Air and soil

We want to further reduce emissions to air from our production, protect the soil and prevent waste. We have set ourselves standards for doing so in a global directive. If no recovery options are available, we dispose of waste in a correct and environmentally responsible manner.

The graphic depicts the different stations along the value chain. The topics in this chapter address the station shown in dark green. (here: Production, Customers) (graphic)

Strategy

  • Raw Material Verbund helps prevent and reduce waste
  • Professional disposal of hazardous waste

Regular monitoring of our emissions to air is a part of environmental management at BASF. Aside from greenhouse gases, we also measure emissions of other pollutants into the atmosphere. Our reporting does not take into account air pollutant emissions from oil and gas operations due to their substantial fluctuation during exploration phases.

Our Raw Material Verbund helps us prevent and reduce waste. We regularly carry out audits to inspect external waste management companies, ensuring that our hazardous waste is properly disposed of.

2020 Goal

–70%

Reduce emissions of air pollutants
Baseline 2002

Emissions to air

  • Further reduction of emissions

By 2020, we aim to decrease absolute emissions of air pollutants from our chemical plants worldwide by 70% in comparison with baseline 2002. In 2014, this reduction was at 63.2%, to 31,505 metric tons (2013: 32,385 metric tons). Emissions of ozone-depleting substances as defined by the Montreal Protocol totaled 36 metric tons in 2014 (2013: 28 metric tons). Emissions of heavy metals totaled 4 metric tons (2013: 4 metric tons).

We were able to considerably reduce our emissions of nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) in 2014. This was largely thanks to the increased use of a solvent recovery plant at our site in Australia, through which around 550 metric tons of emissions can be avoided every year.

In addition, we have, for example, replaced 30 older-model locomotives with a new fleet of diesel locomotives at our sites in Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide in Germany, and in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2014. The modern locomotives increase productivity and reduce emissions to air, further avoiding 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Emissions to air1 (in metric tons)
Air pollutants from BASF operations excluding Oil & Gas

 

 

20022

2011

2012

2013

2014

1

The figures for the 2011 business year and earlier were not adjusted to the new accounting and reporting standards IFRS 10 and 11. For more information on our data collection methods, see About this report.

2

Baseline

CO (carbon monoxide)

 

46,208

4,419

4,264

4,547

4,635

NOx (total NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] + NO [nitrogen monoxide], calculated as NO2)

 

15,045

13,003

11,507

11,551

11,697

NMVOCs (nonmethane volatile organic compounds)

 

15,005

6,127

6,148

5,760

4,881

SOx (total various sulfur oxides)

 

6,633

4,483

3,423

4,489

4,506

Dust

 

1,734

3,069

2,858

3,542

3,465

NH3/other (NH3 [ammonia] and other inorganic substances)

 

994

3,263

2,382

2,496

2,321

Total

 

85,619

34,364

30,581

32,385

31,505

Management of waste and contaminated sites

  • Reduction of total waste volume
  • New database being set up for contaminated sites

We regularly explore possibilities for preventing waste. If waste is unavoidable, we perform an analysis for recycling or energy recovery. Total waste volume decreased by 16% in 2014. This was largely attributable to more detailed assessment of waste streams as well as to the reduction in mineral waste from construction activities.

We develop remediation solutions in order to balance costs, nature conservation, climate protection concerns, legal requirements and transportation volumes. After stipulating global standards for contaminated site management in 2013, we began working on a database in 2014 containing the most significant sites. Current remediation measures around the world continued to run on schedule in 2014 and planning was concluded on future landfill remediation projects.

Waste management, BASF Group (in million metric tons)

 

 

2014

2013

1

Comprises all production waste and hazardous waste from construction activities

2

The classification of waste into hazardous and nonhazardous waste is performed according to local regulations.

Total waste generation1

 

2.07

2.47

Thereof from oil and gas exploration

 

0.05

0.14

Waste recovered

 

0.71

0.73

Recycled

 

0.30

0.31

Thermally recovered

 

0.41

0.42

Waste disposed of

 

1.36

1.75

In underground landfills

 

0.12

0.12

In above-ground landfills

 

0.52

0.80

Through incineration

 

0.72

0.82

Classification of waste for disposal2

 

 

 

Nonhazardous waste

 

0.42

0.44

Hazardous waste

 

0.94

1.31

Transported hazardous waste

 

0.23

0.33