Assuming Responsibility

Our general approach towards all our suppliers is that we act responsibly and expect the same from our partners. Based on a risk evaluation of our suppliers, we conduct sustainability risk assessments by means of independent auditors or service providers. Whenever we become aware of violations, we urge our suppliers to address and end these. Where indicated, we support our partners, civil society, or cross-industry initiatives to commonly address challenges. In other cases, we explore business alternatives and reserve the right to terminate business relations.


The Marikana Incident

In August 2012, there was a strike at Lonmin platinum operations in Marikana, South Africa. An escalation of tensions culminated in violent confrontations between mine workers and armed South African policemen. 44 people died over the course of one week.

After having intensively assessed the causes of the incident on their side, Lonmin changed their leadership team, implemented lessons learned and started activities to get to the roots of the problem. Lonmin set up a fund to support the families and children of the deceased mine workers, whose schooling was from then on taken care of by Lonmin.

In 2019, Lonmin was acquired by Sibanye-Stillwater – a group with no prior affiliation with Lonmin. As the new owner, Sibanye-Stillwater immediately addressed the legacy of Marikana and assessed ways to respond, not only to victims’ families’ situations but also to those of the Marikana communities more broadly. 


Merger with Sibanye-Stillwater in 2019

The Sibanye-Stillwater-Lonmin merger was completed in 2019. With the merger, Sibanye-Stillwater had become one of the world’s leading producers of platinum group metals (PGM).

Since 2018, BASF has been participating in an exchange on sustainability topics with Sibanye-Stillwater. In 2019, Sibanye-Stillwater and BASF agreed to cooperate with respect to their stakeholder dialogs and foster collaboration between stakeholders for the common good. Both are participants of the “Courageous Conversations Dialogue”, invited by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town to exchange on challenges and success factors of community projects.

Sibanye-Stillwater takes an approach that focuses on creating local development and business opportunities, including activities beyond mine operations. Part of this is the "Marikana Renewal" that seeks "[...] healing and collaboration to create the long term future of the Marikana region".

eTfS Audit and IRMA commitment

With the takeover in 2019, Sibanye-Stillwater agreed to follow up on the eTfS (enhanced Together for Sustainability) audit process and related open items including the improvement of stakeholder engagement and the pending approval of the proposed Social and Labor Plan 2019-2023. In January 2020, Sibanye-Stillwater underwent a full audit. The resulting findings were addressed in a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) with recommendations and timelines for final action on each item.

When the Corrective Action Plan was closed in 2022, BASF and Sibanye-Stillwater agreed that future audits will follow the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) mining standard. Sibanye-Stillwater is a member and supporter of the International Platinum Group Metals Association (IPA) which regularly exchanges on ESG topics. Measures include conducting comprehensive sustainability audits and sharing factors for success. BASF and Sibanye-Stillwater continue to share progress on a quarterly basis and also use this format for dialogue on other sustainability topics. BASF continued regular dialogue with local stakeholders in 2023. In addition, there has been a direct dialogue facilitated by BASF between Sibanye-Stillwater and non-governmental organizations engaged in this area.


Marikana Memorial Day

Our supplier Sibanye-Stillwater developed a new vision for the reconciliation and regeneration of Marikana which includes long-term sustainable projects to build capacity of local communities surrounding Marikana. Since the takeover from Lonmin, Sibanye-Stillwater has sought to intensify engagement with many of its stakeholders in and around Marikana, particularly with those most directly affected by the tragedy, namely the families of the deceased. Sibanye-Stillwater continues the tradition to organize a Marikana Memorial Day on the date on which the incident took place, to honor the victims and promote a dialogue in line with the new mission statement. This includes the activities on the Memorial Day. We observe the initiatives of our business-partner and inquire about these in regular meetings. Find more about Marikana Memorial activities here.

Also learn more about the book launch "Marikana - eine offene Wunde" on Youtube (Marikana - an open wound) and the Bench Marks Foundation’s article "10 Years Since Marikana, The Death of South African Innocence"


Industry Sustainability Initiative

In 2018, BASF, together with other fabricators, initiated a sustainability initiative under the International Platinum Group Metals Association (IPA). Under this initiative, IPA members regularly meet to discuss and address industry challenges. The IPA membership comprises key South African PGM mining houses and their customers on the fabricator side, among those BASF. IPA members agreed to a sustainability initiative under the IPA Sustainability Committee to improve living and working conditions of people in communities around mining operations. Important elements of this initiative include comprehensive sustainability audits in the South African PGM sector, exchange on success factors regarding community challenges and best practices. IPA members endorsed audit principles on the quality of schemes assuring sustainability performance and committed to auditing sites under this scheme. The audit principles, built up on internationally recognized standards, commensurate with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)TfS’s mining standards, and ISEAL quality principles. IPA platinum mines are committed to carry out audits on their operations under this sustainability assurance scheme.