Resource and energy efficiency Luciano Goncalves from Bayer MaterialScience checks the sodium hydroxide feed to the oxygen depolarized cathode element. Oxygen depolarized cathode technology can enable energy consumed in chlorine production from common salt to be cut by around 30 percent.
assured 2011
Strategy & Focus Issues

Cutting emissions – protecting the climate

Solar Impulse: With innovative high-tech polymer materials and energy-saving lightweight materials Bayer is helping to enable the Solar Impulse aircraft to circumnavigate the globe powered by solar energy alone. Zoom image
Solar Impulse: With innovative high-tech polymer materials and energy-saving lightweight materials Bayer is helping to enable the Solar Impulse aircraft to circumnavigate the globe powered by solar energy alone.

International efforts to draw up a global agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are only progressing slowly, despite the fact that climatologists draw attention time and again to climate change and its possible consequences. In addition to worldwide growth and a rising energy requirement in both industrialized countries and emerging markets, this is also being caused by the growing global population, the food supplies it requires, mobility, urbanization and changing lifestyles. It therefore remains the task of politicians, the business world and the whole of society to take climate change seriously and develop solutions to help ease the situation.

At the end of 2007 Bayer launched an ambitious Climate Program [ 35 ] involving all subgroups as part of the company’s sustainability strategy. We want to rigorously continue along this path and in 2011 once again tightened our longer-term climate objectives for greenhouse gas reduction. The new Group target is to reduce specific greenhouse gas emissions (direct and indirect emissions in relation to manufactured sales volume in metric tons) by 35 percent from 2005 to 2020 (see also chapter "Ecology"). To achieve this objective, in 2011 the target values for reducing the specific emissions of our energy-intensive subgroup Bayer MaterialScience were increased to 40 percent (formerly 25 percent), while the target values for the absolute emissions of Bayer HealthCare were increased to 10 percent (formerly 5 percent). The ambitious target value for Bayer CropScience remains a cut in absolute emissions of 15 percent. “The projected growth in production during this period means that we have to keep total emissions through 2020 at roughly the level of 2007. In other words, we have to effectively decouple production volumes and emissions,” says Patrick Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer MaterialScience AG.


Iñaki Eguizabal, founder and CEO of Kliux EnergiesZoom image
Iñaki Eguizabal, founder and CEO of Kliux Energies

“We are living the New Energy Revolution. Global warming and the increasing demand for larger amounts of energy have made us realize that the current energy system we are using worldwide is complex and inefficient. The existing model of large power generating companies and energy consumers is trending towards a new scenario where every consumer will become a producer of his own energy, promoting the rational use of all energy resources. At Kliux Energies we believe that the future of our society’s ability to sustain the current economic growth will require a change of paradigm by implementing a new Distributed Energy generation. Thanks to the use of Bayer MaterialScience’s polyurethane material in the construction of our Vertical Axis Wind Turbine rotor blades, we have been able to dramatically improve our production costs and aerodynamic performance.”

Extensive climate program

Bayer pursues three approaches to achieve climate protection:
1. More efficient production: Reducing emissions in Bayer’s own production facilities by increasing energy efficiency and by developing and utilizing new, innovative technologies.
2. Market solutions: Using Bayer products, particularly in the areas of building insulation, lightweight construction and agriculture, to reduce customer emissions.
3. Supporting measures: Reducing emissions in units not associated with production, such as the vehicle fleet and IT, involving the workforce in the process.
This comprehensive climate program also has economic benefits for Bayer. Not only do we cut energy costs significantly through improved efficiency, we also develop and market products that help our customers with their own climate protection efforts. This represents a growing market potential that will increase in the area of building efficiency in particular owing to political regulation. In 2011 sales of products relating to climate protection accounted for around 20 percent of the total sales of Bayer MaterialScience alone, amounting to approximately €2.4 billion.

