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, particular support is 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 839 projects implemented involving a total funding of around €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 Program.
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.
Promoting Social Pioneers and Start-Ups
With a variety of awards and funds Bayer supports young initiatives and start-ups whose innovative ideas and concepts in the fields of healthcare and nutrition can potentially improve the quality of life for millions of people.
The international Aspirin Social Innovation Award honors initiatives featuring pioneering concepts that are working to improve healthcare or help combat hunger worldwide. All the award-winners’ ideas have the potential to deliver sustainable systemic changes. Each of the five annual winners is awarded €20,000.
In the Grants4Impact Program Bayer cooperates with young social entrepreneurs and start-ups from all over the world for batch periods of two years. The aim is to take visionary ideas in the nutrition and healthcare fields to the next level of impact. The five entrepreneurs chosen each receive seed grants of €150,000 plus in-kind support worth €50,000, for example through mentoring, business know-how or targeted development.
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.
In 2018, Bayer provided emergency aid totaling €115,00 to the nonprofit Mercy Corps Indonesia to help people in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi who had been hit by a serious earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The money was specifically used to provide clean drinking water, sanitary facilities, hygiene products, food, and logistical support for medical services. In another emergency aid project in 2018, Bayer donated €100,000 to the Concern India Foundation, which used the money to provide medical care to people in need after severe flooding of the Southern Indian state of Kerala.
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, which around 30,000 people fall ill with every year, 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.
Family Planning and Correct Education
The starting point for family planning has to be correct education. Teenagers and young adults in particular 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.