9.4 Social Commitment
Bayer’s social commitment is an established part of our sustainability strategy and corporate policy. The company considers itself part of society and sees its commitment to corporate citizenship as an investment in society’s future viability and a long-term contribution to a favorable business environment. Bayer’s social commitment is exemplified by numerous projects in many parts of the world, some of which the company has been organizing or supporting for years. In 2010 the company provided some €57 million (2009: €44 million) in funding in the four main areas of focus.
|Expenses for Social Initiatives||[Table 3.39]|
|Main sponsorship areas||2009||2010|
| ||€ million||€ million|
|Education and research||5||7 |
|Environment and nature||3||3 |
|Health and social needs||15||26 |
|Sports and culture||21||21 |
Our funding strategy is constantly evolving. We place special emphasis on projects addressing important needs of society as a whole to which we can contribute our technological and commercial expertise.
Education and research
Bayer traditionally places great importance on support for education and research because, as a research-based company, we depend heavily on recruiting highly trained scientists and on society’s acceptance of technology.
The funding programs of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation cover the entire scientific training and career path. In 2010 the foundation provided total funding of some €1 million – on the one hand to engaged school students and trainees and for innovative school projects, and on the other to outstanding university students, young scientists and leading researchers. The focus of this funding in both cases is on the natural sciences and medicine.
In 2010 the fourth “Baylab” student laboratory opened at the company’s Leverkusen headquarters. Some 3,400 school students took advantage of the instruction offered in the areas of health care, nutrition and plastics during the first year. In all, some 11,500 schoolchildren and teachers benefited from the “Baylabs” program, which, apart from the new student laboratory with its more general focus, includes the subject-specific “Baylab health,” “Baylab plants” and “Baylab plastics.” Bayer won the 2010 Enterprise Award of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia for this educational project.
The “Humboldt Bayermobile,” a research laboratory on wheels, began visiting schools in 2010. The Bayer foundation is supporting this joint science education project of Bayer and Humboldt University in Berlin with funding of €300,000 for an initial period of three years. The international Bayer education initiative “Making Science Make Sense” was again implemented in 12 countries in 2010. This project targets elementary school students, to whom Bayer employees convey the fascination of science through hands-on experiments.
As part of our campaign to prevent child labor in our supply chain in India, we are implementing an integrated package of measures – entitled “Learning for Life” – that enables children and young people to attend school or vocational training courses and is designed to prevent cotton seed suppliers from employing them as laborers. The focus of the program is currently on vocational training. In the state of Karnataka, for example, more than 1,900 young people regularly attended the vocational training we introduced in conjunction with local non-governmental organizations, initially at five government schools, in the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 academic years.
Environment and nature
Another focus of our social commitment is on educating young people about environmental issues.
In 2010 Bayer and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) again organized about a dozen environmental projects for children and young people as part of their global partnership. These activities centered on the International Children’s Conference on the Environment in Nagoya, Japan, attended by some 250 participants from 40 countries, which focused on biodiversity. Thanks once again to particularly strong interest from China, the annual children’s painting competition run jointly by Bayer and UNEP received a record 3.2 million entries from 95 countries. In 2010, a total of about 50 young people from 18 countries took part in a week-long study trip to Germany to learn more about environmental protection – the annual highlight of Bayer’s “Young Environmental Envoys” program. In 2010 Bayer and UNEP extended their partnership by a further three years until the end of 2013. Bayer will continue to support the joint projects with annual funding of €1.2 million.
Among the activities of the research group of Professor Jianfu Zhao at the Bayer-Tongji Chair for Sustainable Development at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, in 2010 were four research projects dealing with topics such as the correlation between efficient energy and water use. The Bayer Science & Education Foundation supported the research and teaching activities of this endowed professorship with total funding of €150,000 in 2010.
Health and social needs
Bayer is globally committed to improving social conditions and health care with the dual aim of promoting social stability in the communities near its sites and helping to solve global health challenges.
As part of our ongoing aid programs, we again supported the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010 in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. The company donated free supplies of medicines included on the WHO Essential Drug List, such as drugs to combat Chagas disease, an infection widespread in Latin America that is transmitted via the bite of the assassin bug.
The Bayer Cares Foundation, dedicated to promoting our social commitment, spent a total of more than €140,000 in 2010 to support 54 charitable volunteering programs in the communities near the company’s sites in Germany and Latin America. In this way the Foundation rewarded volunteerism by employees and other citizens who actively participate in projects aimed at addressing social needs.
In 2010 the Foundation also presented for the first time the “Aspirin Social Award” – worth a total of €35,000 – for innovative aid and consultancy programs in the area of health care.
The Bayer Cares Foundation joined with Caritas International in funding a health center that will provide medical care to 30,000 victims of the earthquake in Haiti. This was made possible by Bayer employees in 34 countries, who donated a total of €250,000 in response to the company’s global appeal. Bayer AG added a further €100,000 to this amount for a total of €350,000. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the company donated emergency relief in the form of antibiotics and painkillers worth over €650,000, bring the total value of Bayer’s aid to Haiti to more than €1 million.
Sports and culture
Bayer has been sponsoring sports and culture for over a century.
We support a wide variety of clubs for recreational, youth and disabled sports. Bayer has joined with the German Soccer Federation (DFB) in a new initiative to help schoolchildren with mental and learning disabilities play soccer. Dubbed “Simply Soccer,” the initiative establishes and supports partnerships between special-needs schools and soccer clubs with the aim of giving more children and young people with disabilities access to club-level soccer and promote mutual learning among people with and without disabilities.
The Bayer Arts & Culture program and our clubs and societies traditionally contribute to the cultural life of the communities near our sites, enhancing their attractiveness to employees and other citizens alike.