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KEYCODE BAYER #237

Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)
Press Release, April 6, 2006

Bayer: Disinformation on Climate Protection

The company Bayer publicly boasts about its pioneering role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But the corporation´s assertion that the emissions of climate gases decreased significantly is untenable.

In Bayer´s Sustainable Development Report it says: “In 2002 the Bayer Group already exceeded its target of a 50 percent reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2010”. Bayer´s CEO Werner Wenning recently maintained that the company “has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 percent since 1990”.

These claims don`t stand up to closer inspection. The decline in emissions exists for the most part on paper only:

• The amount of energy purchased by Bayer from third parties has increased considerably. Whereas in 1992, Bayer generated 83 % of its requirements itself, the figure had fallen to 58% ten years later. The CO2 emissions produced by the external energy suppliers do NOT appear in Bayer's climate balance.

• In 2001, Bayer´s subsidiary EC Erdoelchemie was sold. Erdoelchemie was responsible for carbon dioxide emissions of 3.1 million tons. These emissions were simply reallocated to the account of the new owner, BP.

Philipp Mimkes from the Coalition against Bayer Dangers: “Bayer intentionally misleads the general public. The sale of a subsidiary has nothing whatsoever to do with climate protection. And a greenhouse gas balance without the emissions of the energy suppliers makes no sense either. Bayer must be excluded from all sustainability and ethical funds. In order to achieve real climate protection, Bayer must substantially reduce its energy consumption.”

The management consultants Arthur D. Little and Dr. Hardtke also complained in their evaluation of the Sustainability Report that Bayer has embellished the situation: “In addition to the energy consumption the report covers also CO2 emissions. This information, however, is of limited relevance since it does not include the external energy supply and the reported reductions are partly resulting from the increased outsourcing of energy production.” Even Bayer´s competitor BASF does not find it necessary to pretend the figures are better than they really are: In BASF`s Environment Report, the emissions of the power suppliers are included.

Bayer frequently uses the doctored climate balance for the purposes of public relations. The Group was recently included in the Climate Leadership Index, the “first worldwide climate protection share index”. The company has also been included in sustainability funds like the Sustainability World Index because of its climate balance. In December 2005, Bayer was even awarded the “Low Carbon Leaders Award”. The press reported in detail on this, always with a reference to the supposed “60% reduction in climate emissions”.

Philipp Mimkes adds: “The chemical industry in Germany is the number three climate killer after electricity generation and metal production. Bayer – including its energy suppliers – emits roughly 10 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. Bayer evidently wants to detract from the fact that the company is still among the biggest climate sinners in Germany.”