We exert considerable influence on society and the environment in many regions through our purchasing volume. In 2014, goods and services were procured from some 112,000 (2013: some 107,000) suppliers in 147 (2013: 138) countries for approximately €20.3 billion (2013: €18.7 billion) and recorded in the Group-wide reporting system. The procurement volume in Germany, the United States and Japan in 2014 accounted for nearly 66 percent of the expenditures in the countries of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), or about 52 percent of the Bayer Group’s total procurement spend. Brazil, India and China together accounted for about 70 percent of the expenditures in the non-OECD countries or about 14 percent of the total spend.
Bayer regards adherence to sustainability standards within the supply chain as a crucial factor in the value chain. By acting responsibly in collaboration with our suppliers, we aim to minimize risks and create stable, long-term business relationships with our partners. It is also an important strategic lever for Bayer in safeguarding both its global competitiveness and the supply of materials and services. For this reason, the company applies not just economic standards, but also environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards in choosing new suppliers or continuing its relationships with existing ones. These standards are defined in Bayer’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which generally forms the basis for our collaboration with suppliers. It is legally binding and integrated into electronic ordering systems and contracts throughout the Group. The Supplier Code of Conduct is based on the principles of the U.N. Global Compact and our Human Rights Position.
We track our suppliers’ adherence to the Code of Conduct by monitoring their sustainability performance. This is done partly on the basis of on-site audits and partly through online supplier assessments carried out by a leading web based platform for sustainability performance monitoring (EcoVadis). The assessments are based on a web-based, modular questionnaire completed by the supplier, coupled with accompanying verification documents and 360° screening. Suppliers are selected for these assessments based on a combination of country and material risks and procurement volume.