Our Engagement for Environment and Safety

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Climate change is an environmental factor that is essential for us as a globally active company. For Bayer, the protection of the environment and the safety of our employees and the people living in the neighborhood of our sites are of the highest priority.

Below you will find more detailed information on various sustainability areas.

The processes in production and the depth of our value chain have a major influence on our energy requirements. For example, the extraction of raw materials for crop protection products and the preparation and further processing of these in pre-production are particularly energy intensive.

The total energy consumption of Bayer Switzerland in 2022 was 494.6 terajoules (137.55 million kWh).

With 489 terajoules (136 million kWh) last year, our production facility in Muttenz is the big energy consumer in our system. For this reason, we are committed and motivated to constantly save energy. Together with the Energy Agency Swiss private sector (Energie-agentur der Wirtschaft, EnAW), we have set these target areas in order to improve every year. 

There are essentially five major energy saving projects that were implemented in Muttenz in 2022. Together, they resulted in a reduction in energy consumption of around 4.7 million kWh.

  1. Diversion of a Major Waste Stream
    One of our distillation waste streams is now recycled instead, which has reduced steam consumption and wastewater volume.
     
  2. Retrofitting of Circulation Pumps
    Smart software is used to adapt pump output to actual, 
    real-time consumption instead of output remaining constant.
     
  3. Upgrade of the Fractionating Column
    A heat exchanger upgrade has made solvent fractionation much more energy efficient.
     
  4. No More Solvent Cleaning
    An entire solvent cleaning cycle has been removed with no detrimental impact on quality, thereby reducing solvent use and generating less waste. 
     
  5. Replacement of Vacuum Pumps
    Replacement of the old pumps has allowed for much faster cycle times, resulting in a higher yield and reduced energy consumption.


Bayer’s global goal is to rely 100 percent on green electricity by 2030. We have already achieved this at our production site in Muttenz. Since 2021, we have been using 100 percent CO2-free electricity from renewable sources (hydro and wind power). 

In addition, we are pursuing the “waste-to-energy” concept by using the energy from the incineration of our waste streams to generate steam. This is done for us by our partner GETEC PARK. SWISS AG does this for us.

The office location in Basel had an energy consumption of 5.6 terajoules (1.55 million kWh) last year. For heating, we currently obtain district heating in a mix of:

  • 44% waste incineration (CO2 neutral, 50% of the waste is biodegradable, such as our Naturesse coffee cups)
  • 35% natural gas
  • 17% wood combustion (CO2 neutral, thanks to wood from local, sustainable cultivation)
  • 3% sewage sludge
  • 1% heating oil


Since July 2022, we have managed to adjust our district heating mix, and now use 100 percent CO2-neutral district heating derived from 99 percent biogenic waste and 1 percent waste wood. 

Since January 2021, the electricity used at the Basel office has come from 100 percent renewable sources (over 90 percent from hydro-electric power) and is 100 percent generated in Switzerland. Thanks to the energy saving measures we have pledged to implement, we have been a member of the city of Basel’s “Energiespar Alliance” (Energy Saving Alliance) since 2022. 

At Bayer Switzerland, we are aiming for climate neutrality by 2030. To achieve this, we are relying on three strategic levers: process innovations, more efficient plants and building technology, and the implementation and optimization of energy management systems.

The largest share of emissions at Bayer in Switzerland is generated in production in Muttenz: In 2022 it was 25'300 tons of CO2

In October 2022, we once again completely overhauled our company vehicle policy. All newly ordered vehicles for managers are now electric. These are also intended for sales representatives; diesel vehicles may only be ordered under exceptional circumstances. We support the installation of the necessary electricity infrastructure, both at our offices and at employees’ homes.

In December 2022, the average CO2 emissions of the company vehicle fleet of Bayer Switzerland stood at 126 g CO2 per kilometer. The value for newly redeemed vehicles stood at 43 g CO2 per kilometer in 2022.

Our systematic waste management enables us to keep the consumption of materials as well as the disposal quantities at the lowest possible level. Our targeted waste separation, safe disposal methods and economically appropriate recycling processes contribute to the same goal.
 

Waste quantity in tonnes 2022
Production site Muttenz 29,662
 - Chemical waste 29,645
 - Domestic waste 13
Office site Basel 13,5


We do not have any figures for the Zurich site. 

The industrial park GETEC PARK.SWISS AG in Muttenz offers comprehensive waste management. Waste incineration is used to generate energy and to mineralize industrial waste. Hazardous and industrial waste is incinerated, generating heat in the form of steam, hot water and warm water.

The thermal waste gas purification plant with steam generator is used for the incineration of waste gas and waste air streams generated at the site during the production of crop protection products and intermediate products. The pollutant composition requires flue gas denitrification (SNCR) and flue gas scrubbing to comply with the limit values. To minimize the support fuel natural gas, substitute fuel is also burned. 

By removing PET bottles from all our meeting rooms we have been able to drastically reduce our PET consumption within just two years. In 2018, we were using 3,670 kilograms of PET a year; by 2019 we were able to reduce this by 20 percent to 2,889 kilograms. In 2020, the figure stood at 411 kilograms – this reduction was largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2021, only 183 kilograms of PET was being recycled. Due to the return of increasing numbers of staff to our offices, PET volume went up slightly in 2022 compared to the previous year to a total of 244 kilograms.

We have introduced professional recycling stations and communal printing rooms at our offices in Basel. This simplifies recycling, and the communal printing rooms have minimized air pollution and noise emissions in the offices. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Basel office used around 55 percent less water in 2020 compared to the previous year. In 2021, water consumption was again around 54.6 percent lower than in 2020 as most of the staff were working from home. Water consumption increased again in 2022 as many of the staff returned to the office, amounting to 1,370 m3 in total. This is still 60 percent less than in the 2019 reference year. The water used originates from local groundwater and Rhine water sources.

For 2023, we plan to install new water-saving adapters on all taps.

Water consumption in million liters 2022
Production site Muttenz 3,294
Office site Basel 1,37


We do not have any figures for the Zurich site.

At our production site in Muttenz, we use various purification processes and treatment steps for the wastewater. Depending on the ingredients, we combine the processes so that the wastewater is discharged in compliance with the law and directives. Wastewater treatment almost always begins with internal pre-treatment in the production building. For example, solvents are recycled, or pollutants eliminated through distillation or extraction.

At the production site in Muttenz, in 2022 around 237 million liters of water were professionally treated at the production site in Muttenz.