Independent external council to advise Bayer’s Board of Management on consistent implementation of its sustainability targets
An independent Sustainability Council will advise the Board of Management of Bayer AG and other functions within the company in all sustainability matters. The Council is a major part of the greater commitment to sustainability that Bayer announced last year.
“I would like to welcome the first nine internationally recognized experts to our new Sustainability Council, and look forward to working together with them,” says Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management and Chief Sustainability Officer at Bayer. “Their great expertise will help us to systematically develop sustainability as a cornerstone of our strategic alignment, and enable us to respect our planet’s boundaries, reach out to those who are in need and foster partnerships and alliances.”
The Sustainability Council will help Bayer further develop the sustainability elements of its business strategy and provide guidance on the contribution that Bayer can make with its research and development. It will independently examine the progress made by Bayer in the implementation of its sustainability targets and oversee the advancement of social innovations by the Bayer foundations. The Council shall also promote cooperation with networks in the areas of society, education, industry and politics.
“Last year we set ourselves ambitious quantitative sustainability targets to be achieved by 2030, focused especially on environmental aspects as well as on women, smallholder farmers, and people in underserved regions. I am very proud that we were able to gain the services of such recognized experts for our Council, with tremendous knowledge and experience concerning precisely these objectives,” says Matthias Berninger, head of Public Affairs and Sustainability.
In order to perform their work, the members of the Sustainability Council will receive access to relevant documents and experts within the company. The Sustainability Council will be familiarized with its tasks and the company in the coming months and will meet twice yearly. These meetings will also be attended by Werner Baumann and other members of the Board of Management. Furthermore, the members of the Council will individually support Bayer in specific matters. The Council will comprise between ten and 12 members in the long term and will report annually on the progress of its work.
Ambitious targets through 2030
In accordance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, Bayer has set itself ambitious targets that it aims to achieve by 2030. Few companies are as well placed as Bayer to make a contribution to both improving human health and feeding the growing global population, in line with the company’s vision: “health for all, hunger for none.” Bayer believes its economic success can go hand in hand with the welfare of increasing numbers of people in all the world’s regions while at the same time preserving ecological resources.
Bayer aims to:
- support 100 million small-holder farmers by giving them access to innovations, knowledge and partnerships;
- enable responsible family planning for 100 million women in low- and medium-income countries;
- give 100 million people in underserved communities improved access to everyday health care products;
- help reduce both the greenhouse gas emissions in large agricultural markets and the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 percent;
- become climate-neutral and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the value chain.
The company pursues and reports on its sustainability targets with the same vigor and dedication as it devotes to achieving its financial targets.
The members of Bayer’s external Sustainability Council:
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Associate Professor for Ecology at the University of Brasilia. Dias can draw on more than three decades of experience in biodiversity science and policy, including as Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and as National Secretary for Biodiversity and Forests in Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment. He also holds numerous positions in national and international NGOs and committees.
Ashok Gulati, Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Gulati is an agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, the advisory body of the Government of India on food supplies. He has served in both high-ranking academic and policy-advising capacities in India.
Suzanne Hunt, President of HuntGreen LLC. With extensive experience as a consultant for major companies and nonprofit organizations, Hunt has worked to achieve sustainable strategies and solutions for nearly 20 years. Her focus is on the transition to sustainable technologies and business models and fair investment strategies.
Liz Jarman, CEO Living Goods. The NGO Living Goods supports health systems in rural regions, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia. The aim is to strengthen local health care systems by establishing a network of health assistants and through a digital platform. Since joining Living Goods, Jarman has gained extensive experience in communal health care systems in rural areas. Before entering the field of development cooperation, Liz Jarman worked in product development and fair trade strategies.
Christian Klein, Professor for Sustainable Finance at the University of Kassel. Klein’s research focuses on sustainable and responsible investment, corporate social responsibility and risk management. His other research fields include sustainable controlling and the impact of capital market requirements.
Carolyn Miles, gender equality consultant and former CEO of Save the Children USA. Miles has many years of experience in the area of children’s health, development and education, gender equality and strengthening the rights of women and children. She is familiar with the perspective of both companies and NGOs and possesses in-depth knowledge of agenda-setting and project development and implementation.
Sabine Miltner, Program Director Conservations and Markets Initiatives at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Miltner has comprehensive expertise in the areas of sustainability strategy and sustainable financial solutions. At the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, she works on decoupling food production from ecosystem degradation by aligning market incentives with conservation outcomes. Miltner has held various high-ranking positions in both the private and nonprofit sectors. She was also the Group Sustainability Officer of Deutsche Bank AG.
Anushka Ratnayake, founder and CEO of myAgro. Ratnayake is the founder and CEO of myAgro, a nonprofit organization that helps smallholder farmers finance their fertilizer and seed purchases with the help of myAgro’s internet platform. She is regarded as a leading expert in digital solutions for smallholder farmers and an important advocate of financial inclusion and sustainable agriculture in Africa.
Jeff Seabright, co-founder and partner at Imagine. As the former Chief Sustainability Officer of Unilever, Seabright has substantial experience in the field of sustainable corporate transformation. As a co-founder of the Imagine foundation, he endeavors to turn companies into pioneers in sustainable development.