09:59 AM

Three new members join Bayer’s Sustainability Council

Personnel changes on independent expert panel:


Agnes Binagwaho, Dante Pesce and Jeffrey Ubben appointed to independent Sustainability Council / New personnel enhance the council’s subject matter expertise in key focus areas such as access to medicine, human rights and sustainable finance / Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Liz Jarman, and Anushka Ratnayake step down from the sustainability council 

Leverkusen, February 27, 2023 – Bayer welcomes Agnes Binagwaho, Dante Pesce and Jeffrey Ubben as three new members of its independent external Sustainability Council. Three members of the expert panel – Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Liz Jarman and Anushka Ratnayake – will step down from the council.

Bayer is aiming to achieve ambitious sustainability targets by 2030, focusing on the environment, women, smallholder farmers, and people in underserved regions. To support this, an independent external Sustainability Council has been advising the Board of Management and other functions within the company on sustainability matters since 2020. It provides guidance on the contribution that Bayer can make with its research and development and has independently examined the progress made by Bayer in the implementation of its sustainability targets. The Council also promotes cooperation with networks in the fields of society, teaching, business and politics.

Agnes Binagwaho, Dante Pesce and Jeffrey Ubben are set to join the council and will contribute their expertise in the areas of access to medicine, human rights and sustainable finance:

  • Agnes Binagwaho is a co-founder and former vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity. She is a global expert on equitable health with many decades of experience in academia and high-level governmental positions. She has served 17 years in high-level governmental positions across the Rwanda Health Sector, including as Minister of Health. Binagwaho was named among the 100 Most Influential African Women for 2020 and 2021.
  • Dante Pesce is a senior strategic advisor on human rights and responsible business conduct for the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and former chair & member of the UN working group on Business and Human Rights. He brings a wealth of experience in academia and actively collaborated in the development of international standards such as for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was responsible for the evaluation of the first 10 years of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as well as the UNGP10+ strategy.
  • Jeffrey Ubben is a Founder and the Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager of Inclusive Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on increasing shareholder value and promoting sound environmental, social and governance practices. Previously, Ubben was a Founder and the Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager of ValueAct Capital. To date, Ubben has served on more than 20 public company boards. In addition, Ubben serves on the boards of Duke University, the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, and formerly served as Chair of the National Board of the Posse Foundation for nine years.

“We are happy to welcome Agnes Binagwaho, Dante Pesce and Jeffrey Ubben to the Sustainability Council,” says Matthias Berninger, Global Head of Public Affairs, Science, Sustainability, Health, Safety & Environment at Bayer. “They will bring highly complementary expertise and add significant knowledge and diversity. We are looking forward to challenging discussions, supporting Bayer in its sustainable transformation. At the same time, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Liz Jarman, and Anushka Ratnayake. They have played a decisive role in firmly anchoring the Sustainability Council at Bayer in recent years.”

“I'm looking forward to working with the council. I like the fact that it is very diverse. I will contribute to global views and reflections, bringing my expertise on health care in Africa and worldwide. Since Bayer's sustainability goals focus particularly on low- and middle-income countries, I am convinced that we can achieve a lot together to improve health outcomes across the world,” said Agnes Binagwaho.

“Acknowledgment and management of human rights risks are core elements for trust in a company and are fundamental for its sustainability. Guided by the accepted international standards, such as the OECD due diligence guidelines and the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights, the transformation of a company like Bayer can succeed. I am happy to be involved in this process,” emphasizes Dante Pesce.

“Matthias Berninger’s leadership with the Bayer Sustainability Council further inspires our meaningful investment in Bayer, and I look forward to working more closely with the other Council members. I am personally excited about the company’s research and development strengths that positively address human and planetary health. In particular, Bayer’s Crop Science division holds great potential to minimize the need for further deforestation by increasing the current arable land’s productivity”, said Jeffrey Ubben

The Sustainability Council meets twice a year with members of the Board of Management. Its members also provide ad hoc support to Bayer on key sustainability issues. The council’s assessments are documented in the Sustainability Council’s annual reports.


Returning members of the Bayer Sustainability Council are:

Ashok Gulati, Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Suzanne Hunt, President of HuntGreen LLC.

Christian Klein, Council Chair, Professor for Sustainable Finance at the University of Kassel.

Carolyn Miles, gender equality consultant and former CEO of Save the Children USA.

Sabine Miltner, Council Chair, Program Director Conservations and Markets Initiatives at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Jeff Seabright, co-founder and partner at Imagine.

You can find further information about the independent external Sustainability Council at https://www.bayer.com/en/sustainability/sustainability-council.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2021, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 44.1 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.



Sign up for our Newsletter

We will keep you informed about the latest news.