Social Engagement

  • BASF as a responsible neighbor at our sites worldwide
  • Contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Through our social engagement, we want to take into account the needs of the communities surrounding our production sites worldwide, help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and have a positive long-term impact on the environment and society. This is why social engagement is a cornerstone of our corporate social responsibility. Our social engagement policy was updated in 2020 and provides the guardrails for our activities. It stipulates that all social engagement measures worldwide must be conducted in line with our compliance policy, BASF’s strategy and our sustainability commitments. We want to have a positive impact on society in our three focus areas: future health, future skills and future resources. We support projects that aim to have a lasting impact on specific target groups and offer learning opportunities for participating cooperation partners and BASF.

As a responsible neighbor at our Ludwigshafen site and a partner in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, our social engagement in Germany includes strengthening participation and integration of disadvantaged groups as well as promoting research and discovery. It is particularly important to us that we work together with our partners to increase the impact of individual measures. In the project #WirGestaltenSchule, for example, we are working with our partners to improve education equality. We promote cooperation between nonprofit organizations with the Gemeinsam Neues schaffen program.

We are a member of Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V., a network of over 130 companies and organizations with close links to business that supports children, young people, students and young entrepreneurs through its involvement with educational institutions and start-ups. The focus is on school projects that provide hands-on experience with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the project’s initiatives (such as IT2School – Gemeinsam IT entdecken and KiTec – Kinder entdecken Technik) were also offered in digital formats, allowing these educational programs to continue even as school operations were restricted.

We foster societal integration, particularly of low-achieving young people and refugees, with our Start in den Beruf and Start Integration programs. In 2020, 106 young people in the BASF Training Verbund participated in these two programs in cooperation with partner companies in the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region. The goal is to prepare participants for an apprenticeship within one year, and ultimately secure the long-term supply of qualified employees for BASF and in the region as a whole. Since being launched at the end of 2015, BASF’s Start Integration program has supported around 420 refugees with a high probability of being granted the right to remain in Germany, helping to integrate them into the labor market. We spent around €2.6 million on the BASF Training Verbund in 2020.

We support the Espérance Banlieues program in France for children from elementary and high schools in 17 low socioeconomic areas with our Kids’ Lab program. The hands-on program provides a play-based introduction to science and teaches topics such as a healthy diet. The program ultimately aims to prevent early school leaving and to make it easier to access further education. During the coronavirus pandemic, BASF France supported partner schools with donations of protective face masks and disinfectant.

We aim to create long-term value for BASF and society with new business models and cross-sector partnerships. Our Starting Ventures program helps people with precarious livelihoods to improve their income-earning opportunities and their quality of life. At the same time, the program provides access to new markets and partners, and strengthens our contribution to reaching the SDGs. For example, we support the Waste-2-Chemicals project in Lagos, Nigeria, in which citizens help to keep the city clean by collecting and sorting plastic waste. The plastic waste is converted into pyrolysis oil in a chemical recycling process and used as feedstock in the production of high-quality chemical products. BASF cooperates with the organizations Wecyclers and RecyclePoints to make this circular value creation process possible. We are also planning to build centers where plastic waste can be collected and converted into pyrolysis oil. In this way, we want to provide local collectors and their families with a regular income in the future.

We promote resource stewardship with different programs around the world, such as our Water Producer Program. This was established in 2011 through a partnership between BASF’s Guaratinguetá site in Brazil, the organization Fundação Espaço ECO® and local government. BASF sponsors the program and wants to strengthen the local community and environment with the initiative. The program aims to support conservation measures usually performed by farmers – such as the reforestation of riverbank woodlands, soil restoration and protecting native plants and water sources – with financial assistance and training from the organization’s environmental consultants. Since being founded, the program has supported more than 60 farmers. It directly contributes to water conservation in the Ribeirão Guaratinguetá basin, which supplies 90% of communities in the area. The Fundação Espaço ECO® was founded by BASF in Brazil and supports BASF business units and other customers on their journey to becoming more sustainable. The organization celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2020.

In the area of international development work, we support BASF Stiftung, an independent nonprofit organization, with donations for its projects with various U.N. organizations. The 2020 year-end donation campaign in favor of BASF Stiftung supported the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) efforts to deliver humanitarian food aid in Yemen. A total of around €396,600 was raised for WFP from donations by the employees of participating German Group companies and BASF. A donation of €65 can feed a family in Yemen for one month.

BASF Group expenses for social engagement activities 1

~€76 million

1 As of 2020, we report a total figure for our social engagement activities. Consequently, a graphic representation of individual expenses, as shown in the 2019 report, is no longer provided. The figure includes all consolidated companies with employees, including joint operations. A large part of the expenses in 2020 related to activities in connection with the Helping Hands initiative.