Sustainability Firmly Anchored in Our Governance

Sustainability Management

bayer headquarter cross

As the core element of our corporate strategy, sustainability is integrated into all our major processes. This is ensured not just through binding targets and holistic management systems but also through fundamental Group management decisions.

Sustainability is an integral part of our business, operations and standards. Therefore, the entire management is also responsible for sustainability. In his role as Chief Sustainability Officer, the Chairman of the Board of Management is supported by the Public Affairs, Sustainability & Safety 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 our management systems along with internal and external audits ensure that our integrated sustainability governance framework is continuously improved and aligned to the respective requirements.

Governance Structure

Our Sustainability Governance Framework has a holistic approach, ensuring sustainable execution and advancements:

Governance Structure at Bayer

Further details on the strong Governance measures that accompany our sustainability strategy are described in our Sustainability Report.
Additionally, our Corporate Governance is presented in Chapter 2 of the Sustainability Report

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:


  • Identify relevant issues within the context of sustainability
  • Identify trends and developments
  • Measure the outside impression of Bayer’s performance in the context of sustainability / identify weaknesses and the need for improvement
  • Prioritize relevant issues for a new sustainability strategy
  • Satisfy external requirements in accordance with the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG), the German Commercial Code (Sections 289a-298e, Section 315 HGB) and the GRI Standards


The following stakeholder groups were included in the stakeholder survey:


Stakeholder groups


Residents near Bayer sites

Politicians and public authorities


Rating agencies

Bayer management

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)

Consultants / corporate auditors



Representatives / distribution partners




Science / universities / schools




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.