BASF, the world’s largest chemical company based in Germany, has firmly embedded sustainability into the company’s core purpose: “We create chemistry for a sustainable future”. They are committed to: “combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through research and innovation, we support our customers in nearly every industry in meeting the current and future needs of society.”
This ambition is directly linked to a number of business factors:
- With growing populations, increasing demand for fewer resources will require innovative solutions to maintain and improve quality of life for all citizens
- Growing customer needs to differentiate with sustainability
- New laws and standards in all value chains related to sustainability
BASF shifted from a compliance and risk management model in earlier years to a “we drive sustainable solutions” strategic approach to be more proactive in addressing the environmental, health and safety opportunities in their relationship with customers. The company has adopted internal standards to minimize risks, take advantage of business opportunities and establish trust-based relationships with stakeholders. To realize their ambitions the company moved the Sustainability Department into the strategy group. Now sustainability is routed into each and every strategy within the company.
In order to better help its customers align environmental and societal considerations with business success BASF has adopted a process for steering its portfolio based on sustainability criteria. Its “Sustainable Solution Steering” method is used to systematically review and evaluate the sustainability aspects of the approximately 50,000 relevant product applications in the company’s portfolio, which represent sales of €56 billion. The benefit: This externally validated process makes it possible to measure the products’ contribution to sustainability within their various markets and industries and to increase this contribution through targeted steps. Over the long-term BASF aims to increase the number of chemical solutions which make a substantial contribution in the value chain to sustainability in order to further improve the sustainability profile of both BASF and its customers. With this new method, BASF continues to drive its “We create chemistry” strategy.
Aim to align overall corporate purpose with sustainability principles where sustainability drives value, where what the company does is a benefit to society, and where profits enable fair and equitable compensation for natural and societal resources.