This commitment starts early in the drug development process and continues throughout the product life cycle. Ensuring that our products are designed, used and managed safely and responsibly is one of Merck's highest priorities. Our dedication to managing and communicating the impacts of our products on human health and the environment is unwavering, and we continue to deliver on this commitment through focused product stewardship initiatives.
At Merck, our product safety and stewardship programs are built on a foundation of sound, risk-based scientific assessment. Long before our products are commercially available, we carry out extensive environmental tests to evaluate and mitigate any potential environmental impacts due to discharges from our facilities and resulting from normal patient use. During the design phase, Merck scientists use green chemistry principles to reduce the environmental footprint of our products and our manufacturing processes. In addition, we strive to reduce the amount of packaging material and waste associated with our products, and we are working to make sure that our suppliers also employ responsible practices. Before we import, manufacture or move our products around the world, we also have procedures to ensure that we are in compliance with applicable global chemical policy regulations.
The scientists who support our product stewardship program are highly skilled in their fields and serve on many committees, professional societies and industry trade groups. They also have presented at forums worldwide to help promote the advancement and application of scientific research related to product stewardship.