About | External Verification
Independent Assurance Report
We have been engaged to perform a limited assurance engagement on the online annexes of the augmented online version of the Annual Report of Bayer AG, Leverkusen, (hereinafter: the Company), for the business year from 1 January to 31 December 2014 (“Annual Report 2014 – Augmented Version”; hereinafter: Online Version) as well as on the chapter “Investor Information” and “Reporting Principles” of the Annual Report (together: the “Content”).1 The Content selected by the Company and evaluated by us has been marked with the label “limited assurance”.
Company’s Board of Managing Directors is responsible for the proper preparation of the Content in accordance with the criteria stated in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):
- Stakeholder Inclusiveness,
- Sustainability Context,
- Comparability and
This responsibility includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the Content and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual sustainability disclosures which are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining systems and processes relevant for the preparation of the Content.
Our Independence and Quality Control
We have complied with the independence and other ethical requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, which is founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behavior.
The firm applies International Standard on Quality Control 1 and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion based on our work performed as to whether anything has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the information marked with the label “limited assurance” in the Content have not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the above mentioned criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI. Within the scope of our independent assurance engagement we did not perform an audit of any links to external sources of documentation as well as prospective statements and statements from external experts set out in the Content. We also have been engaged to make recommendations for the further development of sustainability management and sustainability reporting based on the results of our assurance engagement.
We conducted our work in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. This Standard requires that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the assurance engagement, under consideration of materiality, to provide our conclusion with limited assurance.
In a limited assurance engagement the evidence-gathering procedures are more limited than for a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a reasonable assurance engagement. The procedures selected depend on the practitioner’s judgement.
Within the scope of our work we performed amongst others the following procedures:
- Inquiries of personnel responsible for the preparation of the online annexes regarding the process to prepare the reporting of sustainability information and the underlying internal control system;
- Inspection of documents regarding the sustainability strategy as well as understanding the sustainability management structure, the stakeholder dialogue and the development process of Company’s sustainability program;
- Recording of the systems and processes for collection, analysis, validation and aggregation of sustainability data and their documentation on a sample basis;
- Performance of site visits as part of the inspection of processes for collecting, analyzing and aggregating selected data at:
– Bayer CropScience Monheim (Germany),
– Bayer CropScience Vapi (India),
– Bayer HealthCare Bitterfeld (Germany),
– Bayer HealthCare Shiga (Japan),
– Bayer MaterialScience Tarragona (Spain),
– Bayer MaterialScience Uerdingen (Germany),
– Currenta Uerdingen (Germany),
– Bayer Business Services Leverkusen (Germany);
- Analytical procedures on sustainability data included in the Online Version;
- Gaining further evidence for selected data of the online annexes through inspection of internal documents, contracts and invoices/reports from external service providers.
Based on our limited assurance engagement, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the information marked with the label “limited assurance” in the Content has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the above mentioned criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI.
Emphasis of Matter – Recommendations
Without qualifying our conclusion presented above, we make the following recommendations for the further development of the Company’s sustainability management and sustainability reporting:
- Further development of the sustainability approach of Bayer AG in consideration of the planned and entire focus on the Life Science businesses;
- Further formalization of the internal controls system for sustainability information and transformation into standardized processes in the course of the further development of Integrated Reporting;
- Further alignment of future reporting with the updated materiality analysis, especially considering the requirements of the new G4 Guidelines of GRI.
Düsseldorf, February 25, 2015
||ppa. Christian Fischl
1 Our engagement applies to the German and English online annexes of the online version of the Annual Report of Bayer AG, which describe the sustainability performance of the Company. This text is a translation of the Independent Assurance Report issued in German language – the German text is authoritative. The Online Version is available at www.bayer.de/GB14 and www.bayer.com / AR14 respectively.