Last Update: 03/12/2009
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Part of the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management´s Analysis

Sustainability management

Minimizing risks, creating new business opportunities

Highlights 2008

    BASF is chemical sector leader in the world’s most important sustainability index.
    BASF achieves top ranking in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (carbon-intensive sectors).
    BASF receives award in the category “Most Sustainable Company.”

Sustainability is strategically and organizationally integrated into our company: as one of the values guiding our activities, as part of our corporate strategy, and as a value driver for our business. By sharing our knowledge in the areas of environment, health, safety, and sustainability management, we help our customers and partners to be more successful.

Conducting our business sustainably influences our activities on three levels: It helps us minimize risks, enhance existing business, and create new business opportunities. Our sustainability strategy enables us to ensure competitive advantages and to generate additional contributions to earnings. Products with economic and ecological benefits, and sustainability services for customers as part of our “Success – Added Value through Sustainability” initiative, contribute directly to this. The implementation and monitoring of environmental, safety and social standards as well as ongoing dialogue with relevant stakeholders are also part of sustainability management at BASF.


  • The Sustainability Council ensures that the BASF Group is aligned with the principles of sustainable development
  • The Council, chaired by Board member Dr. Harald Schwager, comprises nine operating, functional and regional division heads
  • Regional committees identify key topics and implement the global strategy at local level

Management structures for sustainability

Our global Sustainability Council ensures that the BASF Group is aligned with the principles of sustainable development. The Council comprises nine operating, functional and regional division heads, including the Climate Protection Officer. The Board member Dr. Harald Schwager chairs the Council. In 2008, the Sustainability Council adopted globally valid Group directives on product stewardship and distribution safety. Since 2004, regional steering committees in Asia, North and South America, as well as in Europe, support the Sustainability Council. They identify key regional topics and are responsible for the local implementation of the global strategy. The Sustainability Center acts as the interface between the Sustainability Council, regional Steering Committees and business operating units, and coordinates the implementation of our sustainability strategy in the day-to-day business activities of the company. In addition, the Center is the focal point for external stakeholders. The worldwide BASF Responsible Care® network supports the Council in all matters regarding environment, health and safety.

Identifying future topics

We identify important issues concerning sustainable development at an early stage. Together with external partners, we analyze sustainability topics of societal interest which are relevant to BASF and position them in a matrix. The matrix assesses the issues according to societal materiality and their relevance to BASF. This enables us to identify topics that could, in the immediate or near future, become a source of risk or opportunity for our business. We use the results of this issue management to initiate long-term change processes within the company and identify focus points for reporting. For example, we have extended our reporting on the topic of water. Every two to three years, the matrix is updated to reflect current developments.
More information on water; more information on the materiality matrix can be found at


  • Minimizing risks, enhancing existing business, creating new business opportunities
  • Sustainable products and services
  • Identifying important topics relevant to sustainable development
  • Monitoring systems for process safety, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, and labor and social standards

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