• Healthcare
  • Blog Post

Small Steps Make a Big Impact: Moving from Conservation to Sustainability

Publish Date

22 APR 2022


Chris Round


With increased awareness about climate change and environmental issues, new generations are driving a sustainability revolution. Businesses are in-turn embracing the concept of using economic and social resources wisely to protect our natural resources.

As part of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, we are no exception to this trend. In fact, our global parent company recently released our 2021 Sustainability Report, which highlights our approach, latest accomplishments, and measurable indicators including:


  • Goal 1: In 2030, we will achieve human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology.
  • Goal 2: By 2030, we will integrate sustainability into all our value chains.
  • Goal 3: By 2040, we will achieve climate neutrality and reduce our resource consumption.

Here in the U.S. at EMD Serono, every little bit helps toward reaching our company’s global sustainability goals and we’re already making an impact.

One example: the launch of our new Slim Pack packaging for one of our fertility medications. The new packaging is now 40% smaller and 100% recyclable, which is estimated to lower the medication’s global carbon footprint by 33%annually and play a contributing role in lowering the company’s CO2 emissions.

And our R&D hub in Billerica has been taking small steps for some time, including LEED and WELL Certification for our buildings, which also include Electrical Vehicle charging stations. More recently, we’ve implemented steps to benefit our natural environment, from Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification; to a storm water irrigation system to maintain our landscape (which eliminates the use of potable water); to “Project Pollinate,” a honeybee apiary designed to help pollinators thrive.  

There’s still work to be done, but it’s all part of our journey as we aspire to create, improve and prolong lives.


Data on file. Audited by KPMG on Nov 2021; CO2 and plastic savings reflect annual estimates at the time of full global Slim Pack implementation. Calculations are based on comparison of most recent calendar year of global pen shipments vs. the equivalent if shipping the new Slim Pack, considering the reduction of the packaging box from 96 x 45 x 215.5 mm to 77.5 x 42 x 157 mm. This results in a 40% volume reduction, that will allow fitting an increased number of units per pallet with the new packaging solution. Carbon footprint defined as the CO2 emissions due to transportation of pen products between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, manufacturing sites and primary destination / port of entry in each country. Plastic savings calculated using the unit weight of individual plastic tray and multiplied by the total production volume in one calendar year, once Slim Pack fully implemented across all fertility pens worldwide.