In Bayer's Group Regulation “Code of Conduct for Responsible Lobbying,” Bayer sets out binding rules for its involvement in political matters, aiming to ensure transparency in any collaboration with the representatives of political institutions.
The Group’s Public and Governmental Affairs Committee established the principles for the alignment of Bayer’s political work. This especially includes developing the company’s political positions as well as determining the position of the Board of Management on important political issues. In 2016, Bayer’s political lobbying focused among other things on social debate regarding good framework conditions for developing innovative Life Science technologies and products, evidence-based regulation and the necessary reforms for the regulatory approval of crop protection products and in the area of seeds. A further focal point was submitting proposals for creating sustainable health care systems and strengthening self-care as a key factor in this process. Bayer also promotes the prevention of additional burdens for innovation and is involved in various policy areas: from energy, chemicals and trade policy to climate protection and sustainability. In addition, the company actively supports the protection of intellectual property – a key prerequisite for continuing to invest significantly in the development of innovative products.
Our liaison offices in Berlin, Brussels, Washington, Moscow, Brasília and Beijing are key touchpoints between the company and political stakeholders. Bayer actively participates in existing transparency initiatives. It publishes details of costs, employee numbers and any of the other statistics required in each country, e.g. in the transparency registers of the European institutions and the U.S. Congress. Bayer goes far beyond the statutory requirements in doing so. For instance, the Group also publishes data for countries such as Germany where there is no legal requirement to publish such information. In 2016, the costs incurred at the liaison offices for human resources, material and projects totaled approximately: €1.4 million in Berlin, Germany; €1.9 million in Brussels, Belgium; €7.3 million in Washington, United States; €0.2 million in Moscow, Russia; €1.3 million in Brasília, Brazil; and €1.1 million in Beijing, China.
According to our corporate policy, we have committed not to make any direct donations to political parties, politicians or candidates for political office. However, some associations to which the Group belongs make donations on their own initiative, in compliance with statutory regulations.
In the United States, a number of our employees use the Bayer Corporation Political Action Committee (BayPac) to make private donations supporting candidates for parliamentary office. Political action committees in the United States are state-regulated, legally independent employee groups. In the United States, companies are legally prohibited from donating to political candidates in Federal elections directly. In many cases, such direct donations by companies are legally prohibited for elections at state and local level too, but irrespective of the legislation Bayer’s internal regulations do not permit them anyway. Donations through BayPac are therefore not corporate donations. The BayPac contributions are regularly reported to the U.S. Federal Election Commission and can be viewed on its website.