Management and Governance

Sustainability Management

To us, sustainability means safeguarding our future social and economic viability. Understood in this context and as a part of our corporate strategy, sustainability is integrated into our day-to-day procedures. We underline our mission as a company that acts sustainably through our commitment to the U.N. Global Compact and the Responsible Care™ initiative, as well as through our involvement in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In our sustainability reporting we have followed the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for many years.

Bayer is committed to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has published a company position detailing this. Our innovations, products and services contribute to overcoming some of the biggest global challenges, including the goals of “Zero Hunger” (SDG 2) and “Good Health and Well-Being” (SDG 3) in particular.

As part of Bayer’s corporate strategy, sustainability is firmly established at Board level. Responsibility for the Group’s sustainable orientation lies with the Board of Management member responsible for Human Resources, Technology and Sustainability in his role as Chief Sustainability Officer, and with the Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) under the auspices of the Health, Safety & Sustainability function. The SDC sets targets and draws up initiatives, management systems and corporate policies, and is responsible for their implementation. Operational implementation is effected with the help of nonfinancial targets and performance indicators throughout the value chain, based on a clear definition of responsibilities in the corporate structure and the identification of major areas of activity using a materiality analysis. Corporate policies ensure our sustainability principles are firmly established in business operations and are implemented through corresponding management systems, committees and processes. The review and revision of these regulations and internal audits ensure that our management systems are continuously improved and aligned to the respective requirements.

Bayer's Materiality Matrix

We analyze and regularly evaluate what the major stakeholders expect and require from the Group. Thanks to this approach, we are quick to identify sustainability-relevant opportunities and risks and current developments in our key areas of activity, and can incorporate these into our strategy. 2016 we analyzed our previous areas of activity. This involved assessing the topics in our last materiality analysis and reexamining their relevance for the organization. The relevance to Bayer of the 24 nonfinancial topics identified in this prosess was evaluated in respect of sales, costs, risk and reputation by selected internal and external stakeholders.

The results of the internal and external viewpoint survey were combined in a Materiality Matrix.

Materiality Matrix  

Materiality Matrix

Areas of Activity 

We have analyzed the results of the materiality analysis with respect to their relevance for the Bayer value chain and reporting in accordance with the GRI G4 guidelines. During this process, the 24 topics relevant for Bayer were condensed into 11 main areas of activity, presented to the Board of Management and approved by it. In view of the separation of Covestro and the planned acquisition of Monsanto, we will reexamine our areas of activity in 2018 using a comprehensive materiality analysis.

The current Annual Report contains a graphic showing the assignment of our areas of activity to the stages of the value chain.

In the following overview we provide a summary of our 11 current areas of activity and the GRI aspects assigned to them. We also indicate whether our scope to exercise influence lies within or outside the company.

Key Areas of Activity and GRI Aspects

Key area of activity with definition Group targets  GRI aspect assignment GRI aspect limits
G4-19 Within
Product and process innovation
Innovations that combine customer wishes and social needs; including adaptation to changes in industrial production, influenced by the growing significance of the digital value-added chain and the associated processes.
See Innovation Group targets • Economic performance
• Products and services
X                                                                                                                                                                                                    X
Access to health care
Better access to medical products for patients in under-resourced regions, e.g. through research & development, differential pricing, building up own capacities, patent access and collaboration.
See Innovation Group targets • Indirect economic impact X
Sustainable food security
Contribution to the sustainable production, supply and availability of food and to the quality of food supplies.
See Innovation Group targets • Indirect economic impact
• Customer health and safety
Stakeholder commitment / partnerships
Dialogue and collaboration with relevant stakeholders at local, national and international level.
See Employees Group targets • Local communities X X
Business ethics
Ensuring good corporate governance and compliance; including anti-corruption, fair taxation, transparency, responsible lobbying, ethical clinical studies and Management Board compensation based on ESG criteria.
See Compliance Group targets • Compliance (environment category)
• Equality
• Fighting corruption
• Politics
• Anti-competitive behavior
• Compliance (society subcategory)
• Compliance (product stewardship subcategory)
• Complaint mechanisms in terms of working practices, environmental impact, breaches of human rights and social impact
Employee relations & development
Employee development and expanding the position as an attractive employer; includes vocational and advanced training, compensation, employee benefits and recruiting / retaining personnel; creating flexibility with a good work-life balance; ensuring sound diversity.
See Employees Group targets • Economic performance
• Market presence
• Employment
• Employee / employer relations
• Vocational and advanced training
• Diversity and equal opportunities
• Equal pay for men and women
• Freedom of association and right to collective agreements
• Child labor
• Forced or compulsory labor
• Safety practices
Ensuring occupational, process, plant and transportation safety.

See Safety Group targets • Transportation
• Occupational health and safety
• Local communities
Product stewardship
Evaluating and reducing possible health- and environment-relevant product risks along the value-added chain; including REACH, endocrine disruptors, active ingredients in the environment, bee health and responsible use of new technologies (e.g. biotechnology).
See Product Stewardship
Group targets
• Products and services
• Customer health and safety
• Labeling products and services
• Marketing
Environmental protection / resource efficiency
Reducing the environmental impact of products and processes on water, air and soil; supporting innovations that help the environment. Promoting an efficient use of natural resources (e.g. water, minerals, agricultural land) and energy; switch to renewables where possible; reducing the consumption especially of valuable and scarce resources.
See Resource Efficiency
Group targets
• Materials
• Energy
• Water
• Biodiversity
• Emissions
• Wastewater / waste
• Products and services
• Transportation
Supplier management
Encouraging fair and constructive relations, influencing sustainable behavior in the supply chain in terms of business ethics; treatment of employees; health protection, safety, environmental protection and quality all the way through to management systems and performance measurement.
See Supplier Management Group targets • Procurement
• Evaluating suppliers in terms of
    - environmental aspects
    - working practices
    - human rights
    - social impact
Social commitment
Demonstrating societal engagement through investment in social projects, donations and volunteering programs.
No Group target • Local communities X