Responsibility for Human Rights

  • Human rights criteria integrated into existing due diligence processes

BASF acknowledges its responsibility to respect human rights. We have embedded this into our Code of Conduct and our human rights position. In our own business activities, our aim is to prevent human rights abuses. As a participant in numerous global value chains, we are dependent on partners and demand that they likewise respect human rights and the associated standards. We offer to help our partners in their efforts to meet their human rights responsibilities.

Criteria for monitoring and complying with human rights standards are integrated into processes at our Group companies around the world: in supplier evaluation processes, in evaluating investment, acquisition and divestiture projects, in product assessments along the product lifecycle, in training for security personnel at our sites, for example, on response appropriateness, as well as in systems to monitor labor and social standards.

Employees and third parties can report potential violations of laws or company guidelines to our complaint hotlines. 231 human rights-related complaints were received by the hotline as well as by post and e-mail in 2018. All complaints received are reviewed and forwarded to the relevant departments for in-depth investigation. If justified, suitable measures are taken to address the issue.

BASF is part of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI). This group of globally operating companies from various sectors aims to ensure implementation of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In 2018, we again consulted with representatives of civil society at an international and national level on an ongoing basis, which provided valuable input for our measures.

BASF has been actively involved in the U.N. Global Compact’s Action Platform on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains since 2018. This cross-industry working group aims to improve working conditions in global supply chains as these relate to labor and human rights. The companies involved have developed a voluntary commitment to more effectively implement the main international standards – the ILO core labor standards, the 10 principles of the U.N. Global Compact and the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – in their respective supply chains through specific measures such as supplier training, collaboration with partners or greater transparency. BASF was one of the first companies worldwide to adopt this voluntary commitment in late 2018.