Sustainability management

Sustainability is embedded into our corporate strategy. We employ the various tools of our sustainability management toward living out our company purpose: “We create chemistry for a sustainable future.” This is how we underpin the strategic principle, “We drive sustainable solutions.” By integrating sustainability aspects into our core business, we take advantage of business opportunities and minimize risks along the value chain.


  • Identifying significant topics and trends
  • Taking advantage of business opportunities
  • Minimizing risks

As the world’s leading chemical company, we aim to add value in the long term for our company, the environment, and society. Sustainability is simultaneously an essential part of our risk management and a driver for growth. That is why we incorporate aspects of sustainability into our decision-making processes and define clear responsibilities for this in our organization.

Through our materiality analysis, continuous dialog with stakeholders, and our many years of experience, we are always developing a better understanding of significant topics and trends as well as potential opportunities and risks along our value chain.

We used a materiality analysis in 2013 to identify and prioritize relevant sustainability topics for BASF. Material aspects derived from this include, for example, energy and climate, water, resources and ecosystems, responsible production, and employment and employability. These are the focus areas of our reporting. We have also integrated them into our steering processes and used them as the basis for working out our new global sustainability goals.

In order to properly account for changing conditions and requirements, we initiated an internal analysis in 2015 to review the results of the materiality analysis. We have already started involving numerous colleagues and in 2016, we want to exchange with external stakeholders.

We take advantage of business opportunities by offering our customers innovative products and solutions that contribute to sustainable development. We ensure that sustainability criteria are integrated into our business units’ development and implementation of their strategies, research projects, and innovation processes. For example, we identify the sustainability value drivers and risks for specific value chains. We analyze the sustainability strategies of competitors and customers in order to tap new business opportunities.

Our risk management supports our long-term business success. We aim to reduce risks by setting ourselves globally uniform requirements for environmental and health protection, safety and security, product stewardship, compliance, and labor and social standards that frequently go beyond legal requirements. Internal monitoring systems and complaint mechanisms enable us to check compliance with these standards: these include, for example, questionnaires, audits and compliance hotlines. All employees and managers are required to abide by our global Code of Conduct, which defines a mandatory framework for our business activities.

Our investment decisions for property, plant and equipment and financial assets also involve sustainability criteria. Our decision-making is supported by expert appraisals that assess economic implications as well as potential effects on the environment, human rights or local communities.