Living the future together
Successful companies often set themselves apart by embracing a shared set of values. That is very much the case at BayWa too. We are there for people: BayWa serves basic human needs, providing solutions for food, shelter, warmth and mobility – as it has for nearly 100 years. In 2020, fulfilling this mission was particularly important in helping the world master the tremendous challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
BayWa and its segments at a glance
Companies have a future if they offer their customers benefits and provide solutions for the challenges to come. BayWa AG thinks and acts with this philosophy in mind, brings fresh momentum to its existing activities and taps into innovative business areas. The company, with its Energy, Agriculture and Building Materials Segments, has evolved into a provider of integrated customer solutions both regionally and internationally – as a leading project management company for renewable energy plants, as a pioneer in digital applications and as a reliable partner for domestic agriculture. This range gives BayWa stability and a wide spectrum of growth potential.
The Energy Segment pools renewable energies and the trade in conventional energy sources. Under the umbrella of BayWa r.e. renewable energy AG, the Renewable Energies business unit covers the entire project business in the field of wind and solar energy. BayWa r.e. also trades in photovoltaic components and storage technology for installers and develops innovative solutions for the provision of energy. Along with Europe and North America, BayWa r.e. is active in the Asia-Pacific region and in Australia. In the Conventional Energy business unit, BayWa sells heating oil, fuels, lubricants, AdBlue as well as wood pellets and heating solutions, mainly in southern Germany and Austria. BayWa Mobility Solutions GmbH rounds off BayWa’s spectrum with solutions in the field of CO2-optimised mobility: offerings in the areas of electromobility, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and digital mobility.
Key figures 2020Energy Segment
in revenues€4.2 bn
share in consolidated revenues25%
employees (number/annual average)3,289
Germany plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality, along with the entire European Union, from 2050 onwards. Every sector of the economy – including mobility – is supposed to contribute to achieving these goals. Businesses and private households need to adapt to new legal conditions. Since its introduction in early 2021, for example, carbon pricing has been making trips to the filling station more expensive for vehicles with combustion engines. By contrast, incentive schemes for electric cars have been making alternative forms of personal mobility more attractive for years now. So how can CO2-optimised mobility make an even bigger impact in people’s private lives and in the business world? BayWa Mobility Solutions GmbH (BMS) is taking on this task and is providing a wide range of solutions for electromobility, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and digital mobility. In the field of electromobility, BMS focuses on advice and planning, as well as the installation, technical operation, repair and maintenance of charging infrastructure. By the end of 2020, some 35,000 public charging stations had been installed. That number is set to rise to just under 400,000 by 2025. BMS is active in this future market. It provides e-mobility solutions for private customers and agriculture, as well as fleet solutions for corporate fleets, for the property sector and for retail businesses. This field still harbours tremendous potential: in late 2020, for example, BMS started installing 250 quick charging stations at 80 locations of the DIY store chain Hellweg in Germany. In addition to its activities geared towards the expansion of charging infrastructure, the product range of the wholly owned BayWa subsidiary also includes filling station and charging cards, which allow users to take advantage of green electricity to charge their electric cars at over 95% of the public charging stations across Germany. BayWa also offers its customers an individual price and discount basis at over 3,000 conventional filling stations, public charging stations and at home. But the development efforts do not stop there: with plug & charge, BMS has joined forces with partners to launch a project that will allow vehicles and charging stations to communicate directly with each other in future – without driver interaction and without a charging card.
Connected to the grid
Electromobility is booming in Germany. That dynamic development is reflected in the growth of business at BayWa Mobility Solutions GmbH (BMS). The fast expansion of a dense and powerful charging infrastructure is the basis for zero-emission mobility. BMS therefore acquired Hilmar Eichholz – a Berlin-based company specialising in buried cable construction, electrical installation and e-mobility – on 1 October 2020. By taking this step, the BayWa subsidiary is enhancing its depth of value creation, strengthening its expertise in the field of buried cable construction and making itself less dependent on external service providers. As part of the acquisition, BMS is significantly expanding its installation network in Germany. In addition to project offices in Bamberg, Berlin, Bremen, Cologne and Munich, further locations are planned nationwide.
