Responsible Care Management System

The protection of people and the environment is our top priority. Our core business – the development, production, processing and transportation of chemicals – demands a responsible approach. We systematically address risks with a comprehensive Responsible Care Management System, which is continually being further developed. We expect our employees and contractors to know the risks of working with our products, substances and plants and handle these responsibly.

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

  • Global directives and standards for safety, security, health and environmental protection
  • Regular audits to monitor performance and progress

BASF’s Responsible Care Management System comprises the global directives, standards and procedures for safety, security, health and environmental protection for the various stations along our value chain. Our regulations cover the transportation of raw materials, activities at our sites and warehouses, and distribution of our products as well as our customers’ application of the products. Specifications for implementing these measures are laid out in binding directives that are introduced in consultation with employee representatives. These describe the relevant responsibilities, requirements and assessment methods. Our policies and requirements are constantly updated. We also maintain a dialog with government institutions, associations and other international organizations.

We set ourselves ambitious goals for safety and security, and health and environmental protection. We regularly conduct audits to monitor our performance and progress. We assess the potential risks and weak points of all our activities – from research to production and logistics – and the effects of these on the safety and security of our employees, the environment or our surroundings. In our databases, we document accidents, near misses and safety-related incidents at our sites as well as along our transportation routes to learn from these; appropriate measures are derived according to specific cause analyses.


  • 148 safety, security, health and environmental protection audits performed

Regular audits help ensure that standards are met for safety, security, health and environmental protection. We conduct audits at BASF sites and at companies in which BASF is a majority shareholder. Sites and companies acquired as part of acquisitions are audited in a timely manner to bring these into line with our standards and directives as necessary. We have defined our regulations for Responsible Care audits in a global Group requirement. During our audits, we create a safety and environmental profile that shows if we are properly addressing the existing hazard potential. If this is not the case, we agree on measures and monitor their implementation, for example, with follow-up audits.

Our Responsible Care audit system complies with the ISO 19011 standard and is certified according to ISO 9001. Worldwide, 181 BASF production sites are certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) (2017: 178). In addition, 53 sites worldwide are certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001.

In the BASF Group in 2018, 126 environmental and safety audits were conducted at 84 sites (2017: 109 audits at 83 sites). The focus was on auditing sites based on the level of risk. For production plants with a medium and high hazard potential, we conducted an additional 44 short-notice audits at 38 sites (2017: 63 audits at 47 sites). We audited 22 sites with respect to occupational medicine and health protection in 2018 (2017: 13). In addition, 34 health performance control visits were conducted at sites with low to medium health risks (2017: 31).

Costs and provisions for environmental protection in the BASF Group1 (Million €)





Including provisions and environmental protection expenses from the discontinued oil and gas business.


Investments comprise end-of-pipe measures as well as integrated environmental protection measures.


Values shown refer to December 31 of the respective year.

Operating costs for environmental protection




Investments in new and improved environmental protection plants and facilities2




Provisions for environmental protection measures and remediation3




For more information, see the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements:
Other operating expenses
Other provisions