrics. We believe that this will help us focus on continuously improving the things that matter most.

Has the 2012 report received independent external verification?

No, it has not received external verification. We are building an internal process to allow for ease of data collection and enhancement of internal verification.

While we did not obtain external verification, we did speak with numerous external stakeholders, representing a variety of constituencies, about the company’s planned approach to reporting, our corporate responsibility materiality assessment process and the broad material areas upon which we planned to report. The company reflects these consultations, where feasible and appropriate, on our website, and will use the insights gained through these and continuing discussions with stakeholders to inform future reporting.

Were stakeholders’ views obtained?

Yes, we did speak with external stakeholders representing a variety of constituencies about the company’s planned approach to reporting, our corporate responsibility materiality assessment process and the broad material areas upon which we planned to report. Learn more about our stakeholder engagement process.

Will Merck issue updates to this report throughout the year?

We plan to update our corporate responsibility website as new information becomes available.

When will Merck publish its next report?

Merck plans to publish its next comprehensive responsibility report in 2014.

Is the content of Merck’s corporate responsibility website the same as the content in Merck’s printed corporate responsibility report?

No. Merck has decided to produce our complete reports electronically going forward. While our printed overview contains highlights of our corporate responsibility activities, it is not our comprehensive 2012 corporate responsibility report, which utilizes the GRI framework and includes all of our key performance indicators and measurements. The comprehensive report is available only on this website.

How can feedback about Merck’s corporate responsibility programs be submitted?

Your feedback is important to us and will be helpful as we develop future reports.

Contact us at

Or mail your comments to:
Merck & Co., Inc.
Office of Corporate Responsibility
One Merck Drive
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

Are hard copies of the full report available upon request?

You may build a customized PDF of the report here, which you can print on your own. You may send a request to have a printed version of the highlights brochure mailed to you by clicking here. To print a copy of our 2012 highlights summary, please click here.

Last Updated July 25, 2013