We take a holistic view: Reducing emissions along the value chain
All aspects are important to us - we look at the full lifecycle. When calculating the greenhouse gas emissions linked to our activities, we consider the entire value chain. We look at the supply of raw materials and precursors, production at BASF and emissions from the use of end products and from disposal. Emissions are analyzed in detail and we obtain pointers on where the influencing factors for preventing greenhouse gas emissions are to be found.
The illustration below gives an overview on the various sources for emissions. We analyze the details transparently and comprehensibly in our corporate carbon footprint.
Our aim is to continuously reduce the emissions from our business activities, so we are working in our own production and with our partners along the value chain to increase the greenhouse gas efficiency. We are implementing specific projects to reduce emissions in these areas:
Chemical production requires a large amount of energy and some processes also create greenhouse gases as by-products.
Our aim is to continuously reduce the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the generation of energy in power plants and from the production processes. Our experts are constantly working on further improving the processes and setup of our installations.
As a result, we have already achieved a great deal on the way towards greater climate protection. We have been able to reduce absolute emissions in the chemical business by 50 percent compared with 1990. The reduction per metric ton of sales product was in fact 74 percent.
Comparison with the benchmarks of the European Emissions Trading Scheme shows that our plants are operating with above-average efficiency, and we have set ourselves ambitious goals to maintain this in the future.
Important levers for emission reduction in our production:
We have installed our own N2O decomposition catalysts in all plants where nitrous oxide (N2O) is created as a by-product, and this has enabled us to prevent emissions of around 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2015.
Energy efficiency is the key to combine climate protection, conservation of resources and economic advantages.
To keep our production plants supplied with energy, we have invested in our own combined heat and power (CHP) plants which generate power and steam at the same time. This means that up to 90 percent efficiency can be achieved and enables us to cover more than 70 percent of our power requirement.
Moreover, we are implementing an integrated energy supply (“Verbund”) concept at all our major sites, and are continuously working on improvements in the energy efficiency of our processes.
The close cooperation between partners along the entire value chain is a major factor in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, because often opportunities for reducing emissions can only be achieved as a joint effort. 54 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were generated in the production of the raw materials, precursors, energy sources, services and capital goods that BASF purchased in 2015. We work with carefully selected raw material suppliers on specific projects looking at solutions contributing to reduce these emissions.
Environmental protection, occupational safety and social standards, in addition to economic criteria, are part of the assessment of new and existing supplier relationships and are an integral part of our conditions of purchase.
Transporting goods by rail instead of by road reduces CO2 emissions by up to 65 percent. BASF uses intermodal transport at its major production sites at Ludwigshafen, Schwarzheide and Antwerp.
At our BASF site at Ludwigshafen, we completed the expansion of the intermodal transport terminal in 2012, increasing the capacity of our handling facility from 300,000 to 500,000 loading units per year. The completion of the expansion meant that the annual CO2 reduction in logistics could be raised to approximately 100,000 metric tons in total.