Stakeholder Engagement

  • Continuous dialog with our stakeholders

Our stakeholders include customers, employees, partners and suppliers, investors, representatives from academia, industry, politics and society, as well as from the communities surrounding our production sites. 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 take these questions seriously, initiate dialogs and participate in discussions. Such ongoing exchange with our stakeholders helps us to even better understand what matters to groups of society, what they expect of us and which measures we need to pursue in order to establish and maintain trust, build partnerships, and increase societal acceptance for and the sustainability of our business activities. In doing so, we want to harness potential for mutual value creation and strengthen the legitimacy of our business activities – our license to operate. For important topics, we systematically identify key stakeholders at an early stage to discuss critical questions with them. Relevant considerations include their topic-specific expertise and willingness to engage in constructive dialog.

Stakeholder demands and expectations of BASF
Stakeholder demands and expectations of BASF (graphic)

BASF was awarded the 2020 CSR Prize by the German federal government, which highlighted BASF’s long-standing commitment to CSR (corporate social responsibility) and its comprehensive sustainability strategy. In its justification, it emphasized BASF’s pioneering role, particularly in integrated reporting and the disclosure of CO2 emissions, and the fact that BASF also encourages the implementation of sustainability at other companies in the industry through transparency.

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. For instance, we have been a member of the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC) 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 UNGC Action Platforms, for example on Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3), and contribute to the UNGC Expert Network. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations on September 21, 2020, we reaffirmed our commitment to the UNGC and pledged our support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investments and Finance. BASF is also active in 16 local Global Compact networks.

In 2020, we once again met with the Stakeholder Advisory Council to discuss important aspects of sustainability. The main topics were climate protection, circular economy and sustainable finance. The Human Rights Advisory Council discussed impacts on selected aspects of our products’ value chains and interacting with vulnerable groups.

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, 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 an independent, 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.

We also use digital formats to initiate dialog on sustainability topics. The first Climathon was held in November 2020 as an initiative for employees. During the one-day hackathon, teams of (IT) experts developed digital solutions for sustainability issues, from calculating personal carbon footprints to supporting customer-focused business ideas.