Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer leverages the potential of industrial gases to sustainably shape ecosystems for future generations

Industrial gas specialist publishes its 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report and harmonized key performance indicators relating to sustainability. 

  • Leveraged digitalization to support long-term sustainable actions 
  • Helped its customers make progress on the shared path to climate neutrality 
  • Achieved gender parity in Messer Supervisory Board 
  • Increased the share of women in first and second management levels 

Messer, the world’s largest family-run specialist for industrial, medical and specialty gases, has been embracing sustainability since it was founded in 1898. In 2019, the company started using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which are part of the Agenda 2030, as the framework of its sustainability report. With its gases and know-how, the values of a family business along with the expertise of its some 11,000 employees*, Messer is helping achieve some of these goals in Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

Making a positive impact as a reliable partner 
As a company working with gases essential to life, Messer strives to continuously improve its own processes and minimize its CO2 footprint. In 2021, it further leveraged the opportunities offered by digitalization, allowing for enhanced efficiency alongside more flexible and agile working. As an example, the energy consumption of air separation units is being increasingly optimized thanks to fine-tuned control systems. Despite its ongoing efforts, Messer’s CO2 emissions intensity remained stable at around 1.5 metric tons* of CO2e per 1,000 euros of sales revenue in 2021. This was particularly due to its sales growth and the less favorable energy mix in Asia caused by electricity shortages. 
This year, Messer started measuring the indirect CO2 emissions of its production plants (Scope 2) using the market-based method in addition to the location-based one. This dual approach for inventory will provide a more complete view and help improve the management of its decarbonization programs. 

“Climate neutrality is a long-term journey that can only be undertaken as a team, together with all our stakeholders. At Messer, we not only work on our own processes, but also develop innovative solutions with our customers and business partners to face current as well as future challenges. By doing so, we create shared value and remain a reliable partner,” explains Stefan Messer, third-generation shareholder and CEO of Messer SE & Co. KGaA. 

As versatile products, Messer gases are used in a wide range of value-added applications and help conserve natural resources. In 2021, Messer intensified its commitment in the field of clean hydrogen, which plays a key role in the energy transition, especially in sustainable mobility. Oxyfuel burners reduce the carbon intensity of various processes, for instance, in the non-ferrous metals and glass industries. Another example is food-grade gases. They ensure the development of more sustainable food supply chains, thus preventing food waste and curbing the environmental impact of this sector. Medical gases and related turnkey solutions are essential to support the healthcare sector effectively. Additionally, Messer works closely with its customers to choose the most reliable and environmentally friendly supply mode, which sometimes means opting for an on-site production unit instead of deliveries by tank trucks. 

Empowering employees to shape the future of the family company 
In 2021, Messer achieved gender parity in its Supervisory Board, which now comprises four women and four men. Last year, the share of women in first and second management levels at Messer also increased by 1 percent*, reaching 25.1 percent*. This brings the company one step closer to its goal: establishing mixed-gender management teams composed of 30 percent* of women by 2030. “Creating a work environment free of prejudice, where our international teams feel comfortable and safe, forms the basis of our diversity management program. We can all contribute to this process, in particular managers, by fostering open communication as well as mutually respectful and trusting relationships,” says Bernd Eulitz, Deputy CEO of Messer SE & Co. KGaA. In 2021, Messer established a mandatory and comprehensive international training program against unconscious biases, which will be further expanded in 2022. The goal is to help employees become aware of these invisible barriers and make more conscious decisions, therefore better ones. 

Moreover, as a global company with local roots, Messer gives back to the communities in which it operates. Last year, Messer teams supported 970 social initiatives* in areas like education and social justice. Relying on its people-oriented approach, the family-run company managed to decrease its staff turnover rate from 13.2 percent* in 2020 to 10.1 percent* in 2021. 

The 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report with the current projects, key ESG indicators and defined goals is available for download here. Starting this year, Messer will publish its ESG ratings on its website. The company’s performance is currently assessed by the independent organizations EcoVadis and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). 

* Sum of Messer Group and Messer Industries, which includes 100 percent of the at-equity holding Messer Industries since March 1, 2019.