1.7 Corporate Environment

Bayer’s business activities are impacted by economic and social conditions. At the same time, the company contributes to shaping these conditions.

Economic environment

In 2015, the global economy grew at a slightly slower pace than in the previous year. Momentum decreased in the emerging economies in particular; growth in China declined further but remained strong while economic output in Russia and Brazil contracted significantly. By contrast, growth in the European Union accelerated, supported by very low interest rates, an exchange rate favorable to the eurozone and sinking oil prices. At the same time, the United States continued its robust recovery, driven above all by private consumption and rising employment.

Economic Environment



Growth1 2014


Growth1 2015

2014 figures restated


Real GDP growth, source: IHS Global Insight


Including about 50 countries defined by Global Insight as Emerging Markets in line with the World Bank

As of February 2016






European Union





of which Germany





United States





Emerging Markets2





For more information on the economic environments of our subgroups in 2015, see Chapter 3 "Economic Environments of the Subgroups."

Social environment

Our economic activity is closely linked with the social environment. Certain stakeholders have become increasingly significant to our business operations in recent years. Their expectations affect public acceptance of Bayer and thus our commercial success. They provide important input for the continuing development of our business processes, risk management and reporting. We therefore take the wide-ranging requirements of our stakeholders seriously and consider them wherever possible in our business activities. At the same time, open dialogue with our stakeholders gives us an opportunity to explain the value of our products and services for society. This is of growing importance for the success of our business model.

Stakeholder Dialogue: Our Most Important Interest Groups

Stakeholder Dialogue at Bayer: Our Most Important Interest Groups (graph)Stakeholder Dialogue at Bayer: Our Most Important Interest Groups (graph)

Read more about Bayer’s commitment to its stakeholders in Chapter 5 “Sustainability Management and Governance.”