BASF Report 2023

Quality Management

Our quality management aims to ensure the high quality of our products, processes and services and enable our employees to best meet our customers’ needs.

Strategy and governance

Our aim is to ensure the high quality of our products, processes and services in order to best meet our customers’ needs and set ourselves apart from our competitors. Quality defects can have potential negative effects on people and the environment. We prevent these with our quality management. We systematically record opportunities and risks in the area of quality as part of our general opportunity and risk management.

Our quality management supports BASF’s strategy and focuses on our customers by taking their needs as well as those of consumers and other stakeholders into account. Our quality management system comprises central requirements and processes along the value chain, which are defined by the Environmental Protection, Health, Safety and Quality (EHSQ) unit in the Corporate Center. Local implementation of these is the responsibility of our business units and sites. Quality management is monitored on a decentralized basis via a comprehensive internal audit system in accordance with ISO standards.

Quality Management System

Our Quality Management System is based on the plan-do-check-act approach and focuses on planning, implementation, evaluation and action. It is risk-based, process-oriented and focused on the satisfaction of our customers and stakeholders. Mandatory elements are set out in global requirements. These include requirements for core processes such as nonconformity management, handling of product recalls and change management.

Our quality management includes the consistent handling of incidents that relate to product quality. A core element in this context is accessibility for and communication with affected customers and stakeholders in order to be able to react as quickly as possible and initiate appropriate measures such as product recalls or withdrawals. In further steps, we systematically work through the incidents and identify and eliminate causes. This includes all our customers and products, in particular products with inherent hazard potential, which entail specific documentation requirements. We are committed to handling the data of our customers and suppliers with particular care. During the current reporting year, only individual product quality incidents relating to individual items or batches of items are known to us. These were addressed, processed and monitored directly by our operating divisions.

A key focus in the implementation of our quality management is on interlinking our targets and business-related requirements with the opportunities and risks identified by our operating divisions. This decentralized approach allows us to adapt our quality management to the requirements of BASF’s diverse business areas in the individual operating divisions. We apply quality management methods commonly used in the chemical industry, including management of change, quality assurance and control and development processes. In addition to appropriate documentation and the systematic development of expertise through training, our approach also includes regular internal audits. The results of these audits are taken into account alongside other indicators in the continuous review of the management systems. If necessary, we revise their strategic and organizational alignment.

As part of World Quality Week, we draw our employees’ attention to the importance of quality. In 2023, we offered a range of activities based on the theme “Quality: realizing your competitive potential,” to exchange ideas internally and with customers, learn from each other and for levers to improve our quality performance.

External certification

We pursue a decentralized certification approach for our business units and Group companies. This takes into account local needs, internal and legal requirements, and our customers’ requirements. Our Responsible Care audit system complies with the ISO 19011 standard and is certified according to ISO 9001. Worldwide, 132 BASF production sites are partially or fully certified in accordance with ISO 14001 (2022: 132). In addition, 59 sites worldwide are partially or fully certified in accordance with ISO 45001 (2022: 59). Several BASF sites also have an ISO 17020-accredited inspection body for user inspection or an ISO 17025-accredited analytical laboratory for environmental emissions analyses. Based on our customers’ requirements, Quality Management Systems at our production sites are generally certified according to external international standards such as ISO 9001, GMP, FAMI QS or IATF 16949.

Responsible Care®
Registered trademark of the European Chemical Industry Council
Value chain
A value chain describes the successive steps in a production process: from raw materials through various intermediate steps, such as transportation and production, to the finished product.

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