Assurance report on the sustainability information in the BASF Report 2011¹ ²
To the Management of BASF SE
Introduction and scope
We have been engaged to perform a limited assurance engagement on sustainability performance information included in the BASF Report 2011” for the business year 2011 of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen. The “BASF Report 2011” contains the Management’s Analysis, which is, together with the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 subject to the statutory group audit.
Sustainability performance information included in the scope of our assurance is within the following sections of the “BASF Report 2011”: About this report, To our shareholder (Letter from the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF on the capital market), The BASF Group (Strategy and values, Our goals, Sustainability management, Value added statement), The business year at BASF, Employees and society (Employees, Occupational safety and health protection, Social commitment) Environment and safety (Environmental, safety and security management, Climate protection, Energy and raw materials, Water, Product stewardship), Corporate Governance of the BASF Group (Compliance, Management and Supervisory Boards, compensation report), and Overviews (Requirements, topics and data, GRI and Global Compact Index).
Management is responsible for the appropriateness of the preparation and presentation of qualitative claims and the appropriateness of the determination and presentation of quantitative indicators on sustainability performance included in the “BASF Report 2011” in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3.1) of the Global Reporting Initiative as well as internal guidelines, as described in the sections “About this report” (page 4) and “Requirements, topics and data” (page 224).
This responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining systems and processes relevant for the preparation of the sustainability performance information, as well as the selection of topics and the application of appropriate methods for the preparation of the report.
Auditor’s responsibility and assurance standards
Our responsibility is to carry out an assurance engagement on the sustainability performance information in the “BASF Report 2011” and to express a conclusion with limited assurance based on the assurance procedures performed.
We conducted our engagement in accordance with the International Standard for Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000:”Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information“, issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. Amongst others, this standard requires that the members of our assurance team have appropriate knowledge, skills and professional qualifications to understand and evaluate the sustainability performance information, and that we comply with the requirements of IFAC of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants to ensure our independence.
According to ISAE we have to plan and perform the assurance engagement such that we are able to express our conclusion as to whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the sustainability performance information in the “BASF Report 2011” is not, in all material respects, fairly stated.
In a limited assurance engagement, the scope evidence gathering procedures is less comprehensive than in a reasonable assurance engagement, and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a reasonable assurance engagement.
This assurance engagement is limited primarily to inquiries of employees, especially those responsible for the preparation and presentation of qualitative claims and the determination and the presentation quantitative indicators on sustainability performance information in the “BASF Report 2011, analytical and other evidence gathering procedures, as appropriate.
In particular we carried out the following assurance procedures:
- Interviews of employees on Group level in order to gain an understanding of the process for determining material sustainability topics of BASF SE.
- A media analysis and internet search for references to sustainability performance information of BASF SE in the reporting period.
- Inspection of the documentation of the systems, processes and internal controls for information management as well as for processing data on Group and Regional level.
- Enquiries of employees responsible for the analysis and reporting of the sustainability performance indicators.
- Assessment of the data as reported and of data validation processes on Group and Regional level and analytical procedures regarding data trends.
- Site visits in Lampertheim and Schwarzheide (both Germany), Shanghai Caojing and Shanghai Pudong (both China) and Tarragona (Spain) to assess local data collection and reporting processes and the reliability of the reported data.
- Enquiries of employees on Group level responsible for the preparation of the sections Sustainability management, Strategies and values, Our goals, Employees and society, Environment and safety, Compliance and Overviews.
- Inspections of internal and external documents and sources, in particular related to the topics Stakeholder engagement, Our corporate carbon footprint, Opportunities with climate protection products, Management of new technologies, The challenge of demographic change, Supply chain management, Occupational safety focus areas and Transportation safety, to determine whether qualitative claims are based on sufficient evidence and presented in an accurate and balanced manner.
- An evaluation of the overall presentation of the sustainability performance within the scope of our engagement.
Based on the procedures performed nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the sustainability performance information in the “BASF Report 2011” is not, in all material respects, fairly stated.
Frankfurt am Main, February 22, 2012
[Original German version signed by:]
1 Translation of the independent assurance report, authoritative in German language.
2 Our engagement applies to the German Version of the BASF Report 2011.