Reißen die Ketten?

With the coronavirus pandemic, ­geopolitical tensions and climate change exposing weaknesses in today’s ­international supply chains, Creating Chemistry asked experts whether recent events are signs that globalization is reaching the end of the road.

It’s easy to underestimate the modern world’s reliance on global supply chains. Until they break. For many people, the past three years have been the first time in their lives that they have faced shortages of materials, manufactured goods and energy. Now governments, companies and ­individuals are asking whether we have become too reliant on a fragile web of trading relationships that stretches across the world. Should industries be adapting and strengthening their global ­supply chains? Or should they replace them entirely? And what role does sustainability play? We asked four experts to assess the state of globalization today. A historian explains that trade has supported domestic and ­international stability for centuries, but that those trading relationships have always been vulnerable to political and social change. A supply chain engineer explains how ­technology has the potential to improve global supply chains, but also to supplant them. A risk expert highlights the ways leading businesses are building new resilience into their supply chains. Finally, BASF’s Head of ­Corporate Sustainability Relations describes the company’s efforts to build and maintain equitable and sustainable supply networks in the chemicals industry and beyond.


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