As climate change and its large-scale negative effects are no longer just presumptions but a reality we are all facing on a daily basis, every member of society, including those in the business environment, must behave and do business in a more sustainable way. Business Review talked to representatives of large companies in Romania and highlighted several solutions that can ensure a greener and safer future for the coming generations. Implementing sustainable urban development, water management, and farming, supporting businesses with green finance, and finding ways to lower carbon emissions in all our activities are among the actions that could be part of the solution.
Ana Gheorghiu, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability Lead Romania, Bulgaria, and Republic of Moldova at Bayer: “For us, caring for sustainability is not an additional activity, but a fundamental element of our strategy and operations. As one of the global leaders in the fields of health and nutrition, we want to make a significant contribution to a high quality of life on a healthy planet: through our activities and products, we contribute to the sustainable improvement of agriculture and food security, as well as to access to quality healthcare products and services. At the same time, we seek to reduce our own environmental footprint in our operations, conserving biodiversity and reducing environmental impact.
When it comes to agriculture, we are aware that globally, more than 70% of available freshwater is used in the production of food, fuel and plant-based fibres or is needed in animal husbandry. The agricultural sector is therefore a major consumer of water. As a leading crop science company, we have a huge responsibility. We will not be able to bring the company’s vision of ‘Health for all, no one without food’ to life without considering water.
In addition, we face a worrying paradox: it is projected that by 2050, our planet will need to provide food for around 10 billion people. This will require a lot of water. Using water in a more sustainable way and growing ‘more crops per drop’ is the challenge we need to address globally. Technology and adapted farming practices could be part of the answer.
At the heart of our local sustainability strategy for the Crop Science division is identifying the right agronomic solutions to address climate change, which is having an increasingly visible impact in our geographic area. So we are trying to provide farmers with the right tools to manage the available water in the best possible way, whether it’s precision farming, drought and pest tolerant hybrids or new plant protection products with more favourable environmental profiles, which together lead to reduced water consumption, labour and energy. We want to increase farmers’ performance and profitability by using fewer resources, protect the environment – water, soil, biodiversity, and demonstrate that agriculture is part of the solution in response to major global challenges.
Because we have maize seed production and processing activities in Romania, at our station in Sinești, Ialomita, we implement specific technologies and methods that reduce the amount of water needed for cultivation. A combination of practices such as drip irrigation, integrated weed management and minimum tillage can contribute to higher water retention, allowing more water availability for crops.
Also, plant breeding, new technologies, data collection, improved accuracy of weather forecasts help farmers to make the best decision for their crop based on the weather. We have an excellent tool at our disposal, Bayer’s precision farming solution – Climate Field View, which tells us the soil’s potential to grow a crop, i.e. the content and requirements of nutrients, water or weed, disease or pest pressure. Based on the data generated, farmers can adapt inputs (i.e. water, pesticides, fertilisers) to be as efficient as possible, optimising production by using the right resources, in the right quantities and exactly where needed.”