Hydrogen, produced with the help of renewable energies, has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the industrial sector and on the road. BayWa r.e. is active in this market of the future. In cooperation with its Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven and the Dutch power grid provider Alliander, the company has launched a hydrogen product to gain practical experience. The project involves using energy from a solar park to convert water to green hydrogen through electrolysis. That hydrogen can be stored, helping to advance the energy transition without placing an additional burden on the power grid. Hydrogen use and production play an important role in the Green Deal of the European Union (EU), which aims to achieve climate neutrality from 2050 onwards. The goal is to create production capacities for green hydrogen of at least 6 gigawatts in the EU by 2024.
Floating PV on the rise
Floating PV turns unused water areas into solar park sites – and could thus defuse land use debates. BayWa r.e. developed its own floating PV system and began project planning and implementing floating solar parks in 2019. With eight projects completed to date, the BayWa subsidiary has already positioned itself at the forefront of the European floating PV market. The biggest milestone to date: the Bomhofsplas project near Zwolle in the Netherlands – the largest floating solar park in Europe – uses 73,000 solar modules to supply around 7,200 households with green electricity from the water. Other advantages of floating PV compared to ground-mounted systems are simpler and faster installation, higher yield potential due to the cooling effects of the water and lower costs for technical management.
In the Agriculture Segment, BayWa covers the entire value chain from the field to the marketing of products, making it one of Europe’s leading trading companies with a global reach. Its range of services includes international trade and logistics for select agricultural commodities and specialities, as well as the sale of agricultural inputs and feedstuffs, predominantly in Germany and Austria. The Global Produce business unit also makes the Group a global player in fruit and vegetable trading, allowing it to market a wide range of pome fruit, tropical fruits and other high-quality fruit and vegetable products around the world. Machinery for agriculture as well as the municipal sector, along with the construction and maintenance of agricultural buildings and systems, are another core competence of BayWa. The offerings range from the sale of new machinery, maintenance and repairs, to the marketing of used machinery.
Key figures 2020Agriculture segment
in revenues€ 11.0 bn
share in consolidated revenues64%
employees (number/annual average)11,762
How can farmers grow raspberries while generating electricity on the same field? With agrivoltaics (Agri-PV), the solution that brings sustainable agriculture and energy generation together – all while benefiting the cultivation and growth of crops. Installed above the crops, the translucent solar modules reduce the risk of weather-related crop and quality losses. In addition, they are more durable than conventional protection systems and therefore environmentally friendly. By making dual use of the land, Agri-PV also defuses the conflict between producing food and generating energy. For farmers, Agri-PV provides an additional source of energy and income, allowing agriculture even to contribute to the energy transition and climate protection. Agri-PV is already established in China, Japan and South Korea but is still a new concept in Europe. However, BayWa r.e. is a leader in Europe and completed one of the largest Agri-PV plants in Babberich in the Netherlands in 2020. There, 10,250 semi-transparent solar modules developed in-house cover a 3.2-hectare raspberry field, capable of supplying some 1,250 households with green electricity. The solar modules protect the raspberries from hail, heavy rain and extreme sun. The next four projects with different kinds of berries are already being planned. The dual use of land for growing food and generating energy has tremendous potential, especially for permanent fruit and wine crops. In addition to helping to protect crops, Agri-PV is associated with another positive aspect: the green electricity generated on-site could be used to power tractors, combine harvesters and other agricultural vehicles, one day replacing carbon-intensive diesel fuel. Here too, BayWa and the agricultural machinery manufacturer Fendt are delivering the first practical examples. At an apple orchard that has been covered with solar modules, the generated electricity is fed into the battery of a Fendt electric tractor – something that offers a world of new prospects, especially for remote fields without a connection to the power grid.
