Conserving and improving access to clean water is a global challenge.
However, this vital and finite resource is under serious threat.
That's why Merck has programs in place to help protect our environment and conserve water resources.
Our water quality and conservation efforts support our Environmental Sustainability strategy, one of four key pillars in our Corporate Responsibility approach.
AVAILABLE FOR USE
Only a small fraction – about one percent – of the world's water is fresh water available for use. A growing world population (estimated to increase from 7 billion in 2013 to more than 9 billion by 2050) and droughts associated with climate change and land use are putting our fresh water resources at risk.
In many parts of the world, even where fresh water is abundant, inadequate sanitation facilities and insufficient regulation jeopardize water supplies, making the water unsafe for drinking, bathing or cooking. Consumption of contaminated water can result in life-threatening disease.
Merck is committed to global water health which is reflected in our own water reduction goals.
In addition to conserving limited supplies of clean water and reducing environmental impact, efficient use of water reduces our operating spend by reducing the amount of energy used to pump water and the cost of water treatment. Through our efforts, we achieved our 2020 goal to use 25% less water in our operations than we did in 2009.
Our Danville, Pennsylvania site in the U.S. recently completed water reduction projects that will save approximately 1 billion gallons of water per year while saving approximately $600,000 annually. The projects included moving existing once-through cooling water users to an upgraded closed-loop cooling system and fitting cooling water distribution pumps with variable frequency drives.
Our Elkton, Virginia site in the U.S. completed a water reduction project that saves approximately 465 million gallons per year, generates 40 kWh of recovered energy and saves $500,000 annually.