Associated companies

These are companies in which significant influence can be exercised over their operating and financial policies, and which are not subsidiaries, joint ventures or joint operations. In general, this applies to companies in which BASF has an interest of 20% to 50%.


Audits are a strategic tool for managing standards. During a site or plant audit, clearly defined criteria are used to create a profile for topics pertaining to, for example, environment, safety or health.

Backup line

A backup line is a confirmed line of credit that can be drawn upon in connection with the issue of commercial paper if market liquidity is not sufficient, or for the purpose of general corporate financing. It is one of the instruments BASF uses to ensure it is able to make payments at all times.

Barrel of oil equivalent (BOE)

A barrel of oil equivalent is an international standard for comparing the thermal energy of different fuels. It is equal to one barrel of crude oil, or 6,000 cubic feet or 169 cubic meters of natural gas.


Biocatalysis is the use of enzymes as biological catalysts for the targeted application, acceleration or control of chemical reactions. The high selectivity of enzyme catalysts allows for simplified processes and lower production costs.


Biotechnology includes all processes and products that use living organisms, for example bacteria and yeasts, or their cellular constituents.

1,4-butanediol (BDO)

1,4-butanediol is an intermediate of BASF. BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, polyurethanes, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.

CO2 equivalents

CO2 equivalents are units for measuring the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. A factor known as the global warming potential (GWP) shows the effect of the individual gases compared with CO2 as the reference value.

Coil coatings

Coil coatings are specialty coatings that can be applied to steel and aluminum bands creating a composite material that incorporates the traits of the metal and the coating material. The composite material is especially resistant to corrosion and can be easily formed. Coil coating sheets are mainly used in the construction industry.

Commercial paper program

The commercial paper program is a framework agreement between BASF and banks regarding the issuing of debt obligations on the financial market (commercial paper). The commercial paper is issued under a rolling program for which the terms can be determined individually. This requires a good rating.


Compliance is an important element of corporate governance. It refers to the company’s behavior in accordance with laws, guidelines and voluntary codices.

Conflict minerals/conflict mines

Conflict minerals describe minerals listed in the U.S. Conflict Minerals Trade Act. These include tantalite (coltan), cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite, gold, and their derivatives. Some conflict mines are suspected of being used to finance armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring states.

Consumer goods sector

The consumer goods sector includes, for example, the textiles and leather industry, the electrical industry and domestic appliance manufacturing, as well as the paper industry and the personal care and cleaners sector.


Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) – at BASF, EBIT corresponds to income from operations.

EBIT after cost of capital

EBIT after cost of capital is calculated by deducting the cost of capiital from the EBIT of the operating divisions. The cost of capital thereby reflects the shareholders’ expectations regarding return (in the form of dividends or share price increases) and interest payable to creditors. If the EBIT after cost of capital has a positive value, we have earned a premium on our cost of capital.


Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) – at BASF, EBITDA corresponds to income from operations before depreciation and amortization.

EBITDA margin

The EBITDA margin is the margin that we earn on sales from our operating activities before depreciation and amortization. It is calculated as income from operations before depreciation and amortization as a percentage of sales.

Eco-Efficiency Analysis

The Eco-Efficiency Analysis developed by BASF is a method for the assessment of products and processes with respect to economic and environmental issues. The aim is to compare products with regard to profitability and environmental performance.

Ecosystem services

Companies simultaneously rely on and have an impact on ecosystem services. These include, for example, the conservation of air, water and soil quality. Biodiversity, which is understood as the diversity of life forms on our planet, serves as a basis of and indicator for the integrity of ecological systems.

Equity method

The equity method is used to account for shareholdings in joint ventures and associated companies. Based on the acquisition costs of the shareholding as of the acquisition date, the carrying amount is continuously adjusted to the changes in equity of the company in which the share is held.

European Water Stewardship (EWS) Standard

The European Water Stewardship Standard enables businesses and agriculture to assess the sustainability of their water management practices. The criteria are: water abstraction volumes, water quality, conservation of biodiversity and water governance. The European-wide standard came into force at the end of 2011 and was developed by NGOs, governments and businesses under the direction of the independent organization European Water Partnership (EWP).


Exploration refers to the exploration and investigation of an area in the search for mineral resources such as crude oil or natural gas. The exploration process involves using suitable geophysical processes to find structures that may contain oil and gas then proving a possible find by means of exploratory drilling.

Field development

Field development is the term for the installation of production facilities and the drilling of production wells for the commercial exploitation of oil and natural gas deposits.


