Bayer gambling on unproven technology to meet climate targets and fails to tackle Scope 3 emissions
Planet Tracker finds life science giant on track for a +3ºC climate scenario by 2030, relying on unproven technologies including carbon capture and alternative fuels to meet targets.
- Pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant’s current emissions trajectory is on track for a +3 °C climate scenario by 2030.
- Bayer’s Scope 3 emissions account for 76% of its total emissions, yet Planet Tracker finds modest targets will tackle just 12.3% of upstream Scope 3 emissions by 2030, and even this remains unmet.
- Bayer has set Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets, but analysis finds it is only on track to meet goals for Scope 2, which are its lowest emissions.
- Planet Tracker reveals Bayer is heavily reliant on new technologies to achieve its 2050 Net Zero goal and demonstrates no roadmap for investors.
- Management is spending just 2% of annual capital investment on energy efficiency measures and very little on key transition technology investment.
London, 31 August 2023: Planet Tracker has launched a new analysis of German multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Bayer, finding that the company shows extremely modest plans to reduce its Scope 3 emissions, despite accounting for over three quarters of its emissions.
The report finds the company is committed to ambitious climate targets, including to become Net Zero by 2050 across its entire value chain, yet Planet Tracker finds no roadmap for investors to show how it will achieve this.
While Planet Tracker praises the company for committing to Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets, the analysis reveals that only its target for Scope 2 emissions – which at 9% are its lowest proportion of emissions – appears to be on track. The report finds that Bayer’s target for Scope 3 emissions, which account for over three quarters of total emissions, is limited in ambition, as it focuses on reducing upstream emissions by just 12.3% since 2019 levels. In 2022, Planet Tracker’s analysis finds that Bayer’s upstream Scope 3 emissions were up 1% and its Scope 1 and 2 emissions were down 6% and 33% respectively compared to their reduction target of 42%.
The report reveals that Bayer’s current Net Zero target is heavily dependent on technologies that are currently unproven and still in their infancy such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and process electrification. Since Bayer does not currently have this technology, it will be nearly impossible for the company to reach its Net Zero target on its current trajectory. Moreover, Planet Tracker finds that Bayer’s management is spending just 2% of annual capital investment on energy efficiency measures and very little on key transition technology investment, which it relies on third parties to produce.
Planet Tracker’s analysis notes a link between executive pay and sustainability goals, with the Bayer CEO’s short- and long-term incentive plans basing around 20% of pay on sustainability factors, however the much more ambitious 2050 target is not part of the CEO’s compensation.
John Willis, Director of Research at Planet Tracker, comments: “While Bayer claims sustainability is an integral part of its strategy, the company is lacking a credible plan to achieve its goals. Our analysis finds Bayer is failing to meaningfully engage with suppliers to tackle Scope 3 emissions or provide funding for new technologies it claims will help reach its targets, demonstrating scant ambition to meet its objectives.
“Planet Tracker calls on investors to be wary of a reliance on commercially unproven technologies and push for concrete corporate action which will reverse this alarming trajectory.”
The Climate Transition Analysis of Bayer is part of a series examining the climate transition plans of sectors on the Climate Action 100+ list. Previous analyses have revealed similar deficiencies in companies like BASF, further underscoring the urgency for effective Scope 3 emissions reduction. Planet Tracker also released a thematic analysis encompassing FMCG giants in the Food, Home Care and Personal Care sectors covered by CA100+.
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PLANET TRACKER’S CLIMATE TRANSITION ANALYSIS – CHEMICAL COMPANIES
As part of its material system transition programme, Planet Tracker is examining the transition plans of the chemical companies covered by the Climate Action 100+ list (https://www.climateaction100.org/whos-involved/companies/). Our goal is to provide investors with the key information and analysis they need to be able to hold chemical companies to account for the quality of their climate transition plans and their execution against those plans, and to encourage them to use this information to engage effectively with these companies with the ultimate aim of driving the sustainable transformation of the chemical sector.