When you hear “sustainability,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is the environment. But sustainability is much bigger than that. It also includes economic and social sustainability and a shared commitment to ensure everyone benefits equitably. The urgent push toward a sustainable future requires participation from the most prominent corporations to individual people.


Sure, that might seem overwhelming, but it’s actually an exciting opportunity! People from all kinds of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives are actively engaged in developing cool new innovations, both big and small, with the potential to move us toward a better world


To help you get excited, we’ve created 100 things you may or may not know about sustainability, as well as how companies like Bayer are pursuing innovations to meet those challenges. Here you’ll find things you might not know, like inspiring ideas and efforts already underway toward building and growing a more sustainable future.


What are your sustain-abilities?

Discover incredible feats, giant leaps and recent breakthroughs that define TRUE sustainability and how you can contribute to actual progress.


Defining Sustainability

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Defining sustainability

Sustainability is defined by what’s called the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet and Profit. In other words, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability.


Economic sustainability

Doing good and having financial success go hand in hand. 



Social sustainability

Everyone has a stake in addressing issues like poverty and bias to create a culture of equity.


Environmental sustainability

We only have one planet Earth, and how we live our lives and the ways we operate our businesses can ensure its long-term health. 

Crop Science

The global population in 1950 was about 2.5 billion people and is expected to be nearly 10 billion by 2050. That’s a lot of people to feed. The world will require a host of unique and innovative solutions to ensure everyone has access to nutritious food. Crop science plays a big role in how we meet the needs of the future.

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1 teaspoon 

Whether you own a 10,000 acre farm or a backyard garden, soil health is critical. A teaspoon of healthy soil has more living organisms than there are people on Earth.




Smallholder farms, defined as farms that are two hectares of land or less, make up 84% of the world’s farms and produce about 35% of the global food supply.


No spoilers

⅓ of the food produced for humans goes to waste. Crops like Whitex cauliflower can remain in the field longer without spoiling and it retains its bright whiteness and flavor even when in storage.


Digital farming 

The Bayer Foundation supports the Agrifin Digital Farmer initiative to connect small-scale farmers, especially women and young farmers, to products and services that increase their productivity and income by 50%.



Bayer’s digital agriculture platform, ForGround, offers resources to advance the adoption of climate smart agriculture. Bayer  helps farmers manage practices that  improve soil health, increase water availability and reduce soil erosion.


Extra Credit

Farmers who enroll in Bayer’s Carbon Program get paid for climate-positive practices and might also see improved soil quality on their farms and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration.


Cloud Cover

Bayer's Climate FieldView harnesses cloud-based data to help farmers collect planting, harvest and spraying application data to analyze what is working well and, more importantly, what isn't.



Through genomics and DNA printing technology, Leaps by Bayer and its partners at Ginkgo Bioworks are creating nitrogen-fixing crops that will help reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer farmers put into the environment.



Our natural resources are finite, which means we’re going to need bold innovations to figure out new ways to sustain our homes and communities. Meeting these challenges requires everyone from CEOs to individuals to rethink how we use our resources.

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Material world 

Building green is becoming big business. The global green construction market accounted for $290 billion in 2021 and is projected to leap to $774 billion by 2030 as the popularity of efficient, sustainable development grows.



Diesel-powered buses are a major source of air pollution and replacing them is one of the fastest ways to eliminate greenhouse gasses. Nearly 400 U.S. school districts will get $1 billion from the 2021 infrastructure law to replace old diesel buses with clean-energy buses.


Nice Rice

Mississippi’s Modern Mill uses a waste product created from rice production to create a wood alternative called Acre. The product could help meet the growing demand for affordable wood products, replacing the current options contributing to deforestation.


Tapped out 

Between 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns. Rethink how much you water your lawn. Make sure your faucets aren’t leaking. See if your appliances are working properly.


Green is Good

Energy-efficient tech is becoming more affordable, helping more consumers shift to renewables like solar and weaning our economy off dirty, unsustainable fuels. Since 2010, the cost of residential solar energy systems has dropped by 64%.


Solar Shingles

GAF Energy, a subsidiary of one of the biggest roofing companies on the planet, is making solar shingles that can be nailed directly into your roof like regular shingles. The company hopes the less invasive alternative to panels will hasten homeowners’ transition.




The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that American families use an average of 82 gallons of water a day. That’s enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses.