Focusing on energy efficiency in production

While up to around 2005 Bayer focused first and foremost on facilitating cogeneration in its own power plants, in 2008 we started systematically integrating the topic of energy efficiency into our production processes. For this purpose, we use an innovative and effective system of energy management known as “Structured Efficiency System for Energy” (STRUCTese™) [ 36 ] that we developed in-house. By the end of 2011 Bayer MaterialScience had already rolled out this DIN EN 16001 (iso 50001) certified system in 46 energy-intensive production facilities. Implementing targeted measures made it possible to reduce primary energy consumption by 585,000 megawatt hours a year and CO2 emissions by around 175,000 metric tons a year. By the end of 2013 we plan to have introduced this system at a total of 65 such production facilities. STRUCTese™ works in three steps: we first use the Bayer Climate Check [ 38 ] to identify potential savings and then categorize and prioritize possible measures. Commercial measures are successively implemented in a final step. Energy losses are visualized and a system of reporting with objectives is established. Online monitoring and daily energy logs display the optimal consumption and quickly flag up any deviations. Having successfully launched the system at Bayer MaterialScience, we made the system available to other companies from 2010.
Research and development in process technology is a key to generating solutions to cut energy consumption, to reduce emissions in our production facilities and to expand our competitive advantage. One result is common salt electrolysis using oxygen depolarized cathode technology, which makes it possible to use up to 30 percent less electricity in chlorine production than in the membrane technology generally deployed today. After many years of research and development, this lighthouse project was launched in Germany on an industrial scale for the first time in 2011 and is undergoing successful testing.           
Bayer lighthouse projects for climate protection
EcoCommercial Building Program (ECB)Implemented measuresResults in 2011
Focus on large-scale commercial and public building projects; alignment to international core and growth marketsDevelopment of international marketing and industry networks
Support for the Bayer Climate Program through energy-efficient new buildings
Emissions-neutral and energy-efficient Bayer buildings in line with the ECB standard in Monheim, Germany; Diegem, Belgium; Pittsburgh, United States
Founding of four centers of excellence worldwide with
50 network partners
15 memorandums of understanding signed with high-profile decision-makers in the construction industry Inauguration of an ECB in Greater Noida, India, and groundbreaking for first emissions-neutral ECB in China (Qingdao Lighthouse Project) in May 2011
Energy EfficiencyImplemented measuresResults in 2011
Oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) technology based on common salt; used at Bayer MaterialScience for industrial-scale chlorine manufacture; reduction in electricity requirements of up to 30 % compared with the membrane process and thus an indirect reduction in CO2 emissionsAt Bayer MaterialScience: demonstration plant taken into operation at the Krefeld-Uerdingen site in 2011 (capacity: 20 kilotons of chlorine per year)
Successful launch of two-year production trial
Measured data from demonstration plant to date confirm savings potential indicated during laboratory operation
Establish STRUCTese™ to achieve a sustainable and systematic reduction of CO2 emissions in energy-intensive plantsImplementation planned in 65 plants
Rolled out at 46 sites by the end of 2011
Energy costs reduced by €35 million
Four audits passed, recertification to the DIN EN 16001 energy management system
Marketing successes in outlicensing of technology
Solar ImpulseImplemented measuresResults in 2011
Develop innovative lightweight construction solutions for renewable energy concepts with materials from Bayer MaterialScienceConstruction of the solar aircraft HB-SIA sample project Successor model HB-SIB due to circumnavigate the globe in 2014Material tests concluded for polyurethane foam (cabin) and polycarbonate film (cockpit windows)

Climate protection solutions for our customers

A holistic overview of energy efficiency measures for buildings also offers further tremendous potential for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. With the “EcoCommercial Building Program” lighthouse project [ 41 ], Bayer MaterialScience is integrating, for example, all the players in the field of building construction and promoting the use of building materials that further reduce emissions in the utilization phase. The interdisciplinary ECB network supplies innovative solutions, materials and services in all areas linked to sustainable building. This way, we offer our customers opportunities to implement energy efficiency measures that we are also using in our own buildings (see table "Bayer lighthouse projects for climate protection").
In many different ways, our products play their part in saving energy and conserving resources. One example at Bayer MaterialScience are polyurethane feedstocks that are used in insulating materials for building facades, roofs and refrigerators. These offer more efficient heat insulation than other high-volume materials made of styrene or mineral wool. Polyurethane systems for bumpers and fenders and polycarbonate as a replacement for glass in windows feature in lightweight construction solutions in the automotive sector, where they help, among other things, to further cut fuel consumption. Bayer MaterialScience is researching, developing and demonstrating other lightweight construction solutions for mobility and renewable energies as part of the “Solar Impulse” lighthouse project [ 37 ] (solar-powered lightweight aircraft). The objective is to test our lightweight materials and drive forward research in this area (see table "Bayer lighthouse projects for climate protection").
Climate protection is not limited to production and product solutions. A large proportion of the world’s greenhouse gases are emitted during food production. By breeding stress-resistant plants and with suitable crop protection systems, Bayer CropScience is helping to generate better yields without increasing emissions in spite of difficult climatic conditions. State-of-the-art cultivation methods, as being tested in our “Direct Seeding of Rice” lighthouse project [ 39 ], will enable further significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the future depending on land use and irrigation systems (see table "Bayer lighthouse projects for nutrition").

