Healthcare, life science and electronics company Merck has announced today that it will cover 100% of its current electricity purchases in the European Union (EU) and Switzerland with renewable energy from 2025.
The company has signed 10-year (VPPAs) for a total of around 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy per year with Matrix Renewables and Renantis. This corresponds to almost one third of all electricity purchased by Merck worldwide in 2022.
According to Merck, the new VPPAs mark an important milestone on the company’s goal to become climate neutral by 2040.
Under the new 10-year agreements, Merck will utilize a mix of solar and wind power to be generated from five Spanish sites from 2025 onwards. Around 200 GWh of the contractually agreed electricity will come from photovoltaic plants, the remaining 100 GWh from wind farms. Merck will receive sufficient energy certificates to fully cover the electricity purchased in 2022 for its three business sectors Life Science, Healthcare and Electronics for all sites in the EU and Switzerland.
The agreements also support Merck’s goal to cover 80% of its worldwide purchased electricity from renewable sources. In recent years, the company has signed several virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in North America, its second-largest region by sales. There, it will cover 90% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources in 2024. With the new European virtual power purchase agreements, renewable energy is expected to cover circa 70% of purchased electricity for the entire company from 2025.
Merck added that it is also investing in renewable energy at its own sites. In 2022, the company installed around 7,000 solar modules in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. These add around 4 GWh to the power grid per year. In cooperation with ENTEGA, rooftop photovoltaic systems at the Darmstadt headquarters and a photovoltaic park at the site in Gernsheim are currently being built. These projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2023 and will generate up to 7.6 GWh of electricity per year. In September 2023, Merck inaugurated a solar farm at its manufacturing site in Mollet del Vallès, Spain. It will generate up to 2.8 GWh of green electricity annually.
Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck said:
“If humanity is to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis, it’s vital that global industry leaders accelerate their transition to renewable energy. By covering 100% of our purchased European electricity with renewable energy certificates from 2025, and advancing our efforts across all other regions, Merck continues to demonstrate its global leadership. We remain fully on track to reach climate neutrality by 2040.”