Stakeholder engagement: BASF’s Palm Dialog featured in “Common Threads” report
It is at the heart of BASF’s culture to grow together with its stakeholders in the value chain. For addressing sustainable palm oil, and establishing other dialog formats BASF was now featured as a leader in stakeholder engagement in the annual report “Common Threads” of the advisory company “SustainAbility”.
The expansion of palm oil production threatens environmentally sensitive areas of tropical forests and peatlands. Taking this as a call for action, BASF tackled the issue head-on in 2016 and established the Palm Dialog – a platform for representatives along the entire supply chain. Here, industry-relevant topics are discussed with suppliers, producers, partners, retailers, non-governmental organizations and industry associations on an eye-to-eye level. “We have built an expert team to engage with stakeholders and implement our Palm Commitment,” says Brigitte Dittrich-Krämer, Sustainability Manager at BASF. “The goal was to address the concerns of all relevant stakeholders.” The roundtable met a growing demand – today, it is hosted as an annual event attracting diverse stakeholders from around the world. More than only providing a platform, BASF derived ideas from the meetings and transformed them into strategic decisions. Dittrich-Krämer says: “This has been an internal success. It has led to changes in strategy and made BASF’s approach more robust. Looking forward, I would like to see this become a blueprint for other projects.” By staying in close contact with the stakeholders, BASF can live up to its commitment to drive sustainable sourcing of palm oil.
The advisory firm “SustainAbility” scientifically evaluates sustainability topics in their annual “Common Threads” reports to generate advice for companies. This year’s report takes a closer look at the complex relationship between stakeholders, engagement and business success and features progressive cases from the business world.