BASF Report 2023

Our Key Sustainability Topics

As a cofounder of the U.N. Global Compact, we contribute to the implementation of the United Nations’ (U.N.) Agenda 2030. Our products, solutions and technologies help to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – especially SDG 2 (Zero hunger), SDG 5 (Gender equality), SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action). To prioritize the SDGs relevant to BASF, in 2023, internal experts once again assessed the impacts and positive contributions of our products, our corporate targets and strategic action areas.

In 2023, we updated our materiality analysis from 2022. The results not only set the framework for reporting, but also help us to better understand the complex and sometimes diverging requirements and expectations that our stakeholders have of us and to define strategically relevant topics for our long-term business success. As part of the update in 2023, we reviewed whether new topics had been identified or the topics from the previous year had significantly changed in priority. We used a big data tool to review the relevance of sustainability topics for various stakeholder groups. We also included the expertise of external stakeholders, with whom we are in constant contact, and of employees in this review.

Identified key sustainability topics

  • Biodiversity
  • Circularity and resource efficiency
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Process safety1
  • Waste
  • Water and wastewater
  • Diversity, inclusion and equal work
  • Human rights and labor rights
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Product stewardship
  • Business ethics

1 The topic is presented separately here due to its allocation to the “Environmental” category, but it was considered in the materiality analysis as “Process safety, occupational health and safety.”

A sustainability aspect is considered material in the sense of double materiality if it has been classified as having both impact materiality and financial materiality. To assess impact materiality, both actual and potential positive and negative impacts of our company’s activities were considered along the value chain. To this end, the scale, scope and likelihood of occurrence of these impacts were assessed. For the analysis of financial materiality the topics were classified based on their potential financial impacts on BASF. Specifically, we analyzed how each sustainability aspect affects us geographically, for example, whether a local business unit or an entire region is affected, whether it impacts our production, our employees, the achievement of targets we have set for the BASF Group, or our reputation.

The topics from 2022 were confirmed, with two adjustments: “Occupational health and safety” was expanded to include “process safety.” “Plastic waste” was integrated into the overarching topic of “circularity and resource efficiency.” Based on this update, 11 topics were identified as material (see list) and confirmed by the BASF Sustainability Reporting and Controlling Committee. At the beginning of 2024, we will review the methodology of our materiality analysis again to ensure that it meets the requirements of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards, for example, in terms of double materiality.

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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