We have high standards – and demand the same of our suppliers

Our value chain begins with the use of raw materials – and with our suppliers. As we work with them around the world, it is important that our partners also adhere to environmental, social, and corporate governance standards. A Supplier Code of Conduct outlines our expectations, which include compliance with human rights and labor and social standards as well as with antidiscrimination and anticorruption policies. The Code also covers behavior for environmental protection, such as the application of energy-efficient technologies and the sparing use of raw materials. We employ renewable resources for selected processes in our own production.

How sugar can become a swimsuit

In photosynthesis, plants use the sun’s energy to transform carbon dioxide and water into sugar compounds. This is how the polysaccharide cellulose is produced, for example. As the main component in plant cell walls, cellulose is the largest organic raw material source on Earth.

And yet obtaining sugar components from cellulose for use as raw materials involves costly processes. This is why BASF is testing a multiple-step method with the American company Renmatix Inc. to break down the cellulose from inedible biomass into various industrial sugars. These can serve as important feedstock for many basic and intermediate chemical products – for example, for the intermediate 1,4-butanediol.

Following a method of the American company Genomatica Inc., BASF produced the first commercial volumes of butanediol from renewable resources. 1,4-butanediol is already used as a raw material for many of the everyday products we use today – such as plastics for skateboard wheels and elastic fibers for textiles. This means even a swimsuit could be based on renewable raw materials in the future.

Eco-efficiency can be learned

Workshops, e-learning and touring a production plant are all on the agenda for the Eco-Efficiency Program participants at BASF Mexicana. In cooperation with the Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), this program teaches BASF’s suppliers and customers how to save energy and resources in their operations. Training that pays off – for the participants’ ideas have prevented around 70,300 metric tons of carbon emissions since the program began in 2008.

2,000 evaluations

and supplier sustainability audits have been launched by the members of the Together for Sustainability chemical industry initiative.

Sustainability standards in the supply chain

BASF is a founding member of the “Together for Sustainability” initiative, in which leading chemical companies have joined forces to support sustainability in the supply chain and standardize supplier assessment methods.

More on our cooperation with suppliers