Responsibility along the value chain
When developing and manufacturing our products, we rely on efficient processes. This pays off for the company and the environment. We contribute to the success of the company by achieving higher product yields in our plants. That’s also easier on the environment: We use fewer resources and reduce both emissions and waste.
Environmental protection plays a central role when BASF researchers develop new products: A high-quality product must be environmentally compatible if it is to be accepted by our customers. Economic efficiency and environmental protection are therefore closely interlinked when we develop innovative processes. Our knowledge means that BASF's specialists are valued as partners in promoting environmentally friendly technologies in emerging economies.
Along with the desired end products, chemical processes usually also generate by-products. It pays to reduce or recycle these. Right from the plant planning stage we therefore pay special attention to ensuring that any by-products are avoided or optimally recycled. Wherever we can, we also improve existing processes, and not only our own but those of our customers, too. For example, we developed an optimized recycling procedure for N-dimethylacetamide (DMAC), which our customers use as a solvent in the production of spandex fibers. The new procedure makes it possible to recover DMAC in a high quality and at the same time minimizes solvent losses.
We assume responsibility for the safety of our products and want to ensure that they do not endanger people or the environment. This is why we provide customers, end consumers and the public with detailed information and work continuously to broaden our information basis.
Our previous goal was achieved: The data records for substances handled by BASF in quantities of more than 1 metric ton per year were completed as planned. As our product portfolio is constantly changing through, for example, acquisitions and innovations, we continue to update our global database with information on new substances and products. With our new product stewardship goals, we go significantly beyond the previous goals: We want to review all the substances we sell in substantial quantities worldwide based on risk assessments in line with REACH specifications. In addition, we want to conduct similar assessments of those products that we sell in similar annual quantities - regardless of the volume of individual substances they contain. In this way, we go far beyond the statutory requirements.
BASF has achieved a lot in recent decades with end-of-pipe environmental technologies. Examples include filters to reduce emissions and the more than 60 wastewater treatment plants we operate worldwide. Many of our environmental protection measures, however, are at a much earlier stage of the production process during the development of products and processes.
BASF prevents and reduces waste wherever possible. If no recovery options are available, we dispose our waste in a correct and environmentally responsible manner. We regularly carry out audits to inspect external waste management plants. When making acquisitions, we apply the same standards for the responsible handling of landfills and contaminated sites. We develop remediation solutions in order to balance costs with nature conservation, climate protection concerns, legal requirements, and increased transportation volumes. Find out more about our Waste management in our Annual Report.