Environmental Health & Safety / Water/Wastewater / Water/steam

Merck Places Added Emphasis on Water

Company is committed to reducing its water footprint.

By Chemical Processing Staff

Merck & Co., Whitehouse Station, N.J., recently announced that it has signed on to the CEO Water Mandate, an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact designed to assist companies in developing, implementing and disclosing water sustainability policies and practices.

The commitment supports Merck's new global water strategy through which the company seeks to achieve sustainable water management within its operations and to minimize its impact on local water supplies, while also working to reduce the impact of water-related illness through its products, partnerships, advocacy efforts, and employee volunteerism.

"Access to clean water is critical to the world's health and our mission," says Merck President and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier. "As Merck grows, our business, customers and supplier networks are expanding into regions of the world where availability of clean water and sanitation are under pressure. We are committed to doing our part to help address this global challenge."

In 2009, Merck used 8 billion gallons of water. The majority of Merck's water use is for manufacturing process-related heating and cooling and pure water production.

Through its global strategy, Merck has committed to: reduce its operational water footprint; report on its water use and goals; advocate for good water policy; work to address water needs in local communities; and engage the company's employees to be water stewards at work, at home and in their local communities

Merck has a global water-reduction program that requires each of its major facilities to document how much water is coming into the site, how it is used, how much is reused and where it is discharged.

Merck recently set new near-term water goals to reduce its 2009 use of water by 15% by 2015 and by 25% by 2020. The company is committed to disclosing its progress against this target annually through its non-financial reporting and through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Water assessment (see: "Is Water the New Carbon?") 

Merck joins several other CP 50 companies that participate in the CEO Water Mandate:

• AkzoNobel -- member since 2004
• BASF -- member since 2000
• Bayer -- member since 2000
• BP -- member since 2000
• Dow Chemical -- member since 2007
• DuPont  -- member since 2001
• Eli Lilly  -- member since 2009
• Linde Group  -- member since 2006
• Mitsubishi Chemical -- member since 2006
• Mitsui Chemicals -- member since 2008
• Monsanto  -- member since 2009
• Nalco  -- member since 2009
• Rhodia  -- member since 2003
• SABIC  -- member since 2009
• Sasol  -- member since 2001
• Shell  -- member since 2000
• Solvay -- member since 2010
• Sumitomo Chemical  -- member since 2005