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Bayer and 16 other international companies are original signatories of the global climate protection initiative "3C: Combating Climate Change", which was presented today in Brussels in the presence of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. With their specialist knowledge and experience, the participating companies want to help develop a successful global climate protection policy for the period following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
"Commitment to climate protection is a top priority with respect to Bayer's sustainability strategy," says Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, Bayer AG Board of Management member responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment, adding: "That's why we helped found the 3C initiative, and we hope that as many companies as possible will join this campaign." Explains Lars G. Josefsson, President and CEO of Vattenfall and the main initiator of 3C: "Instead of being pulled by society, business leaders should be pushing and in a positive way integrate climate change issues into the world of markets and trade on a global scale."
To fight climate change, the 3C initiative aims to support the political community in establishing a global framework for emissions reduction that would offer fair competitive opportunities to all companies in the various regions of the world. A long-term goal of the initiative is to exhaust the potential of technological innovations between now and the year 2100. The 3C initiative is based on the principle that the industrialized nations should serve as an example to developing countries with respect to climate protection measures.
Since the early 1990s, the Bayer Group has reduced its direct greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by roughly 70 percent, thus already exceeding the goals of the Kyoto Protocol and the German parliament (25 percent reduction by 2005 and 50 percent reduction by 2020). "We have made a lasting contribution to climate protection with this significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and we are maintaining these efforts," promises Plischke. More than half of the reduction was achieved through the use of modern technologies, the closure of old facilities and the procurement of energy from efficient power stations. The rest of the reduction was achieved through portfolio changes. Explains Plischke: "As a manufacturing company, Bayer aims to use energy in as efficient and environmentally friendly a way as possible. The company's climate strategy comprises not just production and energy procurement measures, but also the development of products that conserve natural resources and the reaction to changing markets."
One example of process innovation in the Bayer Group is a method which has already been introduced in Germany and China that enables chlorine to be manufactured for plastics production using 30 percent less energy than before. Bayer materials are found in a wide variety of applications that influence our daily lives and have a direct impact on resource conservation and energy efficiency. Examples here include insulation materials in refrigerators and lightweight automotive materials that lower fuel consumption. Thermal insulation materials in buildings also harbor tremendous potential for energy savings and thus reduced emissions.
The challenges of climate change also present new market opportunities, which Bayer identifies for example in the use of renewable raw materials and biomass. Furthermore, biotechnology and nanotechnology - two key areas of the future - can be used to more effectively exploit renewable energy sources.
Bayer is a research-based global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. It employs 93,700 people all over the world (52,400 in Europe, 16,200 in North America, 13,900 in Asia/Pacific and the remaining 11,200 in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East). For fiscal 2005 it had sales of €27,383.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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