Bayer honored as world's best company in climate protection
Index organizer Dickinson: "Listed companies are the best placed to prosper in a low carbon economy of the future" / Bayer CEO Wenning: "Top position is high praise for our strategic alignment" / Investors and analysts specifically interested in companies' climate strategies
Leverkusen / New York, September 22, 2009 - Bayer has achieved first place in climate protection: The Group has been listed in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index as the world's top company. This was announced by the investor group of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) on September 21 in New York, United States. Awarded 95 out of a possible 100 points, Bayer is the top enterprise among the 50 of the 500 biggest global stock-market-listed companies to be included in the index. The firms are rated according to the level of detailed and transparent reporting on their climate strategies and greenhouse gas emissions. The evaluation for the renowned climate ranking was carried out by independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
With its renewed inclusion, Bayer is the only European company in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry to be included for the fifth time in succession in the world's first global climate index. The CDP investors represent a total investment volume of USD 55 trillion, and are guided by the Leadership Index when making key investment decisions.
"Companies listed in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index are rewarded for high quality responses to CDP, which demonstrate a good understanding of how climate change is and will continue to impact their business," comments Paul Dickinson, CDP Chief Executive. "Companies which control their risks today, manage their emissions and seize the opportunities to produce low carbon goods and services, will be the best placed to prosper in a low carbon economy of the future."
"We are absolutely delighted to have achieved first place in this prestigious climate index. This is very high praise for Bayer - and our strategic alignment," says Bayer CEO Werner Wenning. "Our top position reinforces our commitment to continue developing our activities in the field of climate protection in the future as well." Bayer has also been recently included once again in the "Dow Jones Sustainability World Index" which is another major index focusing on sustainability with a special focus on climate protection.
Bayer's climate strategy and climate program
As part of its climate program, Bayer aims to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its own production facilities and develop new solutions for protecting the climate and dealing with the consequences of climate change. Among the measures that have already been initiated are a company-wide program to improve energy efficiency and the research, development and marketing of climate-friendly technologies and products. For example, the Group is carrying out research on increasing the resistance of plants to heat and drought - phenomena that are becoming even more serious as a consequence of climate change.
Cooperating with various partners, Bayer has also developed a concept it calls the "EcoCommercial Building", which involves the construction of zero-emission buildings. The first project of this kind is a company office building in India, and another project is a company child care center being built in Germany. In the future, this concept, which can be implemented anywhere in the world, will make an important contribution to climate protection in the construction sector because, with effective insulation based on high-grade Bayer raw materials and with the building's own generation of renewable energy, an "EcoCommercial Building" has a zero-emission energy balance over the course of a year. Energy consumption in buildings causes nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are also sending a message to the governments who will be negotiating a new global climate protection agreement at the end of the year in Copenhagen: We are making a valuable contribution to solving the problem and want to meet our responsibilities as a company," says Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, who is the member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment.
Evaluation criteria and data collection
The criteria for the CDP ranking include the level and quality of their disclosure of climate change strategic data and reporting on a long-term climate strategy as well as on ambitious targets and concrete successes in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A special role in the assessment is played by whether companies also see the challenges of climate change as a business opportunity and as a chance for tapping markets of the future. In addition, companies should analyze the potential risks connected with climate change with regard to their business activities and production sites. Furthermore, the information provided by the companies must be transparent and fully comprehensible. The questionnaires are published on the Internet by the CDP.
The mounting importance of a company's climate strategy for institutional investors and analysts led to the establishment of the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index by the CDP in 2004. The CDP is an independent, nonprofitmaking organization in which, at the last count, 475 financial service providers - last year, the figure was 385 - link up to create greater transparency for the financial market in climate matters via the Leadership Index and detailed studies. The CDP has the world's largest database for corporate climate-related information. Apart from the companies listed in the FTSE Global 500 Index, 3,200 other major companies around the world this year received the standardized detailed questionnaire, which was completed by 2,500 corporations.