Formulation describes the combination of one or more active substances with excipients like emulsifiers, stabilizers and other non-active components in order to improve the applicability and effectiveness of various products, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, paints and coatings.

Free cash flow

Free cash flow is cash provided by operating activities less payments related to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets.

Global Product Strategy (GPS)

The Global Product Strategy aims to establish global product stewardship standards and practices for companies. The program, initiated by the International Council of Chemical Associations, strives to ensure the safe handling of chemicals by reducing existing differences in risk assessment.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol)

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, used by companies from different sectors, NGOs and governments, is a globally recognized standard to quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. The reporting standards and recommendations for the implementation of projects to reduce emissions are jointly developed by companies, governments and NGOs under the guidance of the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Health Performance Index (HPI)

The Health Performance Index is an indicator developed by BASF to provide more detailed insight into our approach to health management. It comprises five components: confirmed occupational diseases, medical emergency drills, first aid, preventive medicine and health promotion.


IAS stands for International Accounting Standards (see also IFRS).


The International Financial Reporting Standards (until 2001: International Accounting Standards, IAS) are developed and published by the International Accounting Standards Board, headquartered in London, England. In accordance with the IAS Regulation, the application of IFRS has been mandatory for listed companies headquartered in the European Union since 2005.

ILO Core Labor Standards

The ILO Core Labor Standards are laid out in a declaration of the International Labor Organization (ILO). It comprises eight conventions which set minimum requirements for decent working conditions. BASF has a Group-wide system to monitor employees’ and suppliers’ adherence to these labor standards.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that determines the general requirements for an environmental management system for voluntary certification.

ISO 19011

ISO 19011 is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that determines requirements for audits of quality management and environmental management systems.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that determines the general requirements for an energy management system for voluntary certification.

IUCN categories of protected areas

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international nongovernmental organization that aims to raise awareness for the protection of species and to contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of resources. IUCN classifies the world’s protected areas. Categories I, II and III comprise “Strict Nature Reserve and Wilderness Area,” “National Park” and “Natural Monument or Feature.”

Joint arrangement

A joint arrangement refers to joint ventures and joint operations, and describes a jointly controlled arrangement of two or more parties. This arrangement exists if decisions about relevant activities require the unanimous consent of all parties sharing control.

Joint operation

A joint operation is a joint arrangement in which the parties that share control have direct rights to the assets and liabilities relating to the arrangement. For joint operations, the proportional share of assets, liabilities, income and expenses are reported in the BASF Group Consolidated Financial Statements.

Joint venture

A joint venture is a joint arrangement in which the parties that have joint control of a legally independent entity have rights to the net assets of that arrangement. Joint ventures are accounted for using the equity method in the BASF Group Consolidated Financial Statements.

Long-term incentive program (LTI)

The long-term incentive program is a share-price-based compensation program for senior executives of the BASF Group and members of the Board of Executive Directors. The program aims to tie a portion of the participants’ compensation to the long-term, absolute and relative performance of BASF shares.

Materiality analysis

BASF uses the materiality analysis to gain information from internal and external stakeholders about the significance of sustainability topics. The results help determine present and future opportunities and risks for BASF’s business and develop strategies to address these at an early stage.


MDI stands for diphenylmethane diisocyanate and is one of the most important raw materials for the production of the plastic polyurethane. This plastic is used for applications ranging from the soles of high-tech running shoes and shock absorbers for vehicle engines to insulation for refrigerators and buildings.


In chemistry, migration refers to the movement of molecules on the surface of plastics or in surrounding materials. Plastics with low migration values hinder or prevent the migration of, for example, additives, which makes them especially suitable for applications that come into contact with food or drinking water.

Monitoring system

Monitoring systems and tools serve to measure and ensure the adherence to standards. One area that is monitored is our voluntary commitments, such as the adherence to human rights and internationally recognized labor standards.

MSCI World Chemicals Index

The MSCI World Chemicals Index is a stock index that includes the world’s biggest chemical companies. It measures the performance of the companies in the index in their respective national currencies, thus considerably reducing currency effects.


The International Organization for Standardization defines nanomaterials as materials with one or more external dimensions on a nanoscale or with internal structure or surface structure on a nanoscale. For regulatory purposes, there are additional definitions for nanomaterials worldwide.


Naphtha is petroleum that is produced during oil refining. Heavy naphtha is the starting point for gasoline production. Light naphtha is the most important feedstock for steam crackers.

