From 2008 to 2010, the Bayer conglomerate plans to spend $1.4 billion on research and development of projects and technologies related to the climate.
Additionally, Bayer aims to restrict its greenhouse gas emissions to its 2007 levels through at least 2020, even with increases in production, according to its 2008 corporate sustainability report. Bayer saw revenues of nearly $46 billion in 2008.
In the report, Bayer outlined its activity in climate protection and the responsible use of water. The company has broken ground on a climate-neutral child care center at its site in Monheim, Germany. Bayer is using its new “EcoCommercial Building” concept in facilities in Germany and India.
Under the “Bayer Climate Check” program, the company will have analyzed 100 production facilities worldwide by the end of 2009, aiming to find additional CO2 reduction potential. About half of the facilities have been analyzed so far, confirming the potential to reduce emissions 5-10 percent.
In its agricultural research, Bayer is improving the ability of plants withstand heat and drought, which are intensified by climate change. The company also is researching methods to more sustainably use existing and dwindling water supplies.
In Asia, direct seeding of pregerminated rice crops has shown that about 20 percent less water is needed than for conventional transplanting of pre-grown seedlings.
The company is using nanotechnology, to produce freshwater through seawater desalination in a more energy efficient manner.
The company also continues to pursue more efficient processes for water use in its own production facilities. The company has introduced a new wastewater recycling tool to increase efficiency in this area.
Here are some of Bayer’s sustainable development goals through 2010.
- Reduce discharge of total organic carbon and nitrogen into receiving waters by 10 percent per metric ton of as a percentage of product sales.
- Optimize production process of monomeric diisocyanate to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent.
- Reduce volatile organic compound emissions by 30 percent per ton as a percentage of product sales.
- Emit no more than 20 metric tons of ozone depleting substances annually.
- Reduce hazardous waste volume to less than 2.5 percent per metric ton of sales product.
Earlier this year, Bayer donated more than $1 million toward development of the Center for Global Produce Sustainability.