V.E has provided a Second Party Opinion (SPO) on Merck & Co., Inc.’s Sustainability Financing Framework. The framework has been designed to govern the issuance of Sustainability Bonds to achieve Merck’s overarching sustainability goals.
The framework covers two social categories and five green categories. Within the social category are projects that aim to enhance access to essential healthcare services for underserved populations. These projects will assist those in need of maternal care, emergency relief, and quality care for those living with non–communicable diseases and HIV. Merck will also invest in research and development for treatment of infectious diseases that disproportionately affect vulnerable and underserved populations. The bond’s social category projects also include those designed to support social economic advancement and empowerment, such as sourcing from third party certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) suppliers.
The green categories encompass a wide range of projects including renewable energy usage in production facilities, improving operational energy efficiency by introducing energy efficient technologies and investing in new and existing buildings to meet third party green building standards. Finally, proceeds will also be put towards sustainable water & wastewater management to improve operational water quality and water efficiency, and pollution prevention and control. The Framework’s objectives contribute to nine of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and it is coherent with Merck’s sustainability priorities.
We assigned a Second Party Opinion (SPO) on the sustainability credentials and management of Merck’s Sustainability Financing Framework. V.E is of the opinion that this Framework is aligned with the four components of ICMA’s Green Bond Principles 2021 (“GBP”) and ICMA’s Social Bond Principles 2021 (“SBP”). We express a robust assurance on the contribution of these Instruments to sustainability. The potential positive impact of the Eligible Projects on social and environmental objectives is considered to be robust and so is Merck’s identification and management of the environmental and social risks associated with these.
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA, is a global health care company that delivers innovative health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products.
V.E has produced more than 300 second-party opinions on sustainable financing operations in Europe, Africa, Americas and Asia. We are a Climate Bonds Standard Approved Verifier.
V.E’s SPO on Merck & Co., Inc.’s Sustainability Financing Framework is available here.
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