No paper

It takes 47 gallons of water to produce one ream of paper, and 40 reams of paper destroy about 1.5 acres of pine forest. Go paperless where you can by removing yourself from mailing lists, recycle, unsubscribe from catalogs, switch to digital media.



Eating less meat might be the most significant thing we can all do to help the planet. If every person in the U.S. reduced the amount of meat they ate by 25 percent, it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1%.




Bayer committed to reducing paper waste by transforming 100% of its packaging for over-the-counter drugs and supplements to recyclable or reusable by 2030.


Climate Change

While sustainability isn’t all about the environment, climate change is a critical piece of the sustainability puzzle. Creating a sustainable climate means finding cleaner, more efficient ways to harness energy, food and resources in ways that will allow humanity to remediate the damage already done. It also means changing the way companies do business.



Did you know that 60% of all food waste in the U.S. happens in the residential setting? Changing your shopping habits, using everything you buy, and composting can help reduce global food waste.



Close to 70% of greenhouse gas emissions on tropical lands is due to deforestation, forest degradation and agricultural expansion.


2.5 million

The Center for International Forestry Research says 2.5 million acres of land are converted into “fast-wood” forests to meet the growing demands for timber in cheap furniture and other products.


Track It

Want to see who’s polluting your community? Climate Trace used satellite imagery, AI and data to create the world’s first searchable, independent accounting of greenhouse gas emissions.



Government programs might help ease the financial burden of your green-home upgrades. See if your local or state government offers grants or tax credits for climate-smart appliances by visiting 


Rules rule

It might get easier to see sustainability efforts of the companies in which you’re invested. The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules that would require public companies to disclose extensive climate-related info in their filings.


Nutrition & Health

Everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy life, but it can be hard to make good decisions all the time. Here are some tips to sustain your personal well-being, and to build healthier communities too.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 6.2% of the American population lives in a food desert, meaning access to groceries and healthy food is limited. Fixing this requires investment in urban agriculture, tax incentives for grocery stores and an expanded food safety net.


Pro Protein 

U.S. foodtech startup Amfora, with funding from Leaps by Bayer, is developing products like high-protein soybeans designed to help meet the growing demand for animals and humans.


What’s the beef? 

Nobody’s asking you to give up meat. However, thinking about where your food comes from is important to sustainable nutrition. Invest in community-supported agriculture to cut down on the distance your food travels from farm to fork.


Unlucky 13

The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health says if the U.S. healthcare sector was its own nation, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions. However, tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the century.



Since 2015, Bayer has partnered with Luke Bryan to help fight hunger across the U.S. Since its inception, the #HeresToTheFarmer campaign has donated 6 million meals to Feeding America and $180,000 to member food banks and local farmers.


Plant to Fork 

While “cultured meat” might sound straight out of sci-fi, products like Fork & Goode’s cell-based meat can reduce carbon emissions up to 50% and reduce the amount of land use by 70%.


Firm Commitments

Bayer’s Ansal tomato variety lowered post-harvest losses in India by about 30% to 10% which reduced the greenhouse gas emissions per unit of tomato by about 25%.


Less is Mori

Mori created an edible food wrap that behaves like plastic but is made from natural silk protein. The biodegradable product can keep food fresh as it’s shipped to stores.


It’s Alive 

Living packaging could be the answer to eliminating plastic food storage. The material can be grown anywhere, creates a great oxygen barrier for food storage and can be composted right along with food waste.



Grocery stores throw out an alarming amount of food. Flashfood allows shoppers to browse food items nearing their best before date, buy them at a discount and pick them up at the store.


Social Sustainability

Everything you do impacts the world around you. Most of us live in communities where the impacts of our everyday and business decisions ripple out into the world, affecting people in ways we often don’t consider. Check out these ways that we can help lift people and create a more equitable and sustainable life for all.


100 Million 

Half the world's population doesn't have access to health services. Bayer's Consumer Health is committed to enabling access to everyday health for 100 million people per year by 2030 in underserved communities.


Hope in the Desert 

Since 2010, Bayer’s America’s Farmers program has given $65 million in small grants to non-profits, schools and youth ag organizations for everything from STEM education to funding food banks in underserved communities.


Digital Divide 

23% of Americans don’t have reliable broadband access at home. Thankfully, the U.S. is investing $65 billion in infrastructure spending to ensure everyone has the ability to compete for jobs, attend school online and participate in our economy. 


