BASF Report 2023

Business Models of the Segments

Our segments’ business models are aligned with their specific strategic action areas. Topics such as customer orientation, innovation and sustainability are the cornerstones of future business success. Thanks to our extensive industry knowledge, we are aware of the particular challenges our customers are facing and we can offer specific solutions.


The Chemicals segment comprises the operating divisions Petrochemicals and Intermediates and is at the heart of the Verbund. Its production facilities reliably supply BASF’s other segments with chemicals to produce higher value-added products and in this way, ensures the competitiveness of the BASF Group. It also markets high-quality basic chemicals and intermediates to customers in downstream industries.

The segment creates value through process and product innovation and invests in research and development to implement new, sustainable technologies and make existing technologies even more efficient. Thanks to our integrated manufacturing processes, the carbon footprint of several of our products is significantly lower than that of our competitors. Technological leadership, operational excellence and a clear focus on individual value chains are among our most important competitive advantages. We concentrate on the essential success factors of the traditional chemicals business: leveraging economies of scale and the advantages of our Verbund, high asset reliability, continuous optimization of access to raw materials, lean and energy efficient processes, and reliable, cost-effective logistics. We are continuously developing our value chains and are expanding our market position – especially in Asia – with investments and collaborations in growth markets.

Furthermore, we are constantly improving our global production structures and aligning these with regional market requirements. In 2023, for example, we expanded capacities for ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives at the Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, to support the continuous growth of our customers and to enhance our market position in Europe. We also started up our state-of-the-art Superabsorbents Excellence Center there. With this investment, we aim to increase the innovation capabilities for our superabsorbents business.

Moreover, we are modernizing our chloroformates and acid chlorides plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, so that we can continue to reliably support our customers’ growth with these products.


In BASF’s Materials segment, the two divisions Monomers and Performance Materials supply high-quality plastics precursors and develop new plastics applications, high-performance materials, systems and digital solutions along their isocyanate and polyamide value chains. Our product portfolio is unique in the industry. This allows us to drive the sustainable transformation of BASF and our various customer industries forward. We are active along the value chains for important durable plastics, from monomers to polymers and their formulated specialties.

With our specific technology knowledge, we are working on forming and closing loops and converting plastics back into primary raw materials for the chemical industry. This is how we help to minimize plastic waste, save fossil resources and reduce CO2 emissions in plastics production. Examples of this are our biomass-balance products, such as our Ultramid® Ccycled®, based on end-of-life tires, products with a significantly reduced carbon footprint and certified compostable bioplastics. In this way, we meet the growing needs in our key markets and help our customers to achieve their sustainability goals.

We want to grow primarily organically by differentiating ourselves through our application expertise and industry knowledge while creating the greatest possible value in our isocyanate and polyamide value chains. Comprehensive knowledge in the field of material simulation is our unique selling point in the industry and enables us to meet customer requirements individually.

We are continuously expanding the range of applications in our portfolio with tailor-made services and product offerings. Our global production network enables us to provide our solutions wherever our customers are. At the same time, we are constantly reviewing the efficiency of our production network and streamlining it where necessary, for example as part of our adaptation of the Verbund structures in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Industrial Solutions

The Industrial Solutions segment, which consists of the Dispersions & Resins and the Performance Chemicals divisions, markets and develops ingredients and additives for industrial applications. These include fuel and lubricant solutions, dispersions, resins, additives, electronic materials and plastic additives. We concentrate on research and development with the aim of enabling more efficient resource use and developing high-performance and more sustainable products and processes, for example, in polymer dispersions, resins and plastic additives. At the same time, this also enables our customers to contribute to sustainability through their applications and processes. Other focus areas are efficient production setups, backward integration in our Production Verbund’s value chains, capacity management, and technology and cost leadership.

Our global presence enables us to operate close to our customers and their industries. As a reliable partner, we offer high-quality products with high value added for our customers. Together with them, we work on new solutions and strive for long-term partnerships that create profitable growth opportunities for both sides. To achieve this, we draw on our innovative strength and our many years of experience and in-depth industry expertise. Through our in-depth application knowledge and technological innovations, we strengthen customer relationships in key industries such as the automotive, electronics, plastics and coatings industries.

Surface Technologies

In the Surface Technologies segment and its operating divisions Catalysts and Coatings, the focus is on the protection, modification and development of surfaces. Together with our customers, we develop novel products and technologies for catalysts, coatings and battery materials. We also offer precious and base metal as well as surface treatment services. Our aim is to drive growth by leveraging our portfolio of technologies to find the best solution for our customers in terms of functionality and cost. This in turn helps our customers to drive forward innovation in their industries and contribute to sustainable development.

