April 19, 2006
Open Letter to „The Climate Group“ and “Business Week:
Deprive Bayer of “Low Carbon Leaders Award
Dear Sir or Madam,
last December The Climate Group and Business Week presented the “Low Carbon Leaders Awards which are supposed to recognize emissions reduction and leadership on climate change over the last ten years. The German corporation Bayer belongs to the ten companies honored with awards.
On your website we find a statement by Odo Oels from Bayer´s board of directors: “We have already more than achieved our ambitious targets: emissions of greenhouse gases have been cut by over 60 percent worldwide. Likewise 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.
The management consultants Arthur D. Little and Dr. Hardtke complained in their evaluation of the Sustainability Report: “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. Nevertheless Bayer frequently uses the doctored climate balance for the purposes of public relations. The corporation 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. The press reported in detail - always with a reference to the supposed “60% reduction in climate emissions.
In our opinion Bayer intentionally misleads the general public. The sale of a subsidiary has nothing whatsoever to do with climate protection. A greenhouse gas balance without the emissions of the energy suppliers makes no sense either. Bayer – including its energy suppliers – emits roughly 10 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. At the same time Bayer refuses to publish plausible figures on CO2 emissions. Bayer evidently wants to detract from the fact that the company is still among the biggest climate sinners in Germany.
The assertion that Bayer´s greenhouse emissions have dropped by 60% is a lie. We urge you to deprive Bayer of the “Low Carbon Leaders Award. The company does not deserve it.
Awaiting your answer,
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz
Coalition against BAYER-dangers (Germany)