Increasingly frequent regional droughts illustrate that water is also becoming a scarce resource in Germany. BayWa focuses on the special irrigation, drainage and water quality needs of individual customer groups. For large-scale crops, BayWa offers a full range of products and services for water management, from sprinkler irrigation to satellite-based irrigation of specific plots of land. The result is water and energy savings of up to 30%. Speciality and permanent crops such as wine, hops, vegetables, bush and tree fruits, and saplings benefit from BayWa’s technical expertise in micro-irrigation, a particularly efficient and eco-friendly method of getting water and nutrients directly to the roots of each individual plant.
Due to the long journey to European supermarkets, many tropical fruits are harvested in producing countries before they can ripen optimally and are cooled during transport. This method makes it possible to delay further ripening until fruit arrives at its destination and thereby prevent losses. In order to be able to offer consumers top-quality fruit that is ripened to perfection, some types of tropical fruit undergo targeted ripening in special chambers before they hit store shelves as ready-to-eat products. With this aim in mind, the Dutch BayWa subsidiary TFC recently started using the innovative Softripe technology. Intelligent software lets TFC control the ripening process in the chamber, allowing fruit to ripen in a controlled manner, without stress. That not only shortens the ripening time but also consumes significantly less energy.
Along with smart farming, robotics represents an important stage of development and BayWa plays a pioneering role in this field. The most recent example is the weeding robot Dino, which the Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau (Bavarian state institute for viticulture and horticulture) is using to control the growth of weeds in lettuce, leek and onion farming. The technology has the potential to reduce the need for manual labour or chemical substances, especially for labour-intensive speciality crops.
Building Materials Segment
The Building Materials Segment covers the entire range of products and solutions for building materials – from civil engineering, structural engineering, construction, renovations, modernisation, gardening and landscaping, to solution packages for energy efficiency and healthy living. This range of products is aimed at construction companies, municipalities, trades and commercial enterprises, as well as renovators and private individuals building their own homes. In addition to this, BayWa also provides customers with a wide range of specialisations and a variety of services, as well as expertise and support when it comes to innovative topics such as healthy building, energy efficiency and BIM (building information modeling). Digital offerings are increasingly bolstering traditional business by providing fresh momentum and additional sales channels. The key regions for the Building Materials Segment are southern Germany and Austria, where BayWa is one of the leading providers in the building materials.
Key figures 2020Building Materials Segment
in revenues€ 1.9 bn
share in consolidated revenues11%
employees (number/annual average)4,528
Solutions from the Building Materials Segment: This is urban living
Residential spaces, working spaces and an innovative energy concept, all in a single neighbourhood: in Schrobenhausen, a construction project is under way to make that very vision a reality while providing an example of a future-ready approach to urban living. The construction project is being realised by Plapperer Projekt GmbH, a joint venture between the Schrobenhausen- based property developer Michael Plapperer and BayWa AG. Both project partners have big plans with their Multi Park, a residential and office park measuring 10,000 square metres and located not far from Schrobenhausen’s old town. Thanks to an innovative, integrated energy concept that uses renewable energies to provide the six building complexes with cooling and heat, as well as electricity for household use and electromobility, the developers have put together a local climate package – with concentrated living quarters, working quarters and infrastructure for less traffic, plus cooling, heat, electricity and e-mobility powered by renewable energies for less CO2. At Multi Park, the heat is provided by a heating system fuelled by wood pellets. A contracting agreement with BayWa Energie Dienstleistungs GmbH (EDL) covers the installation of systems and the provision of local homes and businesses with renewable fuel while also ensuring economical operation through maintenance and system optimisation. The roofs of the six buildings will feature a photovoltaic (PV) system, allowing the residents and users of the properties to source their household electricity or energy for electromobility through a landlord-to-tenant electricity model. The parking spaces in the underground car park have been equipped accordingly. Under the PV systems is an extensive network of green roofs, which have been demonstrated to positively affect the microclimate by binding particulates and converting CO2 while also lowering the temperature of ambient air and the buildings themselves through evaporation.
