Skip to Content

Merck & Co.: Corporations Need to Tackle Global Corruption as Strategic CSR Effort

Boston, MA, June  9, 2009 - FSG Social Impact Advisors, the Ethics Resource Center, and the Merck Company Foundation, are pleased to jointly announce the publication of Anti-Corruption as Strategic CSR: A Call to Action for Corporations.

The paper presents a critical assessment of corporate anti-corruption efforts in the developing world and offers a guide for corporations to move beyond traditional ethics and compliance activities to strategic anti-corruption efforts.

"Merck is pleased to sponsor this innovative research which offers a fresh perspective on expanding the role of corporations in the global fight against corruption," says Ellen W. Lambert, Executive Vice President, The Merck Company Foundation.

Each year over $1 trillion is paid in bribes which result in approximately $2.6 trillion in overall costs, more than five percent of global GDP. Corruption materially undermines competition, particularly in high-growth emerging markets, and inflicts enduring harm on society.

"Anti-corruption represents a prime opportunity for strategic CSR - addressing a combined business and social imperative," offers Greg Hills, Managing Director at FSG and lead author of the paper. "But FSG's research suggests corporations don't see themselves as primary actors in comprehensive anti-corruption reform. Much more is required from corporations, and this paper offers a roadmap for capitalizing on those opportunities."

Based on interviews with multinational corporations, as well as leading ethics and anti-corruption experts and stakeholders, Anti-Corruption as Strategic CSR explores innovative corporate approaches to anti-corruption with the goal of identifying successful models, gaps in existing strategies, and potential future roles for corporations. The report cites recent approaches by, among others, Google in Africa, GE in China, and Merck in the Middle East and Latin America. The report also suggests four complementary approaches corporations can adopt to maximize their anti-corruption efforts.

"This paper offers an invaluable contribution to the global ethics and anti-corruption movement," comments Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D., President of the Ethics Resource Center, which collaborated with FSG on the paper and was affiliated with Merck's international ethics centers. "Elevating anti-corruption to a priority CSR issue raises corporate expectations and will ultimately reduce corruption globally."

Please register below, further event information will be provided in advance:
REGISTER HERE for the Media Briefing: June 23, 2009, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT
REGISTER HERE for the General Webcast: June 24, 2009, 12:00-1:30 PM EDT

Anti-Corruption as Strategic CSR: A Call to Action for Corporations is available free for download from FSG Social Impact Advisors, Merck, or from the Ethics Resource Center.

About FSG
FSG Social Impact Advisors is an international nonprofit consulting and research organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of social progress by advancing the practice of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. FSG achieves its mission in help increase social impact in three primary ways:  by advising leading corporations, foundations and nonprofits on strategy and evaluation; by researching, developing and sharing ideas and knowledge, and to identify action-initiatives to address critical social issues and opportunities in the field. For more information, visit

About The Merck Company Foundation
The Merck Company Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation.  Established in 1957 by the global research-driven pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc., the Foundation is funded entirely by the Company and is Merck's chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit, charitable organizations.  Since its inception, The Merck Company Foundation has contributed more than $560 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck's overall mission to enhance the health and well-being of people around the world.  For more information, visit

About The Ethics Resource Center
The Ethics Resource Center is the United States' oldest private, nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and the advancement of high ethical standards and practices in corporate, public and nonprofit institutions. The ERC's primary activities are research and benchmarking (it is the leading source of surveys and benchmarks on workplace ethics), dissemination of knowledge and its respected ERC Fellows program for chief ethics and compliance officers. For more information, visit  

Posted: June 2009

Recommended for you