Stakeholder Engagement

  • Continuous dialog with our stakeholders

Our stakeholders include customers, employees, suppliers and investors, as well as representatives from academia, industry, politics and society. Parts of our business activities, such as the use of certain new technologies or our environmental impacts, are often viewed by stakeholders with a critical eye. We address these questions, initiate dialogs and participate in discussions. Such dialogs with our stakeholders help us to even better understand what groups of society expect of us and which measures we need to pursue in order to establish and maintain trust and build partnerships, and increase societal acceptance for and the sustainability of our business activities. For important topics, we systematically identify key stakeholders to discuss critical questions with them. Relevant considerations include topic-specific expertise and willingness to engage in constructive dialog.

We draw on the competence of global initiatives and networks, and contribute our own expertise. We are active in worldwide initiatives with various stakeholder groups. These include the Business for Inclusive Growth initiative, which was established in 2019 by a coalition of 40 international companies who have joined forces with the G7 countries and the OECD to strengthen equality of opportunity, and tackle regional disparities and gender discrimination. We also have been a member of the U.N. Global Compact since its establishment in 2000. As a recognized LEAD company, we contribute to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the associated goals. We support projects such as the U.N. Global Compact’s Action Platforms on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains (SDG 8) and on Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3), and are a member of the U.N. Global Compact Expert Network. In addition, BASF is a founding member of a global sustainable finance initiative launched in December 2019 by a CFO taskforce. BASF is also active in 15 local Global Compact networks.

In 2019, we once again met with the Stakeholder Advisory Council to discuss important aspects of sustainability. The main topics were identifying our material topics, the materiality analysis, impact valuation, and the issues of climate protection and human rights. We received valuable recommendations. For example, the Stakeholder Advisory Council suggested we approach our activities on the issue of human rights more systematically. We implemented the recommendation in 2019 with the publication of the new human rights position, a first gap analysis and the systematic presentation of our due diligence process.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste

In January 2019, BASF co-founded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) together with other companies from along the value chain – from plastics producers and consumer goods manufacturers to waste disposal companies. The AEPW has over 40 members, who together aim to develop solutions that avoid the discharge of plastic waste into the environment, especially the ocean. The focus is on four action areas: Development of waste collection infrastructure, promotion of innovative recycling methods, education and engagement of various stakeholder groups, and clean-up of areas heavily affected by plastic waste. The AEPW intends to invest up to $1.5 billion in various projects and cooperative ventures over the next five years, mainly in Asia and Africa. BASF is also driving forward its own activities to strengthen the circular economy for plastics, including the ChemCycling™ project.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste (Photo)

Our political advocacy is conducted in accordance with transparent guidelines and our publicly stated positions. The same applies to our activities in associations. For instance, in 2019 we published an Industry Associations Review comparing the energy and climate protection positions of BASF and the most important associations of which we are a member, with explanations on our approach.

BASF does not financially support political parties. In the United States, employees at BASF Corporation have exercised their right to establish a Political Action Committee (PAC). The BASF Corporation Employee PAC is a voluntary, federally registered employee association founded in 1998. It collects donations for political purposes and independently decides how these are used, in accordance with U.S. law.

We have a particular responsibility toward our production sites’ neighbors. With the established community advisory panels, we promote open exchange between citizens and our site management and strengthen trust in our activities. Our globally binding requirements for community advisory panels are based on the grievance mechanism standards in the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We keep track of their implementation through the existing global databank of the Responsible Care Management System.