Integration of sustainability at Bayer
Our commitment to uphold the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and the Responsible Care initiative of the chemical industry underlines our adherence to sustainability. These internationally acknowledged sustainability principles and our mission statement "Bayer: Science For A Better Life" give all organizational units and employees a clear orientation framework. The principle of sustainability is therefore also enshrined in our internal Group regulations such as the Bayer Sustainable Development Policy, our position on human rights and labor conditions and our Corporate Compliance Policy.
On this basis we develop Group-wide directives covering issues such as HSEQ audits, donations and process and plant safety designed to ensure that our sustainability strategy is consistently implemented in all parts of the company and along the entire value chain.
The implementation of the directives is definitively supported by efficient management systems in all subgroups and service companies:
HSEQ (health, safety, environment and quality)
To ensure uniformly high health, safety, environment and quality standards, Bayer has established HSEQ management systems that are aligned to acknowledged international standards
. In addition, the subgroups enact systems and rules that address their product-specific requirements.
By continuously updating and expanding HSEQ directives and through internal audits, each organizational unit ensures that its management systems meet the current requirements. The Bayer Group also regularly conducts internal observer audits of the subgroup audit processes.
We continuously develop our Corporate Compliance Program further and support its implementation with various internal Group initiatives. To anchor the theme of compliance more strongly in the leadership organization, we have made it a target attainment criterion in the annual performance appraisal of Group Leadership Circle (GLC) members. As such, it is relevant to the variable compensation component of each GLC member
Sustainable procurement management
The policy guideline of the Group-wide Procurement Community also clearly supports the principles of the UN Global Compact, our values and leadership principles, and Bayer’s position on human rights and labor conditions.
Bayer has combined all of its fundamental sustainability standards and requirements for its suppliers in a Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC). The code is accessible on the Internet and published as a brochure in seven languages, and has been implemented on a step-by-step basis since December 2009. Implementation of the code is steered by the Procurement organization.
The code of conduct comprises the areas of ethics, employee relations, management systems, and health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ). It covers, for example, the prohibition of corruption and child labor, the observation of human rights, the assurance of product and workplace safety and health protection, and the responsible use of natural resources.
Prior to the publication of the code, strategic purchasers around the Group were acquainted with its contents and with the supplier selection and evaluation procedure in a web-based training course based on specific examples. So far, more than 1,100 employees from 37 countries – or nearly 100 percent of the relevant purchaser group – have participated in the training course, which consists of three modules.
Our procedure for selecting and evaluating suppliers specifies in detail the four-step method for implementing the code of conduct. In the first step, our purchasers notify suppliers of the new code. After that, the risks existing in the supplier country are determined using a special Bayer Country Sustainability Risk Index. The third step is the assessment of performance: our purchasers evaluate the individual suppliers’ specific sustainability achievements and risks using a questionnaire.
By the end of 2009, 116 suppliers had been evaluated according to this new procedure in a globally coordinated manner. In 2010, we plan to assess more than 150 further suppliers. Additional suppliers are evaluated through country- and subgroup-specific projects.
The fourth step involves the use of the results of the questionnaire to determine whether respective suppliers meet Bayer’s requirements or whether it is necessary to work with them to develop them further and establish goals. Bayer undertakes to maintain close and productive cooperation with its suppliers. However, if all efforts to develop a certain supplier fail and the plan of action cannot be implemented within the agreed timeframe, a termination of the contractual relationship is considered. In addition, our Quick Check Tool for New Suppliers – a first-time evaluation of new suppliers – is available for those who have not yet worked together with Bayer.
To introduce the supplier code, information events and workshops have already been held for our suppliers in Germany and Spain and at sites in China and India.
The steering of opportunities and risks is an integral part of the Group-wide management system
. In addition, the subgroups enact systems and standards that address their specific requirements.