Integrating Sustainability Within Bayer

Integrating Sustainability Within Bayer

Klaus Kunz

20 years: Head of ESG Strategy

Sustainably transforming your company can seem like a daunting, or even impossible, task. Join Klaus Kunz as he walks you through how he developed a sustainable business strategy.

Sustainably transforming your company can seem like a daunting, or even impossible, task. Join Klaus Kunz as he walks you through how he developed a sustainable business strategy.

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Integrating Sustainability Within Bayer

7 mins 4 secs

Overview

Creating a sustainability strategy at Bayer involved stepping back and asking 3 fundamental questions: what’s wrong in the agricultural system, what needs to change and what is their role? From this the 30-30-100 for 2030 strategy was created to reduce the environmental impact of pesticides by 30%, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of farmer customers by 30% and help support the 100 million smallholder farmers.

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the cultural differences in perceptions of regulation

  • Outline the questions asked to create a sustainability strategy

  • Understand how a sustainability strategy was implemented

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Summary
How do cultural perceptions differ when it comes to regulation? 
In regions like Europe, there is a strong belief that regulation has to drive progress. You can see this in examples such as the European Green Deal, where the EU aims to become the first climate neutral continent. The US, on the other hand, largely rejects this attitude based on the belief that innovation, technology and free markets creates positive impact much more effectively. 

What questions needed to be answered before creating a sustainability strategy at Bayer? 
The initial plan was to look at all the projects in the Bayer portfolio that were linked to sustainability. However, they were often locally- focused, hardly connected and not designed to change things at scale. Instead, the team chose to step back and change direction to get to the heart of the issue, asking:
1. What’s wrong in the agricultural system? 
2. What needs to change?
3. What is our role? 

How was a sustainability strategy implemented at Bayer? 
A materiality analysis showed that agriculture is struggling to produce enough safe and affordable food worldwide, but also that climate change and biodiversity loss have negative environmental impacts in agriculture and must be reduced. As a result the target 30-30-100 was created to help solve these issues. This involved: 
– 30: Reducing the environmental impact of pesticides by 30% by creating newer, safer pesticides
– 30: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of farmer customers by 30% 
– 100: Help support the 100 million smallholder farmers by creating Better Life Farming Centers to provide farmers with access to products, education, finance, markets and other essential services

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Klaus Kunz

Klaus Kunz

Klaus Kunz is Head of Development and member of the executive leadership team at PI Industries since April 2024. He is also founder and managing director of Ephrin GmbH, supporting companies and other organizations in sustainable business transformation with a specific focus on agriculture and ESG. Klaus holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry and an MBA and has gained 22 years of experience at Bayer AG, directing business strategic topics at a global level, taking leadership and executive roles in research, R&D project management, regulatory and public/governmental affairs, sustainability, business stewardship and ESG. Integration of sustainability into business has been at the core of Klaus’ work for many years. Klaus is senior advisor for Climate & Company, member of the advisory board of the Parliamentary Liason Group on ESG (UK), the ESG practitioners of the WEF and other international initiatives. He is passionate about driving innovation and change, cross-cultural collaboration, politics, history and science, also holding a lectureship for chemistry at the University of Aachen. He is married with three children.

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