Our Strategy

Video file

The steadily growing and aging global population presents fundamental challenges for the human needs health and food. How will we feed up to ten billion people by 2050 while contending with the impact of climate change? How will we ensure quality of life for an ever-increasing number of elderly people?

Our Purpose “Science for a better life” guides us in everything we do. Our vision “Health for all, Hunger for none” articulates what we strive for. And everything we do is anchored in our LIFE values. Our purpose, vision, and values are reflected in our Strategic Levers, which represent our priorities as a group. They are set to benefit our society and deliver attractive returns for our shareholders. They also lay the foundation for our divisional strategies and operations.


Our Strategic Levers

1. Shape a leader
We develop a global leader in health and nutrition. We create value with strategy-based resource allocation focused on profitable growth. We position ourselves in attractive areas, in which we can achieve leading positions.


2. Deliver world-class innovation
We innovate at scale to address unmet societal challenges in health and nutrition. We broaden our sources of good ideas, drive disruptive innovation and push the digitalization of our value chain.


3. Generate sustainable impact
We see sustainability as an integral part of our business strategy and operations. Our 2030 targets are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.


4. Drive operational performance
We consistently deliver against our financial targets with a focus on profitable growth and returns.


Business Strategies

Our Divisional Business Strategies are well aligned with our Strategic Levers:

crop-scienceContinued population growth, increasing protein consumption, decreasing arable land per capita, climate change and growing pressure on limited natural resources all point to the need for more innovation and a stronger focus on sustainability in agriculture. At the same time, emerging markets in Asia, shifts in consumption patterns, advancements in life science technologies and the next wave of digitalization are set to shape the industry in the long-term.


As the largest integrated player in the agricultural industry with a leading portfolio in corn, soybeans, cereals and horticulture, we recognize our responsibility to address the challenges outlined above. Our strategy is based on three pillars: innovation, digitalization and sustainability. Guided by this approach, we aim to set new industry standards.

Our researchers deliver high-yielding seed varieties with effective traits, combined with cutting edge chemical and biological crop protection products. By combining R&D platforms, we are able to unlock new potential and deliver integrated solutions to farmers.

As a leader in digital farming, we aim to drive the transformation of our business as we look to offer tailored solutions to our customers, automate processes and increase R&D productivity. At the same time, we are digitally connecting farms on a leading common platform to help create new value for our customers. New service- and data-based models will supplement or in some cases replace our conventional business.

More sustainable models for farming are crucial to counteracting the growing loss of biodiversity and tackling climate change. At the same time, the demand for food will continue to rise. In a bid to effectively address these challenges, sustainability parameters will become key considerations in R&D and business decisions. We are also looking to increase food security: by 2030, we aim to help 100 million smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries produce enough food to feed themselves and others, and to improve their incomes. To achieve this goal, we will further expand our product and service portfolio. This will include providing access to tailored digital solutions. By collaborating and partnering with research institutes, nongovernmental organizations, companies and social start-ups, for instance, we aim to improve access to agronomic expertise, products and services specifically for smallholders. A good example of this is the Better Life Farming alliance, which is already supporting smallholder farmers with training courses, market access and technology, as well as financing options. Through these efforts, we can make an important contribution to strengthening local food production and reducing rural poverty. Attainment of this goal is to be assessed based on the number of smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries supported by products, services and partnerships. In addition, we have also set ourselves the objective of increasing environmental and climate protection. With the aid of new technologies and business models, we aim to help customers reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the field and lower the environmental footprint of the crop protection products they use.


More information on the division Crop Science

pharmaceuticals_1Throughout the world, an increasingly aging population is leading to a growing number of chronic diseases and the increasing occurrence of multiple conditions. At the same time, digital technologies have the potential to transform the way health care is delivered. Examples include telemedicine, artificial intelligence-driven diagnostic and treatment support, as well as combining computer processing power with the availability of large data sets to enable personalized testing and treatment.

We are seeking to contribute to medical progress through our focus on researching, developing and marketing innovative medicines, primarily in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, oncology, women’s health, hematology and ophthalmology. Our near- to medium-term growth will primarily be driven by key areas, such as China, as well as by key products, such as Xarelto™. It is expected to be further fueled by several promising late-stage R&D pipeline candidates, such as our recently approved product Nubeqa™. To safeguard long-term growth, we continue to invest in R&D in areas in which there is still a substantial need for innovation. Moreover, we are expanding our efforts to access more external innovation through research collaborations and in-licensing (e.g. Vitrakvi™), with Bayer capturing continued growth opportunities in biologics and novel technologies, for instance. Our recent acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics in the area of stem cell therapies is one such example.

We continue to build capabilities in leveraging data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to deliver greater value to patients and customers, and to increase productivity across the pharmaceutical value chain from R&D to Medical Affairs, Commercial and Product Supply.

To improve access to our products in developing and emerging countries (Access to Medicine), we have entered into a series of long-term partnerships focusing on aspects such as the provision of contraceptives and logistics support for both multilateral and bilateral family planning programs. These measures will demonstrably improve women’s health and strengthen their role in society by helping to promote gender equality and women’s economic participation. Specifically, we aim to provide 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to modern contraception by 2030. To achieve this, we will expand our range of long-acting products that are in especially high demand in international development projects. As is currently the case for oral contraceptives and contraceptive injections, these products will be offered to our partners (such as the United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA) at preferential prices. We also plan to enter into additional collaborations to support voluntary family planning programs. As part of these efforts, we pledge support for our partners irrespective of the products used. Attainment is to be assessed based on the number of women in low- and middle-income countries who have their need for modern contraception satisfied due to interventions supported by Bayer.

In addition, we remain committed to combating neglected tropical diseases. As part of this endeavor, we work closely with the World Health Organization. As well as making product donations and providing financial support, we are also involved in the further development of active ingredients. An example of this is the pediatric formulation of nifurtimox, our active ingredient for the treatment of children with Chagas disease, which we submitted for regulatory approval in the United States in December 2019.


More information on the division Pharmaceuticals


Cost pressure on public health care systems and the growing health awareness of consumers are increasingly putting the spotlight on the benefits of self-care and point to further long-term growth of the consumer health market. At the same time, digitalization is giving rise to new business opportunities.


We provide consumers with the products, services and information they need to take more responsibility for their daily health, improving their quality of life. Our strategy moving forward will accelerate our core categories, geographies and the transfer of prescription medicines and active ingredients to nonprescription status. We also aim to strengthen our innovation and R&D capabilities and drive marketing and sales execution. A new operating model, in place since the beginning of 2019, further enhances consumer- and customer-centricity and drives agility, efficiency and consistency in execution.


We are leveraging digital technologies and data to accelerate our strategy across all areas of the business. We are digitalizing our core business operations in supply chain, research and development, e-commerce and precision marketing. Digital will help us create efficiencies and serve our consumers and customers better. We also aim to discover new sources of growth from novel business models looking beyond the product toward broader digital health care platforms and ecosystems.


It is our ambition to expand access to everyday health for 100 million people in underserved communities around the world by 2030. At least half the world’s population currently lacks access to basic health services, including self-care medication. More of these products, along with targeted education, can help prevent disease as well as offer health solutions to regions in which self-administered medication is often the only option. Beginning with a focus on women’s health and improved access to micronutrients for pregnant women and children, we will create better access to our well-known brands and self-care initiatives.


More information on the division Consumer Health


1  Details on our objectives and how we measure attainment will be confirmed in 2020.