Water Stewardship

Water Security Builds Our Resilience to Climate Change

A water drop

The world’s ecological boundaries are currently being pushed past their limits. Water is not only essential for life on earth, but also for many industry sectors of the global economy and especially for us as a Life Science company. As our global population grows, we need to find sustainable, water-resilient solutions while facing additional pressure from climate change related water challenges with increased droughts and floods.

Our Water Strategy and Commitments

Bayer’s mission of "Health for all, Hunger for none" cannot be fulfilled without water: As a leader in health and agriculture, Bayer has an intrinsic motivation to address the water crisis and is able to make a holistic approach that addresses water as essential to both health and agriculture/food. 


Our holistic water strategy addresses potential water related risks and levers our innovation skills to build business opportunities while adding value to the community.

Our Mid-Term Water Targets

Bayer’s commitments go beyond the company’s own operations and are reflecting its ambition to generate impact. The activities will encompass the entire value chain, from Bayer’s own operations to the farmers Bayer serves. Key elements of the water strategy are:

On average, 70% of global freshwater withdrawals are in agriculture. Bayer commits to drive positive change in water productivity in water scarce regional cropping systems, starting with rice, which is responsible for up to 43 % of the world’s irrigation water withdrawals. The company is committed to improve water use per kilogram of crop by 25% by 2030, by transforming rice-cropping systems for smallholder customers in the relevant regions where Bayer operates. In addition, Bayer’s existing commitments of reducing the environmental impact of its crop protection portfolio by 30% by 2030 also contributes to water quality.

Bayer is developing a concept to integrate water quality and quantity into business decisions and processes that will be rolled out from 2024 onwards. The company will develop a methodology to place a value on water and incorporate it into investment processes. Already in 2021, water and wastewater matters represented approx. 10% of Bayer’s total CapEx projects.

Bayer evaluates the sustainability performance of all key suppliers and of selected high-sustainability-risk suppliers including water as an evaluation criteria. As an important step forward, Bayer has launched its new Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC), with dedicated items to address water and wastewater. At the same time the company will continue to drive improvements in water-use efficiency with growers across seed production.

Bayer is committed to provide safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to all employees at its sites. Bayer will further expand its engagement to selected communities where Bayer operates. Bayer continues to minimize emissions at its sites worldwide, including emissions into wastewater. Beyond that, Bayer has established very strict voluntary discharge limits for active ingredients into wastewater at all sites where they are produced. Bayer will build upon the already existing water management systems to optimize the use of water at relevant sites in water-scarce areas and extend them to sites that are forecasted to be in water-scarce regions by 2030. Bayer will set context relevant water targets for our own operations by 2025 that are to be achieved by 2030.

Addressing the water crisis will require broad-based, joint action from a myriad of stakeholders. Bayer is well connected in the water space via its involvement in the World Meteorological Organization for Water and Climate Leaders, its active participation in the Water Resilience Coalition and also its partnership with activist Mina Guli as  well as with the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), an initiative launched during COP27 at the UNCCD Ministerial Meeting. Bayer will make use of these strong partnerships to assemble and connect the right leaders and ensure appropriate private sector engagement in the upcoming water debate.

Further information regarding our Water Strategy, Water Use and Wastewater Management is available in our Sustainability Report.