BASF Report 2023

Societal Engagement

At a glance

  • BASF wants to be a responsible neighbor around the world
  • BASF engagement for health, skills and resources

Societal engagement is a cornerstone of our corporate responsibility and part of our sustainability management. Through our activities, we aim to strengthen the communities surrounding our sites worldwide, contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have a long-term positive impact on the environment and society. By contributing our expertise and resources, we are pursuing three global goals: Strengthening public health, promoting skills (e.g., for economic participation and employability) and protecting natural resources. Our aim is to contribute to improving people’s quality of life and make a positive contribution to society.

One example of our contribution to public health is the cooperation with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Promega. Swiss TPH is researching and developing novel insecticides to combat mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria. The collaboration began in September 2022 and is expected to span a three to five-year study. Its focus is on proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTACs), small therapeutic molecules that degrade specific proteins within cells. This innovative approach holds great potential for effectively and cost-efficiently combating insect-borne diseases. With the support of BASF in molecular research and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, preliminary results from this collaboration are anticipated by 2025.

Education is key to personal success and the future viability of society. That is why BASF is committed to working with partners at numerous sites to achieve greater educational equality, especially for disadvantaged children and young people. Science education and education for sustainable development are particularly important to us. For 26 years now, children and young people in 45 countries have been able to take part in experiments in BASF Kids’ Labs. The Virtual Lab program was expanded this year to include the ProtAct17 app. The mobile app is designed to teach children aged 8 and up to protect the environment and to take action in line with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ProtAct17 imparts knowledge in an age-appropriate and interactive way, arouses curiosity and the spirit of research and addresses current and future challenges for the environment, economy and society. Above all, the app shows what – albeit small – possibilities young researchers have for taking action.

In this year’s Young Voices for a Sustainable Future project, which BASF initiated in 2022 together with the nongovernmental organization JA Worldwide, more than 1,000 young people from eight countries were once again able to address the impacts of climate change in their communities with their ideas. Supported by more than 100 BASF employees, the young people looked at how they can tackle challenges in their communities. For example, they discussed how to reduce the risk of forest fires in Greece and how to manufacture resource-saving products from alternative raw materials in Indonesia.

We aim to create long-term value for BASF and society with new business models and cross-sector partnerships. Our intrapreneurship program, Starting Ventures, helps people from low-income areas to improve their economic opportunities and their quality of life. The program also provides access to new markets and partners, and contributes to reaching the SDGs. Eight new Starting Ventures projects were selected for implementation in December 2022. BASF is tackling challenges on the ground together with local partners and contributing to the SDGs with entrepreneurial ideas, technical expertise and time resources.

Postharvest losses are a huge challenge for smallholders in African countries. As part of the Highland Food Systems Starting Ventures project, project partner International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is helping smallholders in Kenya store potato harvests and seeds safely. To this end, IFDC is providing the smallholders with low-cost, insulated containers with a capacity of 60 metric tons, which have been produced with the help of BASF’s Elastospray LWP system. The project also aims to empower 100 women and young people to find employment or set up their own businesses.

BASF Group expenses for societal engagement activities1

~€37 million

At our headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, we want to strengthen civil society with a number of projects, such as the LUnited project. The aim of the project is to find gaps and potential for action to further promote engagement in and around the city of Ludwigshafen. In 2023, BASF supported the German National Garden Show in Mannheim as a partner. A special experience space with an interactive exhibition illustrated BASF’s contribution to sustainable solutions. Around 130,000 people took advantage of this program. We also ran experimentation programs for families and school classes on the topics of sustainability, climate and energy. The experiments gave older school classes an insight into technical professions. In an outdoor area shared with John Deere, we held 12 action and dialog days on the topic of experiencing agriculture.

In the area of international development cooperation, we support the independent charitable BASF Stiftung with donations for its international projects in cooperation with various organizations. The 2023 year-end donation campaign in favor of BASF Stiftung supported the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, so that more children in Afghanistan can get access to education. BASF topped up the donations made by employees of participating German Group companies to a total of around €335,000.

In 2023, BASF also supported those affected by humanitarian disasters. Following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and the payment of €500,000 in emergency aid, BASF launched an employee donation campaign in which more than €844,000 was donated worldwide. BASF doubled the amount to more than €1.6 million, which is available for reconstruction in the affected regions. In addition, €300,000 in emergency aid went to the German Red Cross for people affected by the earthquake in Morocco.

1 We report a total figure for our societal engagement activities. The figure includes all consolidated companies with employees, including joint operations.

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