Global biopharmaceutical company Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, announced a series of new environmental sustainability goals, including 2025 targets to achieve carbon neutrality across operations and to source 100% renewable energy for its purchased electricity.
The new goals mark a significant expansion and acceleration over the company’s prior commitments. Merck’s previous emissions target was to achieve a 40% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025 (on a 2015 base). The renewable energy goal pulls ahead Merck’s prior 2040 pledge by 15 years.
The company also introduced a Scope 3 emissions goal, aiming for a 30% reduction in its value chain emissions by 2030.
Robert Davis, President, Merck, said:
“Global efforts to combat climate change are essential to the health and sustainability of our planet. Our new climate action goals reflect our ongoing commitment to operating responsibly and will help us drive long-term sustainability for our business, society and for the patients and communities we serve.”
Merck outlined initiatives it will pursue in order to achieve its emissions goals, including ongoing innovation to increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, applying sustainable building standards, continuing to transition away from fossil fuel use, and offsetting remaining Scope 1 emissions with a portfolio of high-quality carbon credits, including carbon removals. For Scope 3 emissions, Merck will continue to engage with its suppliers to reduce their emissions, promote opportunities for suppliers to source renewable energy, and use existing procurement and supply chain processes to drive additional strategies to decrease emissions.
Along with the new renewable energy goals, Merck announced that it has signed three new virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for utility-scale energy projects based in Texas and Spain, which will address approximately 35% of the company’s Scope 2 emissions by collectively adding 145 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind energy to the grid.
Jennifer Zachary, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Merck, said:
“At Merck, we are focused on adopting innovative ways to reduce emissions, in our own operations and across our entire value chain. Our new VPPA agreements and ongoing engagement with suppliers reflect our responsible use of resources in every aspect of our work.”