Bayer Upgrades Sustainability Goals
Bayer has outlined plans to reduce its ecological footprint by 30% by 2023, under a new sustainability initiative. Approximately EUR5bn will be invested in additional methods to combat weeds over the next decade, said the company.
“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,” said Werner Baumann, chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer.
These measures address 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, according to the company. With its solutions, the company will reduce the environmental impact by 30% by 2030. Bayer aims to achieve this by developing new technologies, scaling down crop protection volumes, and enabling more precise applications. 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 1990’s by Cornell University (U.S.) and relates volume to toxicity and therefore represents a more meaningful measuring system than volume only. Bayer will seek to 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 a Bayer Sustainability Council to bolster the 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 EUR5bn 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 actions, 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 develop customized solutions for farmers at a local level.