Sustainability management

Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy. Using the various tools of our sustainability management, we carry out our company purpose: “We create chemistry for a sustainable future.” Sustainability is integrated into our core business, in line with our strategic principle “We drive sustainable solutions.” This is how we seize business opportunities and minimize risks along the value chain.


  • Recognizing 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 a driver for growth as well as an element of our risk management. That is why we incorporate aspects of sustainability into our decision-making processes and have defined clear responsibilities in our organization.

We have created structures to promote sustainable, entrepreneurial actions all the way from strategy to implementation. The Corporate Sustainability Board is BASF’s central steering committee for sustainable development. It is comprised of the heads of our business, corporate and functional units as well as of the regions. A member of the Board of Executive Directors serves as chair. We have also established an external, independent Stakeholder Advisory Council. Here, international experts from science and society contribute important external perspectives to discussions with BASF’s Board of Executive Directors, thereby helping us expand our strengths and identify our potential for improvement.

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

We were already using a materiality analysis back in 2013 to identify such topics as energy and climate, water, resources and ecosystems, responsible production, and employment and employability. A strategic evaluation process built upon this in 2015 and 2016 to define new focus topics along the value chain.

They provide strategic orientation for BASF’s commitments in meeting the growing challenges along the value chain:

  • We source responsibly.
  • We produce safely for people and the environment.
  • We produce efficiently.
  • We respect people and treat them fairly.
  • We drive sustainable solutions.

Relevant topics resulting from these commitments form the focal points of our reporting, which we integrate into our long-term steering processes.

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 strategies, research projects, and innovation processes. For example, we analyze sustainability-related market trends in customer industries, such as the packaging industry, in order to zero in on taking advantage of new business opportunities.

Our risk management supports our long-term business success. We aim to reduce potential risks in the areas of environment, safety and security, health protection, product stewardship, compliance, and labor and social standards by setting ourselves globally uniform requirements that frequently go beyond legal requirements. Internal monitoring systems and complaint mechanisms enable us to check compliance with these standards: they include, for example, questionnaires, audits and compliance hotlines. All employees, managers, and Board members 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.