Healthcare, life sciences and electronics company Merck today announced 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 entered into a 10-year (VPPAs) agreement with Matrix Renewables and Renantis for a total of approximately 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy per year. This corresponds to almost a third of all electricity purchased worldwide by Merck in 2022.
According to Merck, the new VPPAs mark an important milestone in the company’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Under the new ten-year agreements, Merck will use a mix of solar and wind energy from 2025, generated at five Spanish sites. Approximately 200 GWh of the contractually agreed electricity will come from photovoltaic power stations, 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 locations in the EU and Switzerland.
The agreements also support Merck’s goal to source 80% of electricity purchased worldwide from renewable sources. In recent years, the company has signed several virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in North America, the second largest region by revenue. There it will cover 90% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2024. With the new European Virtual Power Purchase Agreements, renewable energy is expected to cover approximately 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 approximately 7,000 solar panels in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. These add approximately 4 GWh to the electricity grid annually. In collaboration with ENTEGA, photovoltaic systems are currently being built on the roof of the headquarters in Darmstadt and a photovoltaic park at the Gernsheim site. These projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will generate up to 7.6 GWh of electricity per year. In September 2023, Merck opened a solar park at its production site in Mollet del Vallès, Spain. Up to 2.8 GWh of green energy will be generated annually.
Belén Garijo, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Merck, said:
“If humanity is to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis, it is critical 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 by furthering our efforts in all other regions, Merck continues to demonstrate its global leadership. We remain fully on track to achieve climate neutrality by 2040.”