Winner:  Merck 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report

For communications execs who want to improve the health of their CSR reports, pharmaceutical giant Merck may have what ails you. The company’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report provides stakeholders with a comprehensive view of Merck’s CSR effortswhich include reducing maternal mortality, improving access to water and combating tropical diseasesand how these efforts align with the company’s overarching goals.

The 302-page report used several external guidelines and measurement tools to inform its reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative G3.1 Guidelines, the Access to Medicine Index and the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

Merck takes a methodical approach to communicating its CSR efforts, starting with a description of the company’s commitment to improving health and well being throughout the world. The report also takes pains to explain how Merck contributes substantial economic and social value to the countries and communities in which it operates (as of December 31, 2011, Merck had a physical presence in 80 countries, with 597 research, manufacturing, sales and administrative sites).

It also features highlights of recent awards recognizing Merck’s approach to corporate responsibility, including placement on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranking No. 46 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 12th Annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. —Matthew Schwartz  

Honorable Mentions: