BASF Report 2023

Stakeholder Engagement

The acceptance and support of our stakeholders is crucial for our business success. Through continuous dialog, we leverage the expertise of our stakeholders in global networks, worldwide initiatives and our own advisory bodies and actively contribute our expertise.

At a glance

  • Focus in new Sustainability Lab: energy transition
  • New Nature Advisory Council founded

Our continuous and open exchange on developments and joint approaches to solutions results in positive effects for BASF, such as societal support for our business activities. If we are perceived negatively by stakeholders, this can reduce our credibility and the acceptance of our business activities. We systematically record short and long-term opportunities and risks as part of our general opportunity and risk management.

We have been a member of the U.N. Global Compact since its establishment in 2000. BASF consistently supports the U.N. Global Compact’s 10 principles of responsible business conduct and the Sustainable Development Goals. We are active all over the world in local Global Compact networks, in some cases in a leadership role. BASF has been an active member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) since 1999. We cofounded the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) in 2017. The aim of the GBA is to develop standards and tools to steer a sustainable value chain for batteries. In 2019, we cofounded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) to drive forward solutions that reduce and avoid the disposal of plastic waste in the environment, in particular in the ocean. Together with other companies and the European CSR Europe network, we have worked on the topic of responsible social transition to climate neutrality (just transition). We have contributed to both the development of a European road map and an associated toolbox.

In order to involve our stakeholders more intensively and to deepen specific sustainability topics, we use our own independent advisory bodies. In 2023, for example, we introduced the Sustainability Lab as a new stakeholder engagement format. This is a further development of the Stakeholder Advisory Council (SAC), which brought together members of the SAC and the BASF Board of Executive Directors in Ludwigshafen, Germany, for the 10th time in fall 2022.

With the Sustainability Lab, BASF is establishing a format to shed light on individual topics and issues related to sustainability from different perspectives. Around 100 external and internal experts discuss the complex challenges of climate change. At the first Sustainability Lab in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in July 2023, the participants worked on what BASF and other stakeholders can do to contribute to a successful energy transition under the title “Going Green – Fast and Fair.” The outcomes were shared with relevant international stakeholders and will be taken into consideration in activities on the path to an energy transition at BASF and for other stakeholders. The Sustainability Lab will meet every two years to discuss a specific topic.

Stakeholder demands and expectations of BASF

Stakeholder demands and expectations of BASF (graphic)

We address current and important issues regarding specific topics with councils. The trustful exchange within the Human Rights Advisory Council helps us to better understand our role and responsibilities, particularly in challenging situations concerning human rights.

In 2023, BASF founded the new advisory council for topics relating to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, the Nature Advisory Council (NAC), to obtain an independent societal perspective on our activities related to nature and biodiversity topics.

We have a particular responsibility toward our sites’ neighbors. We promote continuous exchange between local residents and our site management and strengthen trust in our activities with community advisory panels. 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 database of the Responsible Care Management System.

We also involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process about future investments at an early stage. For example, we are working with partners, local authorities and nongovernmental organizations to analyze whether and how we can build a refinery complex for nickel and cobalt in Indonesia in a responsible manner.

Our political advocacy is conducted in accordance with transparent guidelines and our publicly stated positions. The same applies to our activities in associations. Our Industry Associations Review compares 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, for example, through donations in cash or in kind. This is codified in a global guideline. 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 from employees for political purposes and independently decides how these are used, in accordance with U.S. law.

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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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