Long Covid

Long COVID poses trillions in risk to the economy with as many as 40% percent of Americans reporting symptoms. Better data and tracking, robust access to treatment and expanded sick leave and disability insurance could help soften the blow.


Climate Justice

Does your city have a sustainability director? The Urban Sustainability Directors Network represents 250 communities across North America. One of its tenants is engaging local governments to build equitable, resilient and sustainable communities.


Balancing Act 

Respect the down-time. Striving to create a better work-life balance for you or your workers means healthier people, increased productivity, and staff retention. 



Sustainability is good for business. Through operational changes like increasing renewable resources or using electric vehicles in their fleets, most businesses save money. Also, businesses with an environmental commitment to do their part to keep the planet healthy tend to attract the best talent, customers and partners.

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35% More

Are your customers purpose-driven? On average, 70% of consumers who consider themselves purpose-driven shoppers say they are willing to pay a 35% premium for sustainable goods and services.


Lobby Smart 

40% of U.S. companies say they have started incorporating climate-change concerns into their lobbying and political donations.


No Progress, No Investment

74% of investors said they are more likely to divest from a company if it has poor sustainability practices than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Get SDGs

Does your business align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals? The U.S. and China are behind other nations in adopting SDGs. Both nations have 110 top corporations, but only about 57.0 percent of them engage with SDGs.



Invest in companies that generate positive social and environmental impact. The “impact investment” market currently stands at $1.164 trillion. Half of those funds are located in the U.S. and Canada.


B Corp 

Becoming a B Corp is a way to show your company meets high standards of performance, accountability, and transparency as it relates to how employees are treated, your charitable giving and your supply chain practices.



While you shouldn’t take on the entire burden of saving the planet on your own, there are things we can do in our homes and in our neighborhoods that can help create cleaner, more livable communities. You might be surprised to learn that a few tweaks to your daily routines can have a pretty significant impact (and maybe save you a little cash).

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Take action  

One of the most effective ways to a sustainable future is a government that puts a priority on climate issues. It’s not enough to hear candidates’ promises. Check to see which industries are funding those you support.


Don’t rinse

No, you do not have to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Morgan Eberhard of P&G Home Care brands says that if all dishwasher owners in the U.S. stopped pre-rinsing, we could save up to 150 billion gallons of water a year.



Driving alone remains the most common mode of transportation in the U.S. According to 2016 Census data, 76% of commuters drive solo, but only 9% carpool. Hitch a ride with co-workers and help reduce emissions and congestion.


Short shower

A typical shower uses 5 to 10 gallons of water every minute. Water-efficient products with the EPA WaterSense Label are at a minimum 20% more water efficient than average products in that category. You can use this search tool to find EPA-approved products.


The greenest yard

A typical suburban lawn consumes about 10,000 gallons of water each year (not including rainwater). Water-smart landscaping can reduce both how much water you use and how much money you spend.


Make sense

WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers tailor watering schedules to local weather conditions. The average family can save nearly 9,000 gallons of water annually by replacing a standard clock timer controller with a WaterSense-labeled model.



The things we do today as a nation and a global community will ripple through time, and the clock is ticking on our ability to address the problems facing our climate, food systems and health. So while we need to manage the present, there is always room for thinking ahead to how the world could look in the coming decades and how we’ll adapt to the things that are changing that we can’t control.  

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Less Parking 

Some cities, like Oslo, removed hundreds of parking spots in its downtown and replaced them with everything from bike lanes to tiny parks. It encourages citizens and visitors to use public transit or cleaner ways to travel short distances.


In the Dumps

Using less has never been more important. The ever-expanding human race is expected to produce 27 billion tons of municipal solid waste by 2050. 


40 Years

At current rates, it will take women and men to be equally represented in national political leadership around the globe. In 2021, the White House created the Gender Policy Council to lead the development of the nation's first National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. 


Waste Not

Tech might help reduce food waste at home. Startups like EIDOS foresee a smartphone app that scans grocery receipts and lets you know when your groceries are about to spoil. The app will suggest recipes for your expiring food.


Living to Dye

Colorifix says it's created a way to use bacteria to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals used to dye clothing and says its process also uses 90% less water than conventional dyeing.

Dying to Live

Cemeteries require a lot of water and landscaping resources. Humans destroy 4 million acres of wood a year to build caskets. Companies like Capsula Mundi and Transcend are marketing organic solutions to our disappearing forests with burials that feed trees.

14 min read