Protecting the Environment
- At a Glance
- Strategy & Targets
- ESG Ratings and Rankings
- Climate, Environment and Safety
Management & Governance
- Sustainability Management
- Bayer Sustainability Council
- ESG Committee
- Stakeholder Dialogue
- UN Global Compact
- Group Regulations
- Protection of Biodiversity
- Modern Slavery Act Statement
- Position on Global Product Strategy
- Position on Responsible Care
- Bayer Water Position
- Position on Deforestation and Forest Degradation
- Postion on Insect Decline
- Raising the Bar on Crop Protection Safety Standards
- UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Position on Sustainable Beef Production
- Supplier Management
- Societal Engagement
We meet our responsibility to protect the environment in many different ways. We are continuously working to reduce the environmental impact of our business activities and develop product solutions that benefit the environment. For us, an efficient approach to raw materials and energy makes both ecological and economic sense. Our measures help reduce environmental impact and at the same time cut the costs associated with materials, energy, emissions and disposal.
Responsibility for steering and monitoring health, safety and environmental protection (HSE) across the Group lies with the enabling function of the same name. It establishes targets, key performance indicators and framework conditions in the form of corporate policies – such as "HSE Management and HSE Key Requirements" - and other measures. HSE management systems are integrated into business processes across the Bayer Group. Operational implementation is effected in the divisions. The continuous review and revision of corporate policies by the HSE function and regular mandatory internal audits and external certification processes ensure that the systems at all sites meet the requirements in each case. Read more about it in our Sustainability Report.
Climate change affects us all and is one of the greatest challenges that humankind will face in the future. Bayer considers climate protection and the related reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to be a top priority. We anticipate that our business areas of health care and agriculture will be impacted by climate change but will also be part of the solution.
Bayer supports the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) with respect to reporting on this topic. In our report, we implement the 11 recommendations of the TCFD in the four categories of Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics & Targets. For more information, please see our separate TCFD report.
Our energy needs have the greatest direct impact on our greenhouse gas emissions. Production accounts for the most significant share of our energy requirement, which depends on the production operations at the sites and the depth of our value chain.
Among the targets we have set within the context of our climate strategy is to cover 100% of purchased electricity needs with renewable energies by 2030. To achieve this objective, we have produced a catalogue of criteria such as physical proximity to the production plant and additionality.
In 2021, around 24.7% of our purchased electricity was sourced from renewable energies. We concluded additional supply agreements for electricity from renewable energies in the United States, Brazil and Germany in 2021. We are thus on track to achieve our target of 100% in 2029. Compared with 2020 (35.9 petajoules), Bayer’s total energy consumption fell by 2.9% to 34.8 petajoules in 2021. This includes both primary energy consumption, mainly of fossil fuels, and secondary energy consumption. This decline compared to 2020 is primarily due to interruptions in pro-duction as a result of Hurricane Ida at the sites in Soda Springs, Idaho, and Luling, Louisiana, in the United States. A reduction in the number of vehicles in the company fleet also contributed.
Energy management systems such as ISO 50001 also help to identify potential energy savings in production processes, as well as when developing new production processes and converting exist-ing ones. This not only conserves valuable energy resources, but also takes into account economic factors associated with long-term savings. In our Report to CDP we also describe projects to save energy that were implemented at various sites.
Discover more about our climate commitments.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
At Bayer, air emissions are primarily caused by the combus-tion of primary energy sources such as gas and oil. These are used to generate electricity, steam and auxiliary energy (such as for heating and cooling) for the manufacture of our products. Further emissions derive from chemical processes in which coal and other energy sources are required to pro-duce chemical reactions. Emissions are also generated by our vehicle fleet and in the extraction and processing of raw materials. In reporting greenhouse gas emissions, we take into ac-count the recommendations of the Greenhouse Gas Proto-col (GHG Protocol). Direct emissions from our own power plants, vehicles, waste incineration plants and production facilities (Scope 1) and indirect emissions from the procure-ment of electricity, steam and cooling energy (Scope 2) are determined at all environmentally relevant sites whose an-nual consumption exceeds 1.5 terajoules. In this connection, we have drafted Group regulations for the Group-wide recording of greenhouse gas emissions. In line with the GHG Protocol, we report indirect emissions (Scope 2) according to both the location-based and market-based methods. Bayer’s greenhouse gas emissions fell further in 2021 com-pared to 2020. We succeeded in reducing our own Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 11.5%, or around 410,000 metric tons, particularly by increasing the share of our electricity derived from renewable energies. Overall, we have already reduced our own emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 15.7% compared with the reference year 2019.