Together for more success
BayWa uses its project business, which is pooled in the Group company BayWa Bau Project GmbH, to leverage innovations in the field of construction. The principle is not to compete with regional customers from the construction industry but to instead work together with them as business partners to get new ideas off the ground and increase regional value creation. Multi Park in Schrobenhausen is among those ideas. Another flagship project is under way in Burgkirchen an der Alz, combining intergenerational living (age-appropriate senior housing plus service and care offerings, as well as conventional residential units) with energy efficiency (KfW 55) and sustainability (own electricity generation through PV for household electricity and e-mobility, green roofs, climatic ceilings, pellet heating).
Borrow, don’t buy
The variety of special equipment and machinery in the construction sector is tremendous. In many cases, buying them only pays off to a certain extent. Renting them is often the better alternative. That is why BayWa is further expanding its rental service for construction equipment and machinery through its subsidiary BayWa Rent GmbH. The rental equipment available from BayWa Rent gives customers access to an extensive range of tools and machines – professionally maintained and technically up to date. The service is geared towards professional customers in earthworks and civil engineering, gardening and landscaping, building maintenance and local authorities, as well as private developers who want to perform building work with the greatest possible degree of professionalism. The product range can be seen and requested online at www.baywa-rent.de. BayWa Rent currently operates four independent rental stations across Bavaria and works with partner businesses to ensure the widest possible regional coverage. Further rental parks are in planning.
A passion for building
Paulina Irsigler studies architecture while also completing training as a bricklayer. The daughter of a building contractor, she has a passion for building and is proof positive that construction is also women’s work. For her commitment, BayWa’s Building Materials business unit has recognised the young woman as its first female Baugefühlheld (building feeling hero). Irsigler is now part of the community at www.baugefuehlhelden.de, which is part of BayWa’s efforts to strengthen the regional skilled crafts and trades. The website regularly profiles Baugefühlhelden (building feeling heroes) to honour extraordinary achievements in the construction industry and show the public the outstanding capabilities of today’s building sector.
Innovation & Digitalisation
In the field of Innovation & Digitalisation, BayWa is leveraging the potential offered through increased digitalisation, thereby also underscoring the strategic importance of innovation for the entire company. This sector pools digital activities, along with the further development of innovative approaches. The focus is currently on projects in Digital Farming and eBusiness. Digital Farming offers farmers new opportunities to optimise operating processes, thereby allowing them to work more cost-efficiently and sustainably. Through the subsidiary FarmFacts, BayWa provides a farm management system that offers farmers the advantages of digital technology, regardless of farm type or size. Another approach is the use of satellite data for agriculture. Here, the subsidiary VISTA GmbH has already launched a variety of solutions that have a positive impact on the use of resources and water, as well as on harvest yields. In eBusiness, the focus is on forging ties between digital service offerings, such as online purchasing, and bricks-and-mortar retailers, as well as further advancing and optimising advice apps.
Innovation & Digitalisation: Digital marketplace opened
In the world of agriculture, digitalisation is making ever faster and more significant inroads. With its wholly-owned subsidiary FarmFacts GmbH, BayWa has been a major driving force behind this development for many years. Through its farm management platform NEXT Farming, FarmFacts provides integrated digital solutions for all aspects of agricultural operations. The most recent product from FarmFacts is a digital marketplace. Since the summer of 2020, NEXT Marketplace has been bringing farmers and regional agricultural input dealers together in an open trading platform. The result is a new dimension for farmers that have so far used the NEXT Farming software to plan their day-to-day operating processes, documentation or fertilizer requirements calculation. Having to request offers the old-fashioned way – by phone, e-mail or fax – is now a thing of the past, making room for innovative processes with added value. Combining the digital marketplace with the NEXT Farming system allows users to link orders of fertilizer, seed and crop protection products to field databases, obtain offers from different providers and conclude purchase and delivery agreements. With just a single electronic enquiry, farmers automatically reach all participating dealers in the region. The NEXT Farming software makes it easy to gain a clear overview of incoming offers, permitting a transparent comparison of offers and saving both time and effort. From the farmer’s perspective, there are also practical advantages that speak for the NEXT Farming marketplace solution, such as ordering in a familiar software environment with a single login and without having to manage multiple accounts. Right now, the NEXT Marketplace is available to customers in five German states – Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania – for trade in fertilizer and seed. Crop protection products were added to the platform in early 2021. The range on offer is slated for expansion in the future to include further products and enhanced regional availability.
