Bayer strengthens commitment to sustainable development
- New climate target - reduction in specific greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent
- Health care - contraceptives made available to 16 million women in developing countries
- Nutrition - 240 partnership projects implemented for sustainable food
- Bayer stock included in sustainability indices
- EUR 57 million for charitable causes
Leverkusen, May 17, 2011- Bayer is presenting its Sustainable Development Report for 2010 and strengthening its commitment to sustainability. Over 72 pages, the newly published report documents the progress made in the key areas of climate protection, health care provision and nutrition for a growing world population and further achievements made by the Group in the field of sustainability. "We use our commitment to sustainability to tackle the key global challenges and drive forward economic growth in harmony with ecological and social interests," said member of the Bayer Board of Management Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, member of the Bayer AG Board of Management responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment, at a news conference in Leverkusen on May 17, 2011.
Bayer is looking to cut specific greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020 compared to 2005. The energy-intensive subgroup Bayer MaterialScience will be making a particularly significant contribution to achieving this goal, increasing its reduction target from 25 to 40 percent. "As planned, we already invested EUR 1 billion in climate-related research and development and projects between 2008 and 2010. Yet climate protection remains an ongoing task and continues to demand intensive effort," said Dr. Plischke.
The Group plans to improve the energy efficiency of its production facilities by a further 10 percent by the end of 2012. "This will not just reduce our impact on the climate - by around half a million metric tons of CO2 a year - but is also expected to yield annual energy cost savings of around EUR 60 million," added Dr. Plischke.
Innovations are the key to success for Bayer as an inventor company. "Innovations that help improve people's lives are therefore also the most effective catalyst for sustainability, in keeping with our mission 'Science For A Better Life'," he pointed out. The commitment to innovation is underpinned by the planned investment in the future, with Bayer looking to invest EUR 15 billion in research and development and capital expenditures by 2013.
Dr. Wolfgang Engshuber, chair of the UN initiative "Principles for Responsible Investment" (UN PRI) and Chief Administrative Officer at reinsurer Munich Re in America, explained the growing importance of sustainable investment for the financial market: "Whether a company aligns its strategy toward sustainable success is not solely a criterion for investors specializing in sustainable investment - rather, it has long since also become relevant to mainstream investment."
As part of its Sustainability Program, Bayer contributes its products and core expertise to numerous projects that directly benefit millions of people all over the world, particularly in climate protection, health care provision and safeguarding food supplies.
Climate protection - breaking the link between production growth and greenhouse gas emissions
Production volumes at the Bayer Group rose almost 20 percent in 2010 owing to economic developments. In contrast, absolute direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions increased only by 4.9 percent from 8.1 to 8.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents. This equates to a cut in specific greenhouse gas emissions of around 12 percent. This break in the link between production growth and greenhouse gas emissions was achieved through improvements to technical processes and higher capacity utilization at the plants.
The company plans to continue enhancing the energy efficiency of its own production facilities and will also be marketing its own products for climate-friendly applications more intensively, e.g. through the EcoCommercial Building Program from Bayer MaterialScience. Buildings are responsible for around 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In China, where the government is committed to sustainable economic growth in its new five year plan, Bayer will be collaborating with the environmental protection agency in the Tianjin free trade zone to build a prototype eco-friendly administration building.
In its first year of operation, the Group's own first "EcoCommercial Building", the child daycare center at the Monheim site in Germany, demonstrated how renewable forms of energy can be combined with highly efficient building insulation to achieve a CO2-neutral energy balance. During the average use of a building, polyurethane insulating materials save 70 times the energy needed to manufacture them.
Health care - access to contraceptives in developing countries
Family planning is a further key area of the Bayer Sustainability Program. The company is making modern contraceptives available to more people in developing countries in cooperation with organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the German Foundation for World Population (DSW). As well as the free provision of contraceptives, Bayer is also deploying differential pricing.
