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China (Mainland)
BASF in Greater China 2021

Our Strategy

Chemistry is our passion. As an industry leader, we want to be the most attractive partner for challenges that can be solved with chemistry. That is why our customers are at the center of everything we do. We want to grow profitably and at the same time, create value for society and the environment. We help to change the world for the better with our expertise, our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and the power of our Verbund integration.

The world is changing at a rapid pace – more and more urgently than ever, solutions are needed for a sustainable future. Chemistry plays a key role here. In almost all areas of life, it can help overcome pressing global challenges with innovative products and technologies – from climate change and using resources more sparingly to feeding the world’s population. This belief is expressed in our corporate purpose and is what motivates us day in and day out: We create chemistry for a sustainable future.

Our mission and motivation is to grow profitably and make a positive contribution to society and the environment. For example, BASF’s solutions contribute to climate protection and help to prevent or recycle waste, produce healthy and affordable food, and enable climate-smart mobility.

At the same time, as an energy and resource-intensive company, we are facing what is probably the biggest transformation in our over 150-year history: The shift toward a carbon-neutral and circular economy and the associated landmarks such as the European Green Deal demand from us new concepts and approaches – for the way we produce, for our raw material base and for our energy supply.

We also see these disruptive changes as an opportunity. As the world’s largest chemical company, we want to lead the way and actively and responsibly shape the change. That is why we are gradually switching our energy and raw material supplies to renewable sources. We are strengthening our Verbund structure as the basis for resource-efficient, safe and reliable production. We are developing pioneering low-carbon production processes for our products. We are accelerating our innovation processes and deepening cooperation with partners to develop high-performance products that also require fewer resources and have a lower carbon footprint. We are harnessing the many opportunities of digitalization. We are systematically aligning our portfolio with growth areas and future technologies, and are integrating sustainability into our value chains even more strongly. We create a working environment in which our employees can thrive and contribute to BASF’s long-term success. This is how we live our corporate purpose.

Our Strategic Action Areas 

Our customers are our number one priority and are at the heart of our strategy. We want to be their most attractive partner for challenges that can be solved with chemistry. BASF supplies products and services to around 90,000 customers from almost all sectors and countries around the world. Our customer portfolio ranges from major global customers and small and medium-sized enterprises to end consumers. Our comprehensive product portfolio means that we are active in many value chains and value creation networks. We use various business strategies, which we adapt to the needs of industries and markets. These range from cost leadership in basic chemicals to tailored system solutions for specific customer applications.

We continue to drive forward our customer focus. We have refined our organizational structure to enable our operating divisions to flexibly address specific market requirements and differentiate themselves from the competition.

We are also improving our customer relationships with a range of measures. For example, since 2019 we have been using the Net Promoter System® worldwide to systematically record and optimize our problem-solving skills, product quality and delivery reliability based on direct customer feedback. We have been using a new IT-based customer relationship management system, Salesforce, since 2020. The application helps our sales employees to provide customer support and simplifies their work. Above and beyond this, we have intensified cooperation with our customers to leverage innovation and growth potential together with them. For instance, we established interdisciplinary teams in our business units to even better and more quickly address the needs of our most important customers.

BASF’s strategic orientation is founded on a comprehensive analysis of our markets and competitors. We continuously monitor global trends and anticipate the resulting growth opportunities and risks. The following six strategic focus areas enable us to focus on our customers while strengthening our leading position in an increasingly volatile and competitive environment.

Mit einer Fläche von rund 64.000 Quadratmetern, was etwa einer Größe von 13 Fußballfelder entspricht, ist der Steamcracker II die größte einzelne Anlage am Standort Ludwigshafen. Der Cracker ist auch das "Herzstück" der Verbundproduktion. Seit 1981 ist der Steamcracker II in Betrieb und spaltet unter Zusatz von Wasserdampf bei etwa 850 Grad Celsius Rohbenzin auf. Dabei entstehen im wesentlichen Ethylen und Propylen, welches beides unverzichtbare Grundstoffe für die Herstellung vieler Produkte in Ludwigshafen sind.

Good to know
Net Zero Accelerator 

The new Net Zero Accelerator unit started work on January 1, 2022.
It bundles the extensive cross-company activities with which we want to achieve our ambitious climate protection targets. The unit will initially have around 80 employees and report directly to the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors. It will focus on accelerating and implementing projects relating to low-CO2 production technologies, circular economy and renewable energies – driving forward BASF’s transformation to a climate-neutral company. In parallel, our operating divisions will continue to work on divisional-specific carbon reduction projects.

For more information on climate neutrality, see 

Innovation is the bedrock of our success. BASF is a leader in the chemical industry with around 10,000 employees in research and development and R&D spending of around €2.2 billion. We are expanding this position by strengthening our research activities, bringing research and development even closer together, and fostering cooperation.

We pledged our commitment to sustainability in 1994 and since then, have systematically aligned our activities with the principles of sustainability. We see sustainability as an integral part of our strategy as well as our targets, steering processes and business models. Our approach covers the entire value chain – from responsible procurement and safety and resource efficiency in production to sustainable solutions for our customers. 

Our core business is the production and processing of chemicals. Our strength here lies – both now and in the future – in the Verbund and its integrated value chains. The Verbund offers us many technological, market, production-related and digital advantages. That is why we will continue to invest in the creation and optimization of Verbund structures and drive forward the consolidation of production at highly efficient sites. 

We want to leverage the diverse growth potential of digitalization and seize the associated opportunities to the benefit of our customers. To achieve this, we promote digital skills among our employees, cooperate with partners and make digital technologies and ways of working an integral part of our business. 

Investments, acquisitions and divestitures play a key role in strengthening our portfolio. We are focusing on innovation-driven growth areas and sustainable technologies. To further strengthen our position in the dynamic growth market of Asia, we are building a new Verbund site in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Our employees are key to BASF’s success. That is why we believe that it is important to have an inspiring working environment that fosters and develops employees’ individual talents and enables them and their teams to perform at their best. We are pursuing three action areas to make our high-performance organization even more so: empowerment, differentiation, and simplification.   

Our Values and Global Standards

How we act is critical to the successful implementation of our strategy and how our stakeholders perceive us. This is what our four corporate values represent. They are binding for all employees worldwide. Together with our Code of Conduct and our global standards and guidelines, they provide the framework for responsible conduct. 

Creative: We make great products and solutions for our customers. This is why we embrace bold ideas and give them space to grow. We act with optimism and inspire one another.

Open: We value diversity, in people, opinions and experience. This is why we foster feedback based on honesty, respect and mutual trust. We learn from setbacks. 

Responsible: We value the health and safety of people above all else. We make sustainability part of every decision. We are committed to strict compliance and environmental standards.

Entrepreneurial: We focus on our customers, as individuals and as a company. We seize opportunities and think ahead. We take ownership and embrace personal accountability.

We stipulate binding rules for our employees with standards that apply throughout the Group. We set ourselves ambitious goals with voluntary commitments and regularly monitor our performance in environmental protection, health and safety with our Responsible Care Management System. We mainly approach our adherence to international labor and social standards using three elements: the Compliance Program including our Code of Conduct and compliance hotlines, close dialog with our stakeholders, and the global management process to respect international labor norms. Our business partners are expected to comply with prevailing laws and regulations and to align their actions with internationally recognized principles. We have established appropriate monitoring systems to ensure this.