Bayer Climate Program makes great advances
Climate protection projects rigorously implemented / Commitment to global health care provision / EUR 45 million spent annually to support 300 social projects worldwide / EUR 500,000 per year alone to support schools in the local communities / Report meets highest international standard.
Leverkusen.– Bayer is reaffirming its commitment to sustainable development. ”We can only be successful as a company in the long term if our business activities are balanced with the social needs of humanity and the ecological demands of our time,” said Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment, at the presentation of Bayer’s new Sustainable Development Report at a News Conference in Berlin. The new report provides comprehensive information on the Group’s global sustainability activities, results and objectives.
Plischke once again pledged the Group’s dedication to climate protection: “Our goal is to continue growing without placing an additional burden on the global climate.”
Current estimates suggest that absolute greenhouse gas emissions of the Bayer Group will remain at the present level through 2020 despite a growth in production. Similarly, specific CO2 emissions per metric ton of product are to be correspondingly reduced, for example with measures to further increase energy efficiency in production.
Between 1990 and 2007, the company already lowered its absolute emissions by 37 percent. Bayer is currently the only European chemical company to be included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index, the world’s first global climate protection index.
“We want to meet our claim to be an inventor company in climate protection too. We are therefore pleased with the good progress we have made with the first projects of our Bayer Climate Program,” said Plischke.
Bayer Climate Program: Climate-friendlier production, zero-emission buildings and plant-based energy resources
One of these “lighthouse projects” is the Bayer Climate Check designed to analyze and reduce CO2 emissions in industrial production. Bayer plans to assess its global production facilities by the end of 2009 using this new measurement tool, which also includes raw materials, logistics and energy consumption in its CO2 emissions analysis.
A CO2 reduction potential of roughly 10 percent has already been identified in a pilot phase in Germany involving five plants. Other companies too have shown interest in the Bayer Climate Check system, which has been certified by the German inspection agency TÜV.
A second project is the “EcoCommercial Building”, a concept for zero-emission buildings. In India Bayer is constructing an administrative building for its own use that will require 70 percent less electricity than comparable structures. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009. A key role here is being played by the insulation based on raw materials from Bayer. The building will meet its residual energy requirement through the emission-free generation of solar energy. What is special about this concept is that it can be adapted to the world’s different climate zones. In Germany, too, the EcoCommercial Building has met with specific interest.
With its jatropha plant project, Bayer is pursuing an approach to the use of plant-based energy resources. Jatropha can grow on barren land that is not suitable for growing food plants. While it is inedible, its seeds contain 30 percent oil, which can be used to produce biodiesel. In a research collaboration Bayer is to join forces with farmers to explore the possible use of crop protection products in the cultivation and sustainable growing of jatropha.
“We will continue to resolutely implement the manifold activities of the Bayer Climate Program across the world,” Plischke announced. At the end of 2008, Bayer will present the inaugural Bayer Climate Award, the first international climate award for scientists, which includes EUR 50,000 in prize money. This will reward research scientists who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the climate and dealing with climate change.
Sustainable Development Report 2007: Economic, ecological and social concerns
In its new 100-page Sustainable Development Report, Bayer gives key data from the safety and environmental protection fields. Despite an increase in production volume worldwide of five percent, Bayer has kept CO2 emissions to around the same level as in the previous year, with an increase of only one percent. Specific CO2 emissions per metric ton of product fell by 2.7 percent. Emissions into water held practically steady despite the increased production volume.
Bayer has also achieved positive results in occupational and environmental safety. The number of industrial injuries resulting in lost working days per million hours worked dropped in 2007 to 2.4, from 2.8 in the previous year. The number of reportable environmental incidents declined from eight to three.
To ensure the completeness and the systematic and transparent nature of reporting on its sustainable development activities, Bayer adheres to the internationally recognized guidelines of the “Global Reporting Initiative.” The GRI examined the report itself and gave it an “A+” – the highest possible rating. Bayer has also had its new Sustainable Development Report certified by corporate auditors Ernst & Young. “For many years Bayer AG has successfully faced up to the challenges of sustainable development and has integrated the sustainability factor into its corporate strategy,“ said Rudolf X. Ruter, partner at Ernst & Young, in Berlin. “Ernst & Young has checked the main qualitative and quantitative statements of the Key Issues and Performance Report with regard to plausibility and consistency,” added Ruter.
Supplier and customer management is another important component of Bayer’s sustainability commitment. “We do not just select our suppliers according to quality and prices, but also based on whether they live up to their responsibility toward employees, society and the environment,” Plischke explained. For example, Bayer regularly reviews whether its carriers comply with the relevant safety requirements and offers customers special safety training for their employees.
“We currently support more than 300 social projects worldwide with funding of EUR 45 million yearly. Key areas of focus here are education, health promotion – including sports – and environmental protection,” stated Plischke.
For instance, Bayer is active in the field of global health care provision. The company endeavors to ensure that people in all regions of the world have access to medicines.
For this reason Bayer sets aside medicines and funds for international aid programs supporting issues as varied as self-determination in the use of contraceptives, the fight against Chagas’ disease and the development of a new treatment for tuberculosis.
Education is another issue to which Bayer accords high priority. Through the Bayer Science & Education Foundation the company launched a special school support program last year. Bayer provides annual funding of about EUR 500,000 to specifically support projects designed to enable modern scientific teaching at German schools in the communities in which its sites are located. Said Plischke: “Thus the company makes a lasting contribution to improving the education situation in Germany.”
In addition, the company cooperates with respected organizations in its global sustainability endeavors. Bayer has maintained a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the area of youth and environment for several years, and, together with National Geographic, the world’s largest charitable organization in the scientific field, Bayer has set up a research fund to encourage ideas for protecting drinking water.
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