11. Social Commitment
Bayer’s funding strategy focuses on people embarking on new approaches to problem-solving in the natural and life sciences Life Sciences Field of activities comprising particularly health care and agriculture; at Bayer this refers to the activities of the Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science divisions and the Animal Health business unit. and in the key areas of health, education and basic social needs, with the goal of sustainably improving living conditions. This also applies to a further focus area, sports and culture. With our support programs we see ourselves as investors, trendsetters and partners for initiatives and projects that have model character, a long-term effect and thus the potential to achieve systemic change.
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 Group-wide donation allocation and management regulations form the basis for this. The country companies, in collaboration with partner organizations such as nongovernmental organizations, bear responsibility for implementing a large number of the initiatives. An independent panel made up of internal and external judges generally decides how project funding is allocated.
In 2015, we invested a total of €51 million (2014: €49 million) in charitable activities worldwide. This was aimed at improving the quality of life at the company’s various locations and contributing to solving social challenges.
Further information can be found in:
Online annex: 3-11-1:limited assurance
Health and basic social needs
In 2015, the Bayer Cares Foundation awarded the Aspirin Social Award to the Jourvie charitable initiative. The first-place prize money of €15,000 will enable the already successful app for supporting the treatment of eating disorders to be further developed and disseminated. The foundation entered into a collaboration with the “Discovering Hands” initiative, which was a prize-winner in 2014. This will introduce this exemplary social medicine project, which is already established in Germany, to other countries. Blind women, trained as Medical Tactile Examiners, use their extraordinary sense of touch to help with the early diagnosis of breast cancer in women. Colombia is the first pilot country outside Germany. The Latin American Development Bank is another project partner.
Since the Bayer Volunteering Program began in Germany in 2007 and worldwide in 2013, the Bayer Cares Foundation has provided support for 550 volunteering projects in 65 countries. Through these projects, employees and citizens work toward improving living conditions in and around the company’s sites. In 2015, the foundation brought 100 projects in 38 countries into the program, due primarily to their innovative approaches, providing them with a total of around €304,000 in funding.
Bayer is involved in an initiative aimed at eliminating or stemming the incidence of 10 neglected tropical diseases, which threaten the lives of 1.4 billion people, by 2020. We provide medication to tackle these diseases and participate in collaborations for developing new medicines. The World Health Organization (WHO), governments, nongovernmental organizations and other companies are partners in this global initiative. Focal points that fit in with Bayer’s product portfolio are Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, dengue and river blindness.
For more than 10 years, we have donated our active ingredients for the treatment of African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease, which is widespread in Latin America, to the WHO free of charge. In 2015, we again supplied one million Lampit™ tablets (active ingredient: nifurtimox 120 mg) to treat Chagas disease, as well as providing US$300,000 for logistics and distribution. We are also currently developing a nifurtimox tablet with a lower dosage that will make it easier to treat children with Chagas disease.
We are pleased to report that the number of patients affected by the type of African sleeping sickness primarily found in eastern and southern Africa is in steady decline. We were therefore able to reduce the amount of Germanin™ supplied to the WHO to 10,000 ampoules worth €114,000 in 2015. We again provided 300,000 tablets of the active ingredient nifurtimox to be used in a combination therapy with an active ingredient from another manufacturer to treat the most widespread, West African version of sleeping sickness. We also came to an agreement with the WHO to further expand support for patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is the country most severely affected by sleeping sickness.
In a new product development partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, we are examining whether the active ingredient emodepside, which is currently used in veterinary medicine, could also be used to treat river blindness in humans and thus achieve a significant shortening of treatment time.
In 2015, Bayer was once again active in supporting people experiencing acute hardship as a result of natural disasters. For example, we donated medication and money with a total value of €400,000 for people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. We contributed money and water purification tablets with a total value of €25,000 to help victims of the floods in Myanmar.
We donated antibiotics with the total value of just under €1.9 million to the aid organization Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) for the treatment of people in crisis areas and humanitarian emergencies.
We also made drugs with a market value of just under €1.5 million available free of charge to aid organizations and authorities in Turkey, Greece and Austria to treat refugees.
Education and science
The Bayer Science & Education Foundation again awarded prizes in 2015 with the primary goal of recognizing and raising the profile of pioneering work in life sciences and basic medical research.
Winner of the Hansen Family Award 2015 is the French infection researcher Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Helmholtz Center in Braunschweig, Germany. She is responsible for key insights in the field of genome editing. In 2015, the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award and the Bayer Thrombosis Research Award – the two prizes that promote young scientists – went to young researchers from Germany and the United States for their successes in the fields of medicine, biology and chemistry, and specifically in thrombosis research.
The company awarded 187 scholarships to talented students, postgraduates and trainees in the fields of natural, life and agricultural science and medicine, with the particular goal of enabling projects abroad. With regard to our support of schools, the “Making Science Make Sense” initiative in the United States celebrated its 20th anniversary. This program involves several hundred employees volunteering regularly to visit elementary schools and use everyday experiments to communicate the fascination and practical importance of science. Bayer implemented similar programs also aimed at young people in more than 20 countries in 2015.
To this end, our country companies cooperated with museums, universities and other educational institutions, invited schoolchildren to the company’s own student laboratories or took “research trucks” to the schools.
In Germany, the focus was on funding innovative teaching projects with a total of €500,000 for 63 specific measures at 57 schools and other educational institutions in 31 towns and cities, plus the awarding of travel scholarships and support of competitions for school students. In addition, the Humboldt Bayer Mobil, a research laboratory on wheels, regularly visited schools and the four Baylab student laboratories offered school classes a professional infrastructure. More than 20,000 schoolchildren used these facilities alone in 2015.
Given the huge influx of refugees into Germany, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation has expanded its range of scientific school education programs to also target refugee children. Along with the Berlin Senate and other educational organizations, the foundation launched a unique pilot project – the Science4Life Academy.
For the first time, teaching materials specifically for children with no knowledge of German are being developed and introduced into science lessons, and teachers are receiving targeted training. Our company also offers talented schoolchildren the chance of individualized support in the form of internships and mentoring. Our other activities to support refugees include a course preparing refugees aged between 18 and 26 for work, involving language training and careers advice.
Sports and culture
In 2015, Bayer further expanded its range of cultural activities. We continued to focus particularly on encouraging young talent, and brought new artists into the stART program. Another key point was to enable young people to have greater access to theater. Bayer Arts & Culture also intensified dialogue with the public. In total, Bayer staged around 120 events in the fields of music, dance, theater and the fine arts in 2015.
The “Versionale” competition for theater direction, for example, challenged creative theatrical and cultural minds for the first time to develop short stage works on the topic of “Science For A Better Life.”
The Bayer clubs again made a key contribution to the broad range of sporting activities near the German sites in North Rhine-Westphalia. The major clubs also became more intensely involved as professional service providers for the company’s occupational health management. In 2015, the company provided funding of some €14 million for recreational, disabled and competitive sports activities.
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.