Bayer raising bar for transparency and sustainability

12:50 | 15/06/2019
Bayer AG, the global leader in life sciences and innovation, is raising the bar in transparency, sustainability, and engagement, reflecting its heightened responsibility and potentialas a new leader in agriculture.  
bayer raising bar for transparency and sustainability
The aerial view of Bayer Group headquarters

“We are making good progress on integrating the acquired agriculture business and are now starting to implement a series of measures to drive transparency and sustainability across our business,” Werner Baumann, chairman of the Board of Managementof Bayer AG, said on Friday.

“We will continue to advance our standards, driven by our commitment to a better life for this generation and the many generations to come,” he noted.

These measures aim to address the questions and concerns Bayer has heard about its role in agriculture in the year following its acquisition of Monsanto.

Innovation will cut the ecological footprint of Bayer’s agricultural portfolio. With its solutions, the company will reduce its environmental impact by 30 per cent by 2030.

Bayer aims to achieve this by developing new technologies, scaling down crop protection volumes, and enabling more precise application.

This will help to restore and retain biodiversity, combat climate change, and make the most efficient use of natural resources.

The company will measure the progress by comparing the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) against the current market standards.

The EIQ was established in the 1990s by Cornell University (US) and relates product volume to toxicity and therefore represents a more meaningful measure system than volume only.

Bayer will seek to continuously improve the EIQ of its crop solutions by investing in world-class innovation for seeds and traits, digital farming, biological solutions, and new low-residue and reduced rate application products.

Bayer will seek to continuously improve the EIQ of its crop solutions by investing in world-class innovation for seeds and traits, digital farming, biological solutions, and new low-residue and reduced rate application products.

Furthermore, the company will invite global experts and stakeholders to participate in the Bayer Sustainability Council to bolster company-wide efforts.

While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering more choices for growers and will invest approximately €5 billion ($5.6 billion) in additional methods to combat weeds over the next decade.

This R&D investment will go towards improving the understanding of resistance mechanisms, discovering and developing new modes of action, further developing tailored Integrated Weed Management solutions, and developing more precise recommendations through digital farming tools.

In addition, partnerships with weed scientists around the world will be enhanced to help the company develop customised solutions for farmers at the local level.

As transparency is Bayer’s foundation, since 2017 Bayer began releasing all of its safety-related Crop Science studies online for anyone to see.

Since then, it has released hundreds of studies for nearly 30 compounds, including all 107 company-owned glyphosate studies.

Going forward, the company will pilot a programme inviting scientists, journalists, and NGO representatives to participate through its scientific preparation for the upcoming EU glyphosate re-registration process, which will start later this year.

On top of that, the company will apply consistent safety standards to its products. Since 2012, Bayer has stopped selling all products that were considered acute toxicity class 1 by the World Health Organization.

The company announced on Friday that it will only sell crop protection products in developing countries that meet both the safety standards of the target market and the safety standards of the majority of countries with well-developed programmes to regulate crop protection products.

In the coming months, the company will evolve its engagement policies that ground all of its interactions with scientists, journalists, regulators and the political sphere in transparency, integrity and respect.

By Anh Duc

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