Better planning with Ypsilon
Precise yield forecasts for wheat, barley, rapeseed and grain maize – eight weeks earlier than with previous methods: the satellite-based service Ypsilon from the BayWa Group companies VISTA Geowissenschaftliche Fernerkundung GmbH and Cefetra B.V. has been making that possible in 19 European countries since May 2020. Using a combination of satellite data and plant growth models, Ypsilon prepares tailored high-precision forecasts for harvest yields at the EU level and even for individual regions. The harvest forecast is supplemented by estimates of harvest progress in the respective regions, which are also updated weekly. This increases the predictability of trading volumes and of the required logistics.
Smart Farming Challenge 2020
In 2020, BayWa organised its own category – the BayWa Smart Farming Challenge – at the international Copernicus Masters competition for the third time in a row. This year, the category saw a new record number of entries, with 54 participants submitting their innovations for sustainable agriculture on the basis of satellite data. ClearSky Vision emerged as the winner from an international field of competitors. The Danish start-up uses artificial intelligence (AI) to look “under” clouds, making it possible to use satellite images for site-specific fertilization and irrigation even in cloudy weather. So far, this technology has required clear skies. Thanks to the innovation from ClearSky Vision, weather will no longer play such an important role in this regard in the future. The result is a giant leap forward for satellite-supported agriculture.
Halting climate change, feeding a growing global population, globally linked supply chains and the consumption of resources – those are the key challenges facing the world of politics and the business sector today. As an internationally operating business, BayWa is no exception in having to tackle these changes and live up to its responsibility to balance international growth with the interests of future generations. Based on its core values of innovation, solidity and trust, BayWa has aligned its sustainability strategy towards four fields of action: market, environment and climate, employees, and quality of life. The company’s sustainability activities are geared towards several overarching goals: sustainable business practices, conserving resources, working in partnership, and creating quality of life.
The Financial Year 2020
Development was very positive for the BayWa Group in 2020. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased by 14.2% to €215.2 million, setting a company record. All operating segments – particularly the Energy and Building Materials Segments, which also set new records – contributed to this rise in earnings. As a result, the BayWa Group was able to remain on track for success, even in a year that was heavily influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Actively communicating with the capital market
As a listed company, BayWa continuously provides the various stakeholders in the capital market with information about the Group’s performance as well as on its long-term outlook. The Investor Relations department, which is directly overseen by the Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for communicating openly and reliably with analysts, institutional investors, private investors and the financial press. The objective is to increase understanding of BayWa’s business model and thereby strengthen the trust of the capital market in the company. Nurturing contacts with existing and potential investors at home and abroad is therefore an integral part of BayWa’s investor relations activities.
Digital nutrition educationBayWa Foundation
In the digital classroom, the BayWa Foundation provides learning materials for schoolchildren on the topics of healthy nutrition. Children can find online learning games, videos with gardening tips and a wide range of practical knowledge at baywastiftung.de/en. The free Essen+Wissen (eating+knowledge) app also offers mobile access to nutritionrelated knowledge, gardening and movement. More than €17 billion are spent on treating diet-related illnesses in Germany every year. Through its nutrition education programme, the foundation is taking steps to counteract this trend.