Bayer HealthCare, the world market leader in contraceptives, provided around 118 million units of different contraceptives at reduced prizes in developing countries in 2010, benefiting around 16 million women. 80 percent of these contraceptives went to women in sub-Saharan countries. Bayer HealthCare in conjunction with USAID launched a contraceptive pill on the market in Ethiopia at reduced prices in 2010, and 10 other African states are due to follow by 2013, including countries experiencing sharp rises in population growth such as Uganda and Tanzania. Additional education measures are being carried out by the company in tandem with the DSW.
Another area of focus in the health care sector is the fight against what are known as "neglected diseases", affecting one billion people. For example, Bayer supplies medicines to the World Health Organization (WHO) free of charge to treat Chagas' disease and African sleeping sickness.
Nutrition - high-quality food in developing countries
In the field of nutrition, Bayer focuses on the sustainable cultivation of high-quality and affordable food, particularly in developing countries. Bayer CropScience is therefore currently deploying the concept of "Food Chain Partnerships" in 240 projects throughout the world, bringing together not just farmers but also the processing, transportation, retail and foreign trade sectors. In 2010, for example, okra, eggplants and potatoes were grown in around 100 cultivation regions in India over an area totaling more than 40,000 hectares. Farmers benefited from higher yields, improved product quality and an increase in income of up to 40 percent. Bayer provides support for them with seeds, crop protection agents and training in user safety.
Transparent data on relevant sustainability parameters
The company's 12th Sustainable Development Report supplies detailed data on relevant sustainability parameters collected at 342 Bayer sites throughout the world. As well as greenhouse gas emissions, these also include other atmospheric emissions, environmental incidents and occupational injuries.
Emissions of volatile organic compounds fell approximately two percent in the year under review to around 0.24 kilograms per metric ton of sales product. The number of reportable environmental incidents and transport accidents was 13 overall, as opposed to 18 in the previous year. The level of occupational injuries with days lost per million hours worked fell from 2.0 to 1.7. A new committee, the Bayer Safety Council, aims to further enhance the high safety standards.
The report has been subjected to an assurance process by corporate auditors Ernst & Young and is based on the internationally recognized guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI certified it with the "A+" rating - the highest possible.
Sustainable investment - investors value sustainable business practices
"In evaluating companies, institutional investors are increasingly attaching importance to the risks and opportunities for the business that are associated with the global challenges, how a company responds to these and the form in which it takes responsibility," said Dr. Engshuber at the news conference in Leverkusen. Investors, for whom sustainability is a relevant or decisive factor in making an investment decision, are focusing on factors such as special sustainability indices. Bayer has featured in several relevant sustainability indices for many years, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World, Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe, FTSE4Good and ASPI Eurozone.
In 2010, Bayer - as the best company in its sector - was also included once again in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index and in the newly established Carbon Performance Leadership Index. These two global climate indices are an initiative by investors in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), currently representing an investment volume totaling USD 71 trillion.
Diversity and social commitment
Bayer considers workforce diversity to be an important value that the company wants to promote further. The proportion of female managers has risen continuously over the past few years to just over 20 percent at the end of 2010. The company is not in favor of a statutory quota and is pursuing its own targeted support programs. It aims to increase the proportion of female managers in the Group as a whole to approaching 30 percent by 2015. At Bayer, diversity also means internationality - the top management level consists of employees of 21 different nationalities.
Bayer continued to focus intensively on social needs in 2010. The Group provided around EUR 57 million for charitable causes, with key areas including education and research, health care and recreational and disabled sports. In the year under review, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation gave a total of around EUR 1.25 million to German schools to improve science teaching, foster young talent and support top researchers.
In the health care sector, the company is collaborating in China with the government and local universities as part of the "Go West" program to provide physicians in rural western regions with continuing education, for example.
Together with the German Soccer Federation (DFB), the company now organizes 10 partnerships between special schools and soccer clubs in an initiative entitled "Simply soccer". The aim is to give more disabled young people access to club-level soccer.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Bayer Holding Ltd.