Key growth drivers for us are the positive medium-term development of the automotive market, especially in Asia, the trend toward sustainable, low-emission mobility, and the associated rise in demand for battery materials for electromobility. We are developing customized, more sustainable solutions in these growth areas for battery materials, emission control, recycling and innovative coatings in close cooperation with our customers. Our specialties and system solutions in these areas enable our customers to stand out from their competitors.

The automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation. As one of the largest chemicals suppliers to this industry, we will further strengthen our focus on battery materials and recycling and pursue our ambitious growth plan. We have established a new entity (BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions) within the Catalysts division for mobile emissions catalysts, automotive catalysts recycling and associated precious metal services. The carve-out was completed in July 2023 as planned. The new organizational structure prepares the business for the upcoming changes in the internal combustion engine market and creates strategic options.

Nutrition & Care

In the Nutrition & Care segment, which comprises the operating divisions Care Chemicals and Nutrition & Health, we strive to expand our position as a leading provider for nutrition and care ingredients for consumer applications. Future growth in our markets will be driven by trends such as growing consumer awareness and the resulting demand for sustainable product solutions, natural and organic ingredients and their traceability. Moreover, digitalization, a focused technology and product portfolio, and close cooperation with our customers is crucial to meeting these dynamic market requirements both now and in the future.

We will therefore continue to develop our capabilities in areas such as biotechnology and broaden our portfolio with bio-based and biodegradable products. We support our customers globally with innovative and sustainable products, solutions and concepts, especially for the cosmetic industry as well as for cleaning and washing. In the Nutrition & Health division, we have sharpened our focus to be a supplier for nutrition and aroma ingredients, so we can best serve our customers with reliable and high-quality products.

We are also pursuing a targeted, accelerated marketing strategy and expanding our portfolio for natural and biotechnological products.

From pharma solutions, BASF supplies excipients for human therapeutic drug formulation. Our biopharma ingredients serve a variety of areas, from bioprocessing and formulation of proteins to vaccines and antibodies.

Agricultural Solutions

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, we are working to achieve the balance between economic, environmental and social value creation for a sustainable and efficient agricultural sector. While natural resources are limited, the demand for food, feed, fiber and energy is increasing, given the constant growth of the world’s population.1 Accordingly, even more efficient farming is essential. Balanced agriculture is a key enabler in producing enough healthy, affordable food and responding to changing consumer behavior while reducing the impact on the environment.

As one of the world’s leading agricultural solutions companies, we are making a positive impact on sustainably transforming agriculture and food systems. Our innovation-driven strategy for agriculture focuses on selected crops and their appropriate cultivation systems: soy, corn (maize) and cotton in the Americas; wheat, canola (oilseed rape) and sunflower in North America and Europe; rice in Asia; and fruit and vegetables globally. We integrate sustainability criteria into all business and portfolio decisions. In doing so, we help farmers achieve better yields, protect the planet and produce economically.

We leverage our expertise in research and development and our deep understanding of the way individual growers manage their farms to provide crop-specific offers across technologies. These include novel solutions for seeds, traits, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, biological solutions and digital products tailored to the farming needs of their region and crop systems.

Good to know

We are committed to sustainable farming to help farmers not only produce more, but also better. We focus on four areas in particular:

More climate-smart farming: We are tackling the challenges of climate change together. With innovative technologies that increase crop yield, improve farm management, and reduce environmental impact. Our technologies include nitrogen management products, herbicides that facilitate conservation tillage, and Seeds & Traits for more stress-resilient crops. We are contributing to more carbon-efficient and weather-resilient farming through our Global Carbon Farming Program.

More sustainable solutions: We systematically steer our innovation pipeline according to sustainability criteria from an early stage, as well as assessing each product in our sales portfolio with respect to its contribution to sustainability as part of our Sustainable Solution Steering. This is how we continually develop innovations and shape a portfolio that offers added value for farmers, the environment and society.

Digital agriculture: Digitalization is transforming agriculture and making it more resource-efficient and sustainable. Our digital farming solutions are designed to help to produce more with less and grow businesses profitably while improving the environmental footprint of agriculture.

Smart Stewardship: Our tools and services are tailored to farmers’ daily work. For the safe use of our products, we offer support in the following areas: access to tools and services, protective equipment, customized training, digital solutions and new and future-oriented application technologies such as drones.

1 Compared with 2022, the world’s population is expected to grow by around 2 billion people by 2050; source: U.N. World Population Prospects 2022

Formulation describes the combination of one or more active substances with excipients like emulsifiers, stabilizers and other inactive components in order to improve the applicability and effectiveness of various products, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, paints and coatings.
Traits are commercial plant characteristics, such as an inherent resistance to certain herbicides or an inherent defense against certain insects.
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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