Management and Governance

Sustainability Management

Sustainable actions safeguard stable, long-term growth for our company and make a positive value contribution to society. Sustainability is a core element of our Group strategy.

Sustainability falls under the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Management. In his role as Chief Sustainability Officer, he is supported by the Public Affairs & Sustainability enabling function, which develops strategies and identifies areas of activity, targets, key performance indicators, management systems and corporate policies and compiles the Sustainability Report on behalf of the Board of Management. Operational implementation takes place in the divisions and along the value chain. Reviewing and revising these regulations and internal audits ensure our management systems are continuously improved and aligned to the respective requirements.

The Corporate Health, Safety and Environment Function is responsible for the areas cited in its title.

Sustainability Council

Bayer has established a Sustainability Advisory Council in 2020 that will advise the Board of Management and the organization in all sustainability matters. This will be staffed with external experts from the areas of health care, nutrition, agriculture and the environment representing a broad range of views, differing geographical origin and different genders. The council will support the company in implementing its sustainability strategy, provide advice on strategic matters and in particular contribute new perspectives and ranges of experience. MORE

Responsible Business Practices

The Group’s focus on sustainability is founded in responsible business practices, in which the principles of Bayer Societal Engagement (BASE) play a pivotal role. Compliance (e.g. anti-corruption, responsible marketing), HR policy, product stewardship, environmental protection, health, safety and supplier management are core areas of activities for us in our endeavors to recognize risks at an early stage and minimize them.

Materiality Analysis and Areas of Activity

We determine the expectations and requirements of various stakeholders on a regular basis using a materiality analysis that surveys representatives of important stakeholder groups, managerial staff and nonmanagerial employees. The results thereof reveal the latest developments, along with sustainability-related opportunities and risks, and help us to address them.

Bayer managers supplement the assessment of issues of relevance from an external perspective with an estimation of the impact the company has on the environment, employees and health in each respective topic area. Finally, the issues prioritized on this basis are approved by the Board of Management.

The areas of activity identified – taking into consideration the acquisition of Monsanto – in the last comprehensive materiality analysis in 2018 were accounted for in the further development of our sustainability strategy. They determine the focal points of our sustainability management approach and our nonfinancial Group targets:

  • Access to health care
  • Sustainable food supply
  • Climate protection
  • Business ethics
  • Product stewardship
  • Environmental protection
  • Innovation

To achieve this, we conducted a worldwide survey of external stakeholders with specialist expertise and internal managers from various areas of the company. The goals of this analysis were to:

The following stakeholder groups were included in the stakeholder survey:

Stakeholder groups
Residents near Bayer sites Politicians and public authorities
Banks Rating agencies
Bayer management Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
Consultants / corporate auditors Associations
Investors Representatives / distribution partners
Customers Competitors
Suppliers Science / universities / schools
Media Miscellaneous

In accordance with the GRI Standards, the following two dimensions were among the factors applied to identify and prioritize key issues:

  • Impact of Bayer’s business operations on economic, social or environmental matters 
  • Impact on decisions by Bayer stakeholders

The results of the internal and external viewpoint survey were combined in a new materiality matrix.

Materiality Matrix