Management and Governance

Sustainability Management

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 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.


Responsible Business Practices and Code of Conduct

Responsible business practices are the fundamental basis of our actions. The Bayer Societal Engagement (BASE) principles are our strong code of conduct. They address our core interactions with our stakeholders and include:


  • How we drive Innovation
  • How we act in the workplace
  • How we conduct our business
  • How we interact with our customers, patients and the consumers of our products
  • How we interact with media, legislators, regulators and civil society organizations
  • How we interact with shareholders


Sustainability, transparency, human rights and diversity & inclusion are essential elements of BASE.


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:


  • 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.