square feet of green roof in Chicago
High above Chicago’s noisy streets, a new world unfolds. Lettuces, tomatoes and herbs flourish on the roof of a building. A young woman waters her plants against a backdrop of skyscrapers. The scene is one of the five images chosen to illustrate our new employer brand, and embodies our "Passion to innovate | Power to change" message.
Where once the eye saw only grey tar paper and rundown brick buildings, today, in many cities, wildflowers and vegetables thrive. At the same time, such green roofs are extremely useful: they offer cooling on hot days, protect sewer systems after heavy rains, produce oxygen, filter the air, and provide a habitat for insects and animals.
Densly planned skyscaper cities, like here in Manhattan, New York, do not offer enough green spaces. Rooftop gardening has become a major trend in these areas.
Green roofs at Bayer
In Canada and India, we at Bayer have turned the green roof concept into reality: the head office in Toronto features a green roof, composed of 10,000 square feet of plant life. The corporate office in Thane, officially opened in 2014, has an open-air rooftop garden where Bayer CropScience grows tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and chilies. Freshly harvested, the vegetables find their way onto plates in the staff canteen or are raffled off to employees. And what could be nicer at the end of the day than to sit out in the sun on one of the benches in the garden?
Rooftop gardening or green roofs are fairly simple constructions and work on roofs with less than 20–30 degrees of slope. They all consist of at least these basic elements: a waterproofing membrane, a layer of soil, and the vegetation of choice. Green roofs can be built on roofs of old buildings too, as long as these can carry the extra weight. Once the garden is installed, it can be farmed by the inhabitants – should it include edible plants – otherwise it can be enjoyed as an additional green space within the city.
The green roofs provide the opportunity to grow local organic vegetables in mega cities.
The roof garden is a living example of what "Passion to innovate | Power to change" can mean: it transforms unused city surfaces into productive green spaces that make the city healthier, environmentally friendlier, and more sustainable.
New and unconventional perspectives
"The roof garden is a living example of what "Passion to innovate | Power to change" can mean: it transforms unused city surfaces into productive green spaces that make the city healthier, environmentally friendlier, and more sustainable," says Farsana Jakubi, who leads the "Employer Brand" project together with Christine Knebel. "For us, innovation means being open to new and unconventional perspectives and approaches to improving people’s lives. That’s why we chose this image for our employer brand."
Join us, if you share our passion and commitment to change our world for the better. Because we invent solutions that will create a sustainable future for our planet.
Watering the vegetable garden on the green roof of True Nature Foods, an organic cooperative food store, Chicago, IL
Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
In 2004 Chicago implemented the “Sustainable Development Policy”, which required private developers receiving assistance from the city to include sustainable features. This kicked off a major green roof boom in the city. Boasting today more than 500 green roofs.