Environmental Protection & Preservation
Bayer Strengthens Climate Protection Endeavors
Bayer is expanding its commitment to sustainability and the scope of its reporting on the subject. In the new Sustainable Development Report 2006, Bayer records for the first time indirect greenhouse gas emissions as well as direct emissions, one of the first companies to do so. The Group's climate balance shows that the sum of specific (i.e. related to production volume) direct and indirect emissions dropped by 2.6 percent in 2006 compared with the previous year. The Report also gives in-depth information on the Group's sustainability activities, through which it aims to link commercial success with environmental protection and social responsibility.
Commitment to climate protection
Bayer is strengthening its endeavors to protect the climate and has initiated a Group-wide program. "The Bayer Climate Program aims to demonstrate how our company can make an even greater contribution to solving climate protection problems and dealing with the consequences of climate change," says Bayer Management Board Chairman Werner Wenning. "We want to utilize our multifaceted expertise to develop innovative solutions in this area."
The sum of absolute direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, the latter arising through energy generation by the company's suppliers, has remained virtually constant over the last three years. Bayer was able to maintain this level despite continual increases in production volume, which means that overall specific emissions fell. In its climate reporting, the company aligns itself to the guidelines of the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol).
This commitment to climate protection also meets the expectations of the Group's stakeholders. A stakeholder survey carried out showed that customers, investors, employees, political institutions and non-governmental organizations all wish Bayer to give climate protection top priority. The fact that Bayer is already considered one of the leading companies in this area was confirmed by an independent panel of experts from the Carbon Disclosure Project, who again rated Bayer "best in class" in 2006 and included it once more in its Climate Leadership Index, ranking it best company in its sector. The Carbon Disclosure Project is a global initiative of more than 200 institutional investors who assess the performance of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies with respect to their approach to climate protection and the challenges of climate change.
"We have maintained an intensive commitment to climate protection in the context of our sustainable development strategy for some years," remarks Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, Bayer Management Board member responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment. "Many of our products already help to conserve natural resources and avoid emissions. In future we want to use our power of innovation even more to generate climate-friendly products."
Responsibility for employees and society
Bayer feels a strong responsibility towards its employees all over the world. The reporting of social performance indicators has been extended in the new Sustainable Development Report
. In addition to the areas of employment, training and continuing education and equal opportunity, other indicators such as the coverage of Bayer employees by social security systems and the existence of collective and company agreements are also now included. Last year, social data were collected for 93 percent of Bayer's global workforce. One result was that 99 percent of those included in the survey were covered by a statutory or employer/employee-funded health insurance policy.
The Bayer Human Rights Position stipulates Group-wide corporate principles on working conditions and employee conduct. These include the freedom of association and collective bargaining, compliance with health and safety standards, the prohibition of harassment and discrimination and the zero tolerance of child labor. These principles are especially important in the area of supplier management, which is why Bayer has launched a program in which suppliers are questioned about their ethical, social and ecological standards.
As part of its worldwide corporate social responsibility program, Bayer has strengthened its commitment to education and research. To this end, the company has pooled its existing foundation activities in this area and established a new organization, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation. This supports both talented school and university students and top scientists. Another new foundation, the Bayer Cares Foundation, gives support for social activities.
Bayer is also engaged in working toward improvements in sustainability reporting and for this reason supports the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an official collaborating center of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in its development of international corporate reporting standards. The Bayer Sustainable Development Report 2006 is aligned to the new GRI guidelines. The data collection process was validated by independent auditors from Deloitte.
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