Bayer’s societal engagement has traditionally involved helping those in need and working to improve healthcare and social conditions in the countries Bayer operates in. In line with Bayer’s corporate strategy, support is particularly given to initiatives that innovatively lead to pioneering improvements in healthcare and nutrition.
The Bayer Cares Foundation runs programs for volunteering (employee engagement) and supporting social pioneers and start-ups. In its disaster aid efforts Bayer pursues a twin strategy: after a natural disaster, Bayer provides immediate aid by donating money, medicines or materials to rebuild the devastated infrastructure. Beyond that, the Bayer Cares Foundation also provides financial support for sustainable reconstruction projects.
Another important instrument in Bayer’s societal engagement is the support given to long-term healthcare projects. To this end, Bayer cooperates closely with recognized state-owned institutions, international organizations, and NGOs.
Tailwind for engaged employees is the motto behind the funding the Bayer Cares Foundation gives motivated personnel who passionately invest their free time in supporting their fellow human beings – and thus bring new impulses to the societies they live in.
With its International Volunteering Program the Bayer Cares Foundation supports employees and retirees who volunteer their time and energy for projects to improve living conditions in the areas around Bayer sites worldwide. The focus here is on innovative approaches of a model character and pursuing sustainable goals. The Bayer Cares Foundation makes charitable initiatives possible through financial support of up to €5,000 per project. Since 2007, this program has seen 933 projects implemented involving a total funding of over €3m.
Projects that help people with disabilities enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing and involvement in social life through sport are supported with up to €5,000 per project in Germany in our Inclusion through Sport which is supported by the Herbert-Grünewald-Foundation.
Bayer People Care for Society gives Bayer employees the opportunity to leave their workplaces for up to three months to engage in Foundation projects. Anywhere in the world, they can utilize and enhance their professional know-how, e.g. by setting up new health centers, assisting in educational projects or supporting social facilities. The funding provided may cover project or travel scholarships, for example.
With the fundraising campaign Helping Cents the Bayer Cares Foundation and Bayer’s HR business unit appeal to employees to round down the cent sums on their monthly pay slip and donate up to 99 cents to some good cause. After all, little things can make a big difference – and they do. The donated cents will be used to support the Role Model projects of other Bayer colleagues and help communities all over the world.
20-Million-Euro Fund for Social Innovations
The Bayer Foundation launched its new 20-million-euro fund in 2019 to establish a network for social innovation. In a first step, three million euros were awarded to four pioneering social companies: myAgro, Mercy Corps, Path and Living Goods. The funds from the fund are intended to promote technological and entrepreneurial solutions in the fields of health and agriculture that enable small African farmers to free themselves from poverty.
With the funding the organizations will reach over a million people in small African farm households. They enable small farmers to increase their yields and access to health services. With this investment, Bayer is accelerating its efforts to sustainably improve the lives of 100 million people (smallholders and their family members) by 2030.
Bayer’s Disaster Aid program offers immediate assistance to people hit by natural disasters. This ensures people in acute need receive fast, non-bureaucratic support. In many cases the money goes to recognized organizations in the affected countries or regions that Bayer has been strategically collaborating with for many years.
After emergency aid has been provided, the Bayer Cares Foundation Disaster Relief program supports the reconstruction efforts from a long-term perspective. This may involve funding the construction of new homes, health centers or educational facilities, for example, as well as ensuring that vital resources and medicines are made available.
Among other things, Bayer donated €200,000 as emergency aid to support aid workers in Mozambique after the country was hit by cyclone Idai in 2019. Numerous people died in the cyclone and its aftermath, and more were made homeless by the disaster and needed help.
In America, Bayer supported the Red Cross in the hurricane period with a donation of €100,000.
Cooperating and Participating in Health Sector Networks
In order to improve healthcare in the poorer regions of the world Bayer partners with recognized organizations and is actively involved in targeted networks and initiatives.
Fighting non-communicable and tropical diseases
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a global health crisis impacting people all over the world. According to the World Health Organization NCDs are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for 60% of all deaths worldwide.
At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, 22 pharmaceutical multinationals, including Bayer, set up the global initiative Access Accelerated in collaboration with the Union for International Cancer Control and the World Bank. This initiative was the first-ever multi-stakeholder collaboration that aims to improve NCD patients’ access to treatment in poorer countries. In this way, Access Accelerated is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by a third by 2030.
Through our Access to Medicine activities we are also engaged in combating neglected tropical diseases, including Chagas and African sleeping sickness.
To treat people infected with Chagas disease – according to the WHO some 10 million worldwide – Bayer supplies the WHO with the drug Lampit™ free of charge, as well as supporting local logistics and distribution.
To combat African sleeping sickness Bayer also offers the WHO free supplies of the drugs Germanin™ and Lampit™, which together with another company’s active ingredient is used to treat this disease. Thanks to this continuous cooperation and particularly through the work of the WHO, the number of infected people could be drastically reduced (in 2009 there were fewer than 10,000 sick people for the first time, around 1,000 new cases in 2018).
Family Planning and Correct Education
The starting point for family planning must be correct education. Teenagers and young adults need comprehensive sexual health education. To this end, Bayer works with the White Ribbon Alliance, the UN and other key stakeholders to promote better self-care for the specific purpose of preventing maternal, newborn, and child mortality.
Preventing unwanted pregnancies worldwide involves removing the barriers that prevent young people from making use of the sexual health services available. That is why the NGO Women Deliver and Bayer collaborated to launch the World Contractive Day Ambassadors project in support of World Contraceptive Day. This involved equipping ten youth advocates from across the globe to connect with young people in their communities to reveal the realities they face in their sexual and reproductive health.
Bayer is also sponsoring the 120 Under 40 Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, which recognizes and highlights next-generation champions of family planning.