We address our climate protection activities in our latest Report to CDP
(formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
Water and Wastewater
Responsible water usage is a cornerstone of our commitment to sustainable development and is described in the Group Regulation on HSE Management and HSE Key Requirements. Clean water in sufficient quantities is essential for the health of people, animals and plants. That is why it is crucial that industrial water usage will continue not to lead to local problems such as water shortages for the people living in the catchment areas of our production sites. In our Water Position, we undertake to comply with international, national and local legislation to protect water resources, use them as sparingly as possible and further reduce emissions into water.
In our water stewardship strategy, we address a variety of factors connected with water, from operational water use and innovative products, such as drought-resistant crops with a reduced water requirement, to our commitment in the value chain and cooperation with partners. We support the CEO Water Mandate of the U.N. Global Compact with the goal of working with key stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies for water usage. Since 2021, furthermore, we have been a member of the Water Resilience Coalition (WRC), the goals of which substantiate and supplement the ambitions of the CEO Water Mandate at the private-sector level. We also participate in the Water and Climate Leaders group of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to improve the global political framework and enhance the perceived relevance of this issue among the public. We are currently further developing our water strategy to better address the opportunities and risks associated with water stewardship in the future, especially in view of changing climatic conditions.
Discover more in our sustainability report, chapter 8.3
In our annual response to the CDP Water Disclosure, we report in detail on our handling of water and the company-specific water footprint. This equates to a progress report for the CEO Water Mandate. We received an A-rating in 2021.
Bayer‘s products and services are designed to help people thrive within the planetary boundaries. We want to contribute to decrease the environmental footprint within our operations and our value chain. To accomplish this ambition, we are advancing our sustainable packaging activities.
Key actions are reducing, designing for recycling, recollecting and reusing / usage of recycling material, and responsible sourcing.
We are aligned with the circular economy principles of Minimize (waste and pollution), Recirculate (circulate products and materials – at their highest value), Regenerate (reduce emissions and regenerate natural systems), and Partnerships (collaboration across the value chain).
The agricultural, pharmaceutical as well as the self-care sector are highly regulated, operating effectively within an evidence-based framework to maintain the highest standards. Bayer uses a variety of materials for its product packaging, with the most common being paper and plastic. Within our area of influence, we seek to address sustainable packaging along the value chain.
Sustainable packaging should offer maximum functionality with the best possible product protection, avoiding health and safety risks, cause minimal ecological impact, and be as circular as possible. We support regulatory frameworks and policy initiatives that promote and incentivize innovative sustainable packaging technologies, processes and business models, digitalization, strengthens industry competitiveness and reflects evolving market conditions.
Our divisions contribute to sustainable packaging in various ways:
The Consumer Health division is implementing an approach emphasizing recycling, reducing, being responsible and replacing and has set the following targets by / for 2030: a) 100% of Bayer Consumer Health’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable, b) all packaging will include consumer-friendly recycling information, c) include an average of 50% recycled content, and d) 100% of purchased paper will be sustainably sourced.
The division also signed the Global Self-Care Federation’s Environmental Sustainability charter, to encourage industry-wide progress on the most material environmental challenges of the self-care industry, including sustainable packaging. Further information can be found here .
Our pharmaceutical business with prescription medication operates in a strictly regulated environment. Packaging is strictly oriented toward functional requirements, has unique challenges and a lower reduction potential. Pharmaceuticals works continuously to reduce the ecological footprint in packaging and production. A great achievement, incorporating circular principles, was the new packaging design of our radioactive product Xofigo, where we are saving 38t of lead per year, while keeping the packaging safe for patients and the environment. Further information on our activities within pharmaceuticals can be found here .
Due to the chemical composition of our crop protection products, the Crop Science Product Supply Team must ensure the compliance of our packaging with the UN Regulations for Dangerous Goods Transportation. Beyond these boundaries, we are constantly striving to enhance sustainability of our chemical and seeds packaging in terms of weight reduction, use of recycled materials as well as design for recyclability. As an example, related to Product Stewardship and Enhanced Producer Responsibility, the Bayer Crop Science team has been focusing on ensuring that used containers are properly emptied, rinsed and dispose. Bayer supports programs worldwide to foster the safe recollection and disposal or - even better - recycling of empty packaging and containers. Users can learn about product container disposal opportunities through information on our labels and/or Material Safety Data Sheets. In collaboration with the industry association CropLife International, Bayer supports the establishment of Container Management Systems for used crop protection containers particularly in countries without suitable collection or disposal programs, for example in Asia, Africa and some Latin American countries. Under coordination of CropLife International, the crop protection industry could achieve a global collection of 800,000 metric tons of plastic packaging since 2005. Further information at Crop Science Product Stewardship .