Management Report & Annexes | Basic Information About the Group

6. Sustainability

To us, sustainability basically means future viability and it forms an integral part of our business ­strategy. We are convinced that we can only achieve lasting commercial success if we balance economic growth with ecological and social responsibility.

Responsible business practices are the foundation of the Bayer Group’s sustainable alignment. We can identify and mitigate risks at an early stage by implementing this alignment in the areas of compliance (e.g. anti-corruption and responsible marketing), human resources policy, product stewardship, health, environmental protection and safety, and supplier management. This is one of the key requirements for society’s acceptance of our business. On this basis, we aim to contribute to overcoming global challenges with our innovations, and in so doing develop additional business opportunities.

In addition, we identify opportunities and risks by analyzing the expectations of important stakeholders. We match these up with our own assessment, thereby deriving the relevant fields of action for Bayer. We document the findings in a materiality matrix.

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Online annex: 3-6-1

The analysis takes place through regular dialogue with and surveys of external and internal stakeholders. Within the context of a stakeholder process, we examined, restructured and refocused the existing materiality matrix in 2011 together with an international think tank. This process involved external surveys, internal workshops, benchmarking and analyses. We are planning a new materiality analysis for 2014.

1 New technologies: managing risks & opportunities
2 Commitment to job security
3 Fighting health risks posed by counterfeits
4 Product safety, REACH, monitoring impact of endocrines and active ingredients in the environment, HCFCs and withdrawal of WHO Class I products
5 Innovation to meet customer and societal needs
6 Incl. compliance, integrity, anticorruption, responsible marketing & sales practices
7 Promoting energy efficiency, efficient resource use (e.g. water, energy) and switch to renewables where possible
8 Facilitating greater access to health care through R&D, differentiated pricing, patent protection, collaboration etc.
9 Respect and promotion of human rights throughout the value chain, incl. the abolition of child labor
10 Safeguarding IP while providing access to products and innovations
11 Contributing to sustainable food production, supply and availability
12 Climate protection through mitigation & adaptation
13 Social investment and social volunteering programs
14 Reduced use of animals where possible, commitment to welfare of animals as part of scientific R&D process
15 Comprises employee training & development, remuneration, benefits, recruitment, retention
16 Ensuring a sound diversity of gender, ethnic background etc. of employees
17 Ensuring occupational, process & plant and transportation safety
18 Promoting fair and constructive relations and influencing sustainable behavior in the supply chain, incl. ESG performance and human rights
19 Reducing environmental impacts of products and processes on water, air, soil, supporting biodiversity

Our stakeholder engagement, i.e. the integration of different target groups, provides an important basis and is necessary for better mutual understanding.

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Online annex: 3-6-2

As a socially engaged, globally active company, we know that this understanding can only be achieved through open and transparent dialogue with all relevant stakeholder groups. We view a systematic stakeholder dialogue not only as an important foundation for acceptance, but also above all as a basic condition for enabling us to understand and analyze the viewpoints and expectations of our stakeholders at an early stage. We aim to create trust in our work, and take the views of our stakeholders seriously.

We seek targeted dialogue both with stakeholders who are directly impacted by our business activity and with those who for their part directly or indirectly exert influence on our operations. We divide the main stakeholders with whom we interact into four groups: partners, financial market ­participants, regulators and a wide variety of social interest groups. Below we give an overview of our engagement with the various stakeholder groups relevant to us, drawing on selected examples from 2013.

Stakeholder Dialogue at Bayer (PDF, 675 KB)

Sustainability management and steering

Responsibility for steering and aligning our Group-wide sustainability strategy lies with the Group Management Board member responsible for Innovation, Technology and Sustainability in his function as Chief Sustainability Officer of the Bayer Group, and with the Group Sustainable Development Committee chaired by the Head of Environment & Sustainability in the Corporate Center.

The committee identifies and evaluates sustainability-relevant opportunities and risks for our company, sets targets, draws up initiatives, management systems and regulations and is responsible for monitoring.

Targets and indicators help us to operationalize our strategy and make it measurable. In 2013 we adopted an ambitious program of non-financial objectives that comprises both new and further developed sustainability ­targets along the value chain (see Chapter 1.3 “Targets and Performance Indicators”). This replaces our previous program of targets for 2015, whose degree of achievement is elaborated on in detail online.

Internal Group regulations ensure the implementation of our sustainability principles in business ­operations. These principles are realized through corresponding management systems, regulations and processes at the subgroup level.

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Online annex: 3-6-4

The internal Bayer Group regulations include above all the “Sustainable Development Policy,” our “Human Rights Position,” the “Corporate Compliance Policy,” our “Supplier Code of Conduct,” the “Responsible Marketing & Sales Policy,” our “Directive on Process and Plant Safety,” and positions, for example, on the key issues of climate, water and biodiversity.

To underline our mission as a sustainably operating company, we have committed to internationally ­recognized sustainability initiatives such as the U.N. Global Compact and the Responsible Care™ initiative, and we participate globally in leading (industry) forums such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Last updated: July 28, 2014  Copyright © Bayer AG