Merck & Co. Targets Carbon Neutrality in Operations by 2025

By Miranda Greenberg -

April 28, 2021

Merck & Co. has announced goals to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations by 2025 and a 30% reduction in its value-chain emissions by 2030.

Merck says it will achieve carbon neutrality by increasing efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, applying sustainable building standards, and continuing to transition away from fossil-fuel use. Remaining Scope 1 emissions, which are direct greenhouse (GHG) emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organization (e.g., emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles), will be offset each year with a portfolio of carbon credits, including carbon removals.

Merck is also accelerating its previous 2040 goal by 15 years to source 100% renewable energy for its purchased electricity. Merck signed three new virtual power purchase agreements (VPPA) for utility-scale energy projects based in Texas and Spain. These projects will address approximately 35% of Merck’s Scope 2 emissions by collectively adding 145 megawatts of solar and wind energy to the grid. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling. Merck previously signed a US wind VPPA in 2018, which added 60 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity while providing the company with the associated renewable energy credits.

To achieve the 30% reduction in Scope 3 emissions (i.e., value-chain emissions) by 2030, 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 ways to decrease emissions. Scope 3 emissions are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by a reporting organization, but that the organization indirectly impacts in its value chain.

The new commitments expand on Merck’s most recent goals and priorities set in 2017 that focus on driving efficiency in its operations, designing new products to minimize environmental impact, and reducing the impacts in its value chain.

Source: Merck & Co.