Management Report & Annexes | Fundamental Information About the Group

13. Social Commitment

Throughout the world, Bayer actively supports charitable causes in the core fields of education and science, health and social needs, and sports and culture. Through our corporate foundations – the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation – we support cutting-edge research, talented young people and sustainable educational and social projects. In line with our understanding of Bayer as an innovation company, the Group and its foundations base their social commitment as well on the potential that new approaches harbor to bring about change. Initiative and pioneering spirit are therefore overarching funding criteria.

The Group provided €49 million for non-profit investment in the future well-being of society in 2014 (2013: €50 million).

Expenses for Social Initiatives   [Table 3.13.1]
Main sponsorship areas 2013 2014
  € million € million
Education and science 14 13
Health and social needs 17 17
Sports and culture 19 19

Detailed information on expenses in our main sponsorship areas can be found in

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Expenses for Social Initiatives in 2014 [Table 3.13.1-1]
  € million Share of total in % Share of category in %
Education and science 12.6 26  
School projects, focus: natural science and technology 4.2   33
Medical and clinical research 3.0   24
Science and research support (e.g. awards, endowed chairs, research funding, symposia) 2.8   22
Nature and environment, environmental education 0.7   6
Scholarships for students, talent management programs 1.9   15
Health and social needs 17.5 35  
Public health, social medicine, emergency medical care 6.9   40
Social community projects 2.8   16
Health education and patient groups 3.0   17
Disaster aid, reconstruction 4.1   23
Volunteering projects 0.7   4
Sports and culture 19.0 39  
Bayer clubs (sports, leisure, culture) 14.4   75
Culture incl. Bayer Arts & Culture 4.3   23
Other sports projects & projects in the communities surrounding the sites 0.3   2
Total 49.1    

The Foundation & Donations Management Department within the Corporate Office of Bayer AG is responsible for strategically aligning and coordinating our social commitment, as well as for monitoring and reporting activities. The country companies bear responsibility for implementing a large number of the initiatives.

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All project sponsoring is subject to the provisions of a Group-wide donation directive that establishes a framework for its content-related and strategic alignment, as well as the proper handling of the funds. We steer the selection of the projects through allocation guidelines comprising, among other aspects, the indicators “social relevance” and “thematic proximity to the company’s fields of expertise.” In all activities, we focus on countries in which Bayer is represented and on areas that are of relevance to the Group’s business strategy. Neither Bayer AG nor other Bayer Group companies make donations to political parties or associations affiliated with them.

Education and science

The Bayer foundations and the country companies offer funding at all stages of the educational path – from kindergarten to high-level research.

When it comes to scientific funding, Bayer focuses on supporting outstanding research achievements, developing international young scientists and engaging in dialogue in Life Science fields.

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The Bayer Science & Education Foundation awards prizes in recognition of outstanding achievements among both established researchers and young scientists. Professor Frédéric Merkt from the eth Zurich, Switzerland, for instance, received the Otto Bayer Prize 2014 for his outstanding contributions to the field of molecular spectroscopy. The award, worth €75,000, is highly regarded in the research community. An Early Excellence in Science Award – with prize money amounting to €10,000 – went to Dr. Steven Spoel from the United Kingdom in 2014. Working at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, the project manager is successfully expanding our understanding of how living cells translate signals from their environment into changes in their gene expression.

Bayer also supports the scientific education of young people. We want to help awaken and promote an interest in science, technology and medicine through initiatives for schoolchildren and scholarship programs. In this way, we are helping talented young people at an early age to go on to become leading-edge researchers.

The foundation’s scholarships enable students and trainees to carry out ambitious projects abroad. When it comes to supporting the talents of schoolchildren, Bayer is banking on the commitment and creativity of subject teachers – total funding of €500,000 was approved in 2014 for 53 projects in which they are exploring new, practical ways of teaching science. All kinds of schools are eligible for funding – from elementary school to high school, including special schools and vocational schools.

With this funding portfolio, the Bayer foundations recognize excellence in natural science and medicine in particular – the very scientific fields that form the basis for Bayer’s business model as a research-oriented Life Science company.

Health and social needs

In many parts of the world, our social commitment includes involvement in improving health care, treating neglected diseases and providing better social living conditions in the communities around our sites. To this end, we work together with the World Health Organization (who) and local non-governmental organizations, for example.

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As part of its Access to Medicine activities, Bayer provides free medication to treat neglected tropical diseases. In particular, the company has for over 10 years been supporting the who in the fight against Chagas’ disease, which is widespread in Latin America, and African sleeping sickness. In 2014 we again provided the who with one million LampitTM tablets (active ingredient: nifurtimox 120 mg) to treat Chagas’ disease, as well as us$300,000 for logistics and distribution. We are also currently developing a smaller nifurtimox tablet with a lower active ingredient content (30 mg) to simplify the treatment of children with Chagas’ disease.

We have been supporting the who in the fight against African sleeping sickness – especially in eastern and southern Africa – since 2002. In 2014 we again provided 10,000 ampoules of GermaninTM. Every year since 2009, Bayer has also donated 400,000 tablets with the active ingredient nifurtimox to the who for use in a combination therapy with an active ingredient from another manufacturer to treat West African sleeping sickness, the most widespread form of the disease.

For the fifth time, the Bayer Cares Foundation in 2014 honored innovative initiatives in social medicine with its Aspirin Social Award. The first prize, worth €15,000, was awarded to the “Explain tb” project with its novel concept for educating people about tuberculosis: a mobile app gives patients extensive information on the disease in the form of fact sheets and videos in 33 different languages. Half a million people still become ill with tuberculosis every year in Europe.

After the international expansion of the volunteering program in the previous year, the Bayer Cares Foundation provided funding of around €317,000 for 92 voluntary initiatives in 2014. These projects are primarily put forward by Bayer employees who are committed to improving the living conditions in the communities around Bayer’s sites in some 40 countries worldwide.

2014 once again saw the Bayer Cares Foundation involved in disaster aid. After the devastating destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines, for example, the foundation joined forces with local partners to launch three reconstruction projects. They provide health care and permanent accommodation for the people affected. These measures were made possible by funding to the tune of €280,000 financed in equal part by Bayer employees and the company itself.

Sports and culture

Bayer has been actively involved in supporting sports and culture for more than a century, thereby making a sustainable contribution to the cultural life and sports opportunities in the catchment areas of its sites in Germany. Some Bayer sports clubs offer a wide range of prophylactic exercise programs that health insurers have approved as preventive health measures. In 2014 the company provided funding of some €14 million for recreational, disabled and competitive sports activities.

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Bayer is realigning its charitable sponsorship of sports in the communities near its Lower Rhine sites in Germany. These activities will be gradually concentrated at six major clubs by 2015. Bayer’s involvement in professional soccer at Bayer 04 Leverkusen GmbH is not part of its social sports sponsorship activities because it belongs to the company’s image advertising.

Last updated: February 26, 2015  Copyright © Bayer AG