To the Management Board of Bayer AG, Leverkusen
We have reviewed all parts of the Bayer Sustainable Development Report (hereinafter: the report) for the reporting period from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. The report is published both as a printable version and as an online version on Bayer’s web presence www.sustainability2010.bayer.com and www.nachhaltigkeit2010.bayer.de respectively.
A review is aimed at achieving a limited level of assurance and is therefore less extensive than an audit, which is aimed at achieving reasonable assurance. Consequently, a review cannot ensure that all significant issues are identified as in an audit. Accordingly, we cannot express a conclusion in the positive form (audit opinion) on the report.
Limitations of our engagement
Our engagement is exclusively limited to the German and English printable version as well as to the German and English online version on Bayer’s web presence www.sustainability2010.bayer.com and www.nachhaltigkeit2010.bayer.de respectively. Any data or links that refer to sections beyond these websites were not part of our limited assurance. Our engagement also did not include any prospective statements or statements from external experts on pages 16, 20 and 24 in the printable version and on the online version respectively.
We assessed the report against the criteria set out in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3 issued by the Global Reporting Initiative and the reporting principles presented on the front flap of the report. We believe that these criteria are suitable for our assurance engagement.
Responsibility of the Management Board of Bayer AG
The Management Board of Bayer AG is responsible for the preparation and the content of the report in compliance with the above-mentioned criteria. This responsibility includes the design, implementation and maintenance of internal controls for the preparation of a report that is free from material misstatements, in accordance with the above criteria and based on suitable methods for gathering source data.
Our responsibility is to issue an assurance report on the report based on our review. Our responsibility in performing our assurance activities is to the management of Bayer AG only and in accordance with the terms of reference agreed with them.
We conducted our review in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. This standard requires that we comply with our professional duties and plan and perform the review to obtain a limited level of assurance to preclude that the report is not in accordance, in material respects, with the aforementioned reporting principles and criteria.
We performed the engagement in accordance with the independence requirements of the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Within the scope of our engagement, we requested evidence on a sample basis based on risk and materiality criteria to obtain a limited level of assurance on the compliance of the report with the reporting principles and criteria. The nature and scope of our work was based on our professional judgment and we have performed all the procedures deemed necessary to provide a basis for our conclusions. The performance of our engagement mainly involved the following work:
- Assessment of the suitability of the underlying criteria and their consistent application.
- Inquiries of employees concerning the sustainability strategy, sustainability principles and sustainability management of Bayer AG.
- Inquiries of employees responsible for data capture and preparation of the Sustainable Development Report designed to assess the sustainable development reporting system, the data capture and compilation methods as well as internal controls to the extent relevant for a review of the Sustainable Development Report.
- Inspection of the relevant documents and systems for gathering, analyzing and aggregating data from the areas Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) and Human Resources (HR) in the reporting period as well as tests on a sample basis.
- Analytical considerations at Group level, subgroup level and the level of significant reporting units with regard to analysis and aggregation of HSE and HR data in the preparation of the report.
- Inquiries and inspection of documents on a sample basis relating to the collection and reporting of HSE data during site visits for the following 10 reporting units: Bayer HealthCare Berlin (Germany), Bayer HealthCare Myerstown (United States of America), Bayer CropScience Frankfurt (Germany), Bayer CropScience Knapsack (Germany), Bayer CropScience Roussillon (France), Bayer MaterialScience Dormagen (Germany), Bayer MaterialScience Map Ta Phut (Thailand), Bayer MaterialScience South Charleston (United States of America), Bayer Technology Services Dormagen (Germany) and Currenta Leverkusen (Germany).
- Review of material qualitative statements in the report with regard to consistency and plausibility.
- Inquiries of employees from selected departments at the Group’s headquarters, at subgroup level and the service companies and at the sites visited relating to significant qualitative statements made in the report as well as inspection of underlying documents.
- Review of selected press articles to ascertain whether they reflect company-specific topics of relevance for sustainable development considered in the report.
Based on our work, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the printable version of Bayer’s Sustainable Development Report 2010 and the online version on Bayer’s web presence www.sustainability2010.bayer.com and www.nachhaltigkeit2010.bayer.de respectively are not presented fairly, in material respects, in accordance with the reporting principles and criteria.
Without qualifying our conclusion above, we recommend for the further development of Bayer’s sustainability management and reporting the following:
- The comprehensive sustainability strategy of Bayer aims to balance ecological and social activities with the economic growth and interests of the company. We recommend to consistently continue the strategic integration of sustainability and the new values concept LIFE into the core business and existing risk and reputational management systems across all subgroups and servce companies.
- As a socially engaged, globally operating company, Bayer seeks a transparent and tailored dialogue with its internal and external stakeholders via different communication media. Through regular surveys and workshops with management representatives, Bayer determines a materiality matrix which correlates the importance of various issues from the viewpoint of its stakeholder groups with their importance to Bayer. We support the continuous advancement of the established and systematic dialogue with all employees and Bayer’s relevant stakeholders originating from industry, academia, politics and general public.
- Through BaySIS™, Bayer has available a sophisticated, IT-based information system for the collection, aggregation and analysis of data related to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE). We suggest proceeding the enhancement of this database on a regular basis.
- With the help of HSE management systems that are based on recognized international standards and regular reviews, Bayer wants to achieve an appropriate and uniform performance level. We welcome the newly determined external certification concept for HSE management systems across all Bayer sites aiming to increase present coverage from 60% to 80% within the next years.
Peter Nolden Annette Johne
[German Public Auditor] [German Public Auditor]
Ernst & Young GmbH