Sustainable Conduct – Commitment to Employees and Society

Global Respect for Human Rights

Bayer fully supports human rights and has set out its stance in a binding corporate policy, Bayer’s Position on Human Rights. We are committed to respecting and fostering human rights within our sphere of influence and to reporting transparently on the results of our activities in this area. We also expect our business partners, and particularly our suppliers, to fully observe human rights. Our LIFE values and (Corporate) compliance comprises the observance of statutory and company regulations on lawful and responsible conduct. Policy also obligate all employees worldwide to conduct themselves fairly and in a compliant manner in dealings with colleagues, business partners and members of the community.

Responsibility and management

The observance of human rights is an integral part of our sustainability management and our human resources strategy. Responsibility for this topic lies with the Board of Management member responsible for Human Resources, Technology and Sustainability, who is assisted by the Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) and, as of 2018, the Group-wide Human Rights Panel, which forms part of the SDC. Directives, processes, and management and monitoring systems control the implementation of human rights standards in business operations.

Last year, we took a current inventory of our due diligence activities with respect to human rights in our most important business processes and developed recommendations for action, particularly in terms of our reporting on these activities. Observing human rights is a cross-cutting issue at Bayer that impacts wide-ranging areas of influence and processes, such as:

  • Employees:
    • Diversity designates the variation within the workforce in terms of gender, origin, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation and physical capability. , compensation, fairness and respect at the workplace
    • Prohibition of child and forced labor, and the right to freedom of association
  • Safety:
    • Health and safety at the workplace
    • Plant safety to protect employees and the people who live near our production sites
  • Procurement:
    • Sustainable supplier management, especially in terms of tackling child labor in the seed supply chain and in Conflict minerals are those mined in conflict regions. They include tin, tungsten and tantalum ores, gold or their derivatives. Armed conflicts over the control of these resources occur particularly in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries.

We report in more detail on the various facets of our due diligence with respect to human rights in the relevant chapters.

Training and grievance mechanisms

We offer ongoing training programs to enhance employees’ awareness of the importance of human rights in their day-to-day activities. In 2017, more than 47% of our employees received training in aspects of our Human Rights Position in training sessions totaling around 190,000 hours. Aspects of human rights are also covered in the training offerings for our suppliers.

The compliance organizations at the Group and country levels monitor compliance with our corporate policies. If there are signs of violations of our Human Rights Position, employees and members of the general public can contact the Bayer Compliance Officers at any time, even anonymously if desired. Alternatively, they can contact the worldwide compliance hotline.


We engage in dialogue with other stakeholders on the topic of human rights and actively participate in committees and initiatives established to ensure their observance, such as the corresponding working groups of econsense, by contributing to discussions on implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) – Business and Human Rights‎ and, in the supply chain, via our Together for Sustainability (TfS) industry initiative and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI).

Furthermore, we are a founding member of the U.N. Global Compact and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a range of globally recognized declarations applicable for multinational corporations. These include the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and the ILO core labor standards The eight core labor standards of the ILO (International Labour Organization) that define the minimum requirements for humane working conditions are internationally recognized “qualitative social standards.” They represent universal human rights that are deemed valid in all countries regardless of their economic development status. of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

We also support the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which establish global standards for preventing and combating possible human rights violations in connection with business activities. Bayer has also signed the WASH at the Workplace Pledge of the WBCSD (World Business Council For Sustainable Development) and thus undertakes to guarantee all our employees worldwide access to clean water, sanitary facilities and hygiene.

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