Company executives highlight ESG performance and priorities

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Our company's long-term strategy for employee access to health care, environmental sustainability, and ethics and values were the main topics of our ESG Investor Event.

Our company has a 130-year legacy of operating responsibly. Our inaugural Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Investor Event highlighted how we’re building on that legacy to drive sustainable value for our business and society. 

At the Feb. 23 virtual event for investors, analysts, media and members of the public, members of our senior management team described our company’s priorities and performance within our four ESG pillars: access to health, employees, environmental sustainability, and ethics & values.  

“Our drive to make a difference for humanity – through the responsible invention, manufacturing, and delivery of vaccines and medicines – has remained constant and central,”

CEO and President Rob Davis said.

“Our ESG efforts help to fuel the actions necessary for the success of our business and our stakeholders.” 

Here’s a look at some of those efforts: 

Access to health

“Addressing high unmet medical needs around the world is central to Merck’s purpose and our ability to sustain long-term growth. This includes not only our investments in developing new, innovative products but also ensuring our products reach those who need them. Expanding patient reach and access are at the core of our business and ESG strategy.”–

Eliav Barr, senior vice president, Global Medical Affairs Our efforts include:  

Planning for access during the product development process 

Expanding access to our medicines and vaccines through collaborations and patient assistance programs 

Advancing health equity for underrepresented populations and people in low- and middle-income countries


“Seven decades of fostering a culture that embraces different perspectives and values has taught us that inclusion creates a competitive advantage for the organization. Additionally, by prioritizing our employees’ well-being it supports our ability to continually attract and retain highly qualified people, strengthen our competitiveness and mitigate employee turnover.” 

– Steve Mizell, executive vice president and chief human resources officer Our efforts include:  

Determining where we can remove barriers for underrepresented groups in our hiring process 

Working with diverse suppliers  

Offering tools and resources to support employees’ physical, emotional and mental health, financial well-being and safety 

Environmental sustainability

“Through our three [environmental sustainability] focus areas of improving efficiency in our operations, lowering the environmental impact of our products and packaging, and reducing environmental risks across our supply chain, we are further contributing to the sustainability of our business by reducing risks, lowering costs and presenting opportunities for innovation.” 

 – Sanat Chattopadhyay, executive vice president and president, Merck Manufacturing Our efforts include:

Adopting a new set of climate goals, which include achieving carbon neutrality across our operations by 2025 

Creating an “energy road map” to help our facilities reduce energy demand and associated greenhouse gas emissions 

Engaging with suppliers to reduce impact on the environment

Ethics & values

“We maintain our reputation as a company worthy of trust by ensuring compliance with our Code of Conduct and Values and Standards, reducing risk in our supply chain, and promoting trust with our data protection and privacy program.” 

 – Jennifer Zachary, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary Our efforts include:  

Fostering a culture in which employees feel they can freely voice their concerns and report incidents that are potentially inconsistent with our Code of Conduct and policies 

Employing a third-party risk management team to establish, implement and monitor responsible and ethical sourcing practices 

Committing to maintain 100% compliance to regulatory requirements for active incident monitoring, risk/harm analysis and on-time notification of data breaches 

Source: Merck news


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