Innovation for the future

Developing visions and joining forces with partners to establish collaborations and initiatives brings Bayer closer to the goal of more energy-efficient and resource-friendly production. Pursuing completely new approaches in plastics production is enabling us to make a technical breakthrough in carbon dioxide (CO2) recycling. It took more than 40 years of research to develop a useful raw material from this harmful climate gas. The breakthrough was triggered by a new catalyst developed by Bayer researchers and jointly optimized with the CAT Catalytic Center in Aachen, Germany. In February 2011, as part of the publicly sponsored “Dream Production” project [ 40 ], Bayer took into operation a pilot plant in Leverkusen for the manufacture of polyol – an important precursor of polyurethane – with the help of CO2. Provided the test phase is successful, Bayer will launch industrial-scale production in 2015. In parallel with this, a further project partner, RWTH Aachen University, is conducting an investigation of the ecological balance of the complete process. The new process helps, above all, to reduce dependency on crude oil as a source of carbon and makes a contribution to climate protection. “Dream Production” was nominated, for instance, for the German Sustainability Award 2011.
Researchers involved in the publicly sponsored CO2RRECT joint project [ 42 ] are focusing on the question of how carbon dioxide can additionally be harnessed with the help of surplus electricity from wind energy.
In September 2011 Bayer Technology Services and the Technical University of Dortmund opened the new INVITE research center [ 43 ] at the Chempark Leverkusen site. INVITE stands for innovations, visions and technologies. The facility is dedicated to the development and testing of flexible, efficient and thus climate-friendly production concepts for the “Factory of the Future” that help to conserve resources.

Greener fleet and greener offices

The third pillar of our Climate Program focuses on measures outside production or products that generate real energy savings. This incorporates initiatives that concern everyday work and office routines. The EcoFleet, which was launched in 2007, is designed to cut emissions from the Group’s global vehicle fleet by 20 percent by the end of 2012. Between 2007 and the end of 2011, the EcoFleet project led not only to fuel savings but also to reductions in CO2 emissions of over 32,500 metric tons per year, which corresponds to a fall of 18 percent compared with 2007.
A year earlier than planned, the energy efficiency of the company’s data centers was increased by more than 20 percent compared to 2009. Key improvements meant that in 2011 alone we virtualized almost 800 systems in the areas of hardware and IT architecture, thus significantly reducing the number of servers. Furthermore, we improved the energy efficiency of our offices by optimizing the cooling technology, for example. We also converted the data centers to more energy-efficient data storage media. In total, between 2009 and 2011 it was possible to save almost 14,600 megawatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent to a reduction of around 6,300 metric tons of CO2 taking account of national conversion factors.
Teleconference and video conference systems are increasingly being implemented and thus reduce the number of business trips. A further step towards a sustainable office was taken in October 2011 with the global introduction of FSC-certified paper as the standard office paper.

Our way forward: improving the established – realizing innovation

Four years after the Bayer Climate Program was launched, the energy efficiency and emission reduction measures are taking effect. With the measures implemented we are well on the way to achieving the targets we previously set ourselves and then tightened in 2011. In the future, innovation in product and process development will play an even more important part in helping us achieve our climate targets.
Another important climate protection component will be innovations that we will outlicense following a successful pilot phase. To this end, Bayer MaterialScience has established dedicated marketing functions to offer, for example, the oxygen depolarized cathode technology developed by Bayer and its partners for chlorine production to external chlorine producers as well.
In the future, research collaborations will play an even bigger role, especially with a view to energy efficiency in the material sector and the adjustment to climate change in the fields of agriculture and vector control.

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CO2 – vom Klimakiller zur Ressource



Last updated: June 6, 2012