Commitment to Employees and Society

Global Respect for Human Rights

Bayer fully supports human rights and has documented its stance in a globally binding corporate policy entitled the the “Bayer Human Rights Policy.” 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.

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).

The acquired agriculture business has expressed its clear commitment to observing human rights in a position paper, which is comparable with the Bayer Human Rights Position. These two policies are being combined during integration. Until that time, both position papers will continue to apply.

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).

Directives, processes and management and monitoring systems control the implementation of human rights standards in business operations. The acquired agriculture business will continue to use its own systems and processes until integration has been fully implemented.

Observing human rights is an interdisciplinary issue at Bayer that covers wide-ranging areas of influence and processes, such as:

  • Employees:
    • Diversity, 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 our employees and the people who live near our production sites
  • Product stewardship, also in relation to clinical studies and biodiversity
  • Procurement:
    • Sustainable supplier management (we report on our measures to combat child labor in the seed supply chain on our website)

We report in more detail on 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 2018, more than 60% of our employees received training in aspects of our Human Rights Policy in sessions totaling around 240,000 hours. Aspects of human rights are also covered in the training offerings and the sustainability manual 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 Policy, 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).

We also support the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which provide global standards for preventing and combating possible human rights violations in connection with business activities.

Since the beginning of 2018, we have been actively involved in a pilot project under the auspices of the OECD and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) that is aimed at supporting companies in the implementation of the voluntary Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains initiative based on the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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