Bayer targets climate-neutral business by 2030

Berlin (AFP) –


German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer said Tuesday it aims to become "climate-neutral" by 2030, slashing or compensating all of its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Bayer will be a climate-neutral company by 2030," chief executive Werner Baumann wrote in a guest article for business daily Handelsblatt.

Sustainability will be "an integral component of our activity and our long-term economic success," he added, saying emissions as well as financial targets will in future have an impact on bosses' and managers' pay packets.

The Leverkusen-based company plans to eliminate around four million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) it generates annually by switching to renewable electricity and more efficient processes.

Remaining emissions will be "offset" with "biodiversity-enhancing carbon capture," Bayer said in a statement.

The group added that it will work with suppliers and customers to cut emissions along its supply chain, as well as targeting reductions in logistics and packaging.

After taking over US seeds and pesticides powerhouse Monsanto last year for $63 billion, Bayer has become one of the biggest agrichemical companies in the world.

On top of reducing its own CO2 output, it said Tuesday it would aim to "reduce the greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of crops produced in major agricultural markets and the environmental impact of crop protection (pesticides) by 30 percent by 2030".

Monsanto's flagship glyphosate weedkiller -- the active ingredient in household-name products like Roundup -- is in stark public focus as Bayer battles a wave of around 43,000 lawsuits in the US.

Plaintiffs claim the weedkiller caused cancer and other diseases.

Bayer is appealing first-instance court rulings against it that resulted in massive damages awards.

Meanwhile mediation talks with representatives of the plaintiffs are running in parallel.