NMVOC (Non Methane Volatile Organic Compounds)

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are organic substances that, at low temperatures, are present in the air as gas. These include some hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes and organic acids. NMVOCs are VOCs from which methane is excluded.

OHSAS 18001

The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) comprises, among other things, the standard OHSAS 18001 which includes a management system for occupational safety. This system can be integrated into an existing quality and environmental protection management system and certified accordingly.

Patent Asset Index

The Patent Asset Index measures the strength of a company’s patent portfolio. It is made up of two factors: (1) portfolio size (the number of worldwide active patent families) and (2) competitive impact, which is the combination of technology relevance and market coverage (weighted by market size).

Peak sales potential

The peak sales potential of the crop protection pipeline describes the total peak sales generated and expected for individual products in the pipeline. It comprises active ingredients and system solutions that have been on the market since 2010 or will be launched on the market by 2020. The peak sales potential of individual products corresponds to the highest sales value to be expected from one year of the observation period.

Propylene oxide (PO)

Propylene oxide (PO), a very reactive compound, is generated by the oxidation of propylene and is used as basic chemical for further processing in the chemical industry.

Ramsar Site

Ramsar Sites were defined in the Ramsar Convention of 1971. These are protected Wetlands of International Importance, such as lagoons, moors, lakes, rivers and marshlands.


REACH is a European Union regulatory framework for the registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals, and will be implemented gradually until 2018. Companies are obligated to collect data on the properties and uses of produced and imported substances and to assess any risks. The European Chemicals Agency reviews the submitted dossiers and, if applicable, requests additional information.

Renewable resources

The term renewable resources refers to biomass that origins from different sources (plants and microorganisms, for example), and is used for industrial purposes. Renewable resources are used for manufacturing numerous products and for generating electricity and other forms of energy.

Responsible Care

Responsible Care refers to a worldwide initiative by the chemical industry to continuously improve its performance in the areas of environmental protection, health and safety.


Profits generated can be used in two ways: distribution to shareholders or retention within the company.

Return on assets

Return on assets describes the return we make on the average assets employed during the year. It is calculated as income before taxes and minority interests plus interest expenses as a percentage of average assets. 

Special items

Special items describe one-time charges or one-time income that significantly affect the earnings of a segment or the BASF Group. Special items include, for example, charges arising from restructuring measures or earnings from divestitures.

Spot market (cash market)

A spot market is a market where an agreed-upon deal, including delivery, acceptance and payment, occurs immediately, as opposed to forward contracts, where the delivery, acceptance and payment occurs at a point in time after the conclusion of the deal.

Steam cracker

A steam cracker is a plant in which steam is used to “crack” naphtha (petroleum) or natural gas. The resulting petrochemicals are the raw materials used to produce most of BASF’s products.


TDI stands for toluene diisocyanate and is a starting material for the production of polyurethane. It is used primarily in the automotive industry (for example, in seat cushions and interiors) and the furniture industry (for example, for flexible foams for mattresses or cushioning, or in wood coating).


TUIS is a German transport accident information and emergency response system jointly operated by around 130 chemical companies. The member companies can be reached by the public authorities at any time and provide assistance over the telephone, expert on-site advice or special technical equipment.

UNESCO protected area

UNESCO protected areas, or World Heritage Sites, are natural sites of exceptional value. These important habitats can be home to endangered plant and animal species.

Value chain

A value chain describes the successive steps in a production process: from raw materials through various intermediate steps, such as transportation and production, to the finished product.


In the BASF Verbund (pronounced “fair-boond”), production facilities, energy flow, logistics and infrastructure are intelligently networked with each other in order to increase production yields, save resources and energy, and reduce logistics costs. A significant factor in the Verbund concept is the Know-How Verbund, in which BASF employees engage in worldwide exchange and expert knowledge is pooled in technology platforms.

VFA-based cationic polymers

VFA stands for vinylformamide, a starting material for water-soluble, cationic polymers. VFA-based cationic polymers are used in the paper industry to increase efficiency in production processes.

Water stress areas

Water stress areas are areas in which water represents a scarce resource, and where people abstract more than 60 percent of the water available. The most important factors leading to water scarcity are: low precipitation, high temperatures, low air humidity, unfavorable soil properties and high water abstraction rates.

White biotechnology

White biotechnology is an area of biotechnology, also called industrial biotechnology, that uses microorganisms and/or enzymes to produce chemical products that are utilized in many levels of the value chain in the chemical industry. This involves, for example, the biotechnological production of chiral intermediates.