Management and Governance

Sustainability Management

To us, sustainability means safeguarding our future viability and, as part of corporate strategy, is integrated into everyday procedures. We underline our mission as a company that acts sustainably through our commitment to the U.N. Global Compact and the Responsible Care™ initiative, and through our active global involvement in leading initiatives such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

As part of Bayer’s corporate strategy, sustainability is firmly established at Board level. Responsibility for the Group’s sustainable orientation lies with the Board of Management member responsible for Human Resources, Technology and Sustainability in his function as Chief Sustainability Officer, and with the Corporate Health, Safety and Sustainability function introduced in 2016. In order to operationalize the Group strategy and make it measurable, we have set ambitious nonfinancial targets and performance indicators all along the value-added chain. Corporate policies ensure our sustainability principles are firmly established in business operations. They are realized through corresponding management systems, committees and processes.

Bayer's Materiality Matrix

We analyze and regularly evaluate what the major stakeholders expect and require from the Group. Thanks to this approach, we are quick to identify sustainability-relevant opportunities and risks and current developments in our key areas of activity, and can incorporate these into our strategy. After Covestro became independent and Bayer realigned itself as a Life Science company, we analyzed our previous areas of activity in 2016. This involved examining the issues in our last materiality analysis and assessing their relevance in view of the reorganization. The relevance to Bayer of the 24 nonfinancial issues identified was evaluated in respect of sales, costs, risk and reputation by selected internal and external stakeholders.

The results of the internal and external viewpoint survey were combined in a Materiality Matrix.

Materiality Matrix  

Materiality Matrix

Areas of Activity 

We have analyzed the results of the materiality analysis with respect to their relevance for the Bayer value chain and reporting in accordance with the GRI G4 guidelines. During this process, the 24 areas of activity were condensed into 11, presented to the Board of Management and approved by it. The current Annual Report contains a graphic showing the assignment of our areas of activity to the stages of the value chain.

In the following overview we provide a summary of our 11 current areas of activity and the GRI aspects assigned to them. We also indicate whether our scope to exercise influence lies within or outside the company.

Key Areas of Activity and GRI Aspects

Key area of activity with definitionGroup targets GRI aspect assignmentGRI aspect limits
Product and process innovation
Innovations that combine customer wishes and social needs; including adaptation to changes in industrial production, influenced by the growing significance of the digital value-added chain and the associated processes.
See Innovation Group targets• Economic performance
• Products and services
X                                                                                                                                                                                                   X
Access to health care
Better access to medical products for patients in under-resourced regions, e.g. through research & development, differential pricing, building up own capacities, patent access and collaboration.
See Innovation Group targets• Indirect economic impactX
Sustainable food security
Contribution to the sustainable production, supply and availability of food and to the quality of food supplies.
See Innovation Group targets• Indirect economic impact
• Customer health and safety
Stakeholder commitment / partnerships
Dialogue and collaboration with relevant stakeholders at local, national and international level.
See Employees Group targets• Local communitiesXX
Business ethics
Ensuring good corporate governance and compliance; including anti-corruption, fair taxation, transparency, responsible lobbying, ethical clinical studies and Management Board compensation based on ESG criteria.
See Compliance Group targets• Compliance (environment category)
• Equality
• Fighting corruption
• Politics
• Anti-competitive behavior
• Compliance (society subcategory)
• Compliance (product stewardship subcategory)
• Complaint mechanisms in terms of working practices, environmental impact, breaches of human rights and social impact
Employee relations & development
Employee development and expanding the position as an attractive employer; includes vocational and advanced training, compensation, employee benefits and recruiting / retaining personnel; creating flexibility with a good work-life balance; ensuring sound diversity.
See Employees Group targets• Economic performance
• Market presence
• Employment
• Employee / employer relations
• Vocational and advanced training
• Diversity and equal opportunities
• Equal pay for men and women
• Freedom of association and right to collective agreements
• Child labor
• Forced or compulsory labor
• Safety practices
Ensuring occupational, process, plant and transportation safety.

See Safety Group targets• Transportation
• Occupational health and safety
• Local communities
Product stewardship
Evaluating and reducing possible health- and environment-relevant product risks along the value-added chain; including REACH, endocrine disruptors, active ingredients in the environment, bee health and responsible use of new technologies (e.g. biotechnology).
See Product Stewardship
Group targets
• Products and services
• Customer health and safety
• Labeling products and services
• Marketing
Environmental protection / resource efficiency
Reducing the environmental impact of products and processes on water, air and soil; supporting innovations that help the environment. Promoting an efficient use of natural resources (e.g. water, minerals, agricultural land) and energy; switch to renewables where possible; reducing the consumption especially of valuable and scarce resources.
See Resource Efficiency
Group targets
• Materials
• Energy
• Water
• Biodiversity
• Emissions
• Wastewater / waste
• Products and services
• Transportation
Supplier management
Encouraging fair and constructive relations, influencing sustainable behavior in the supply chain in terms of business ethics; treatment of employees; health protection, safety, environmental protection and quality all the way through to management systems and performance measurement.
See Supplier Management Group targets• Procurement
• Evaluating suppliers in terms of
    - environmental aspects
    - working practices
    - human rights
    - social impact
Social commitment
Demonstrating societal engagement through investment in social projects, donations and volunteering programs.
No Group target• Local communitiesX