Identification and Management of Sustainability Topics

Materiality analysis

A materiality analysis helps BASF to recognize and assess key sustainability topics by examining the expectations and needs of external stakeholders - such as customers, investors, suppliers, politics and NGOs - and internal stakeholders. We use the results of our materiality analysis to constantly enhance our sustainability management by raising awareness for stakeholders’ needs and changes in their perceived importance of sustainability topics. The materiality analysis also provides a basis for guiding corporate processes to identify and manage potential opportunities and risks.

To derive the topics that are material for BASF we developed the process shown in the graphic below. Here, we take into account topics that we have an impact on, topics that have an impact on us, and topics that our stakeholders consider important. The identified topics were divided into "societal challenges" and "corporate measures to deal with societal challenges". The first are affected by BASF and have an impact on BASF, while the second show ways to address them. The relevant topics ("societal challenges") identified taking into account these three materiality dimensions are: Climate and energy, health and safety/product stewardship, water, emissions to air and soil, resource efficiency and waste, biodiversity, human rights, and employment and diversity. 
In addition, the following corporate actions to address societal challenges were identified: Digitalization & data security, governance structure, innovation, customer relationships, organizational resilience, stakeholder relationships, sustainable finance, transparency, business ethics and responsibility along the supply chain.


We continuously follow the development of ESG topics using big data analytics tools. These capture the constantly changing topic relevance for our stakeholders globally, comprehensively and timely. The results are evaluated internally. In 2021, we observed that the following topics have risen in importance for our stakeholders: digitalization & data security, organizational resilience, employment & diversity. There are no signs of structural shifts in the setting of topics.