Product quality and safety is the foundation of our product commitment and embedded in all we do. In managing chemicals and substances of concern, we proactively explore and implement applicable best practices, even if those practices may not be mandated by regulatory organizations. This helps reduce risk for our customers, employees, supply chain partners and the environment.
The majority of our manufacturing sites are certified to ISO 9001, the international gold standard for product quality. Additional sites are certified to the ISO 13485 standard for applicable products. In addition, a number of our manufacturing sites (Jaffrey, NH; Danvers, MA; Temecula, CA; San Diego, CA; Savannah, GA; Livingston, UK; Cork, Ireland; and Molsheim, France) have registered ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems in place, signifying their commitment to monitoring and continually improving their environmental performance.
With every product, we supply the benefits of a customized documentation service ensuring safety requirements. This includes knowing how to receive and store products correctly, handle chemicals and equipment safely, minimize waste generation and dispose of waste properly. All of our products are supported with Safety Data Sheets (SDS). These include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill / leak procedures.
In our online catalogs and on our website, we provide customers with all the information needed concerning the transportation of dangerous substances. We offer details about permits and classifications obtained for hazardous goods transport for each of our products.
For Merck, bioethical issues arise with respect to stem cell research. When clear statutory and regulatory requirements are lacking, Merck KGaA collaborates closely with experts to develop appropriate guidelines. The requirements described in "Stem Cells and Human Cloning Principle" enable Merck KGaA to conduct stem cell research within a strictly defined framework, and thus, prevent us from violating applicable laws and regulations while enabling us to work within the framework of established ethical principles. For more information, please see the bioethics section of the Merck KGaA Corporate Responsibility Report.
Merck KGaA promotes the 3R principles of animal welfare (reduction, refinement and replacement). It develops and uses methods and techniques to further replace animal testing, to reduce the required number of animals, and to minimize the stress placed on them before, during and after testing. For Merck, the EU chemicals regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) that took effect in 2007 specifies that all substances manufactured in or imported to the EU must be registered and evaluated in accordance with certain requirements in order to assess their potential hazards. Depending on the amount of chemicals in question, this also includes animal testing. We minimize the number of animal tests by working with other manufacturers, importers and users in the Substance Information Exchange Forum (SIEF) in order to share data. This allows us to avoid animal testing that is not absolutely necessary for consumer protection, or to avoid repeating animal tests that have already been conducted. For more information, please see the animal testing section of the Merck KGaA Corporate Responsibility Report.
Merck has put programs in place to ensure compliance with the European Union (EU) directive on Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and its subset directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment. It is our policy to meet all applicable environment, health and safety (EHS) laws and regulations.
We also meet all the registration requirements of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) Directive, which is related to controlling and restricting the use of chemicals of concern. Our web-based data harmonization system ensures that all of our labels and certifications address the requirements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and are consistent across products, facilities and countries.