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BASF at Sustainable Brands Conferences in Buenos Aires and Copenhagen

October 11, 2016

Circular economy models and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are just two current topics that the global community of sustainability leaders is focusing on right now. BASF joined the conversation at two Sustainable Brands conferences that took place in September.

Experiments at the BASF stand showed how chemistry contributes to sustainability.

In Buenos Aires more than 1,200 people attended the two-day conference on September 13 and 14. Reflecting this year´s motto “Activating Purpose” participants from businesses, politics, NGOs and the society, joined the discussion about how companies can contribute to a sustainable future.

Visitors of the BASF stand were able to experience in live experiments how chemistry contributes to sustainability in day-to-day activities, for example by showing how BASF´s Sokalan® HP 56 works as dye transfer inhibitor between clothes, allowing washing white and color clothes together. That way BASF solutions help to save energy and water, protecting the environment and preserving clothes as new for even longer.

Recycling system at the conference in Buenos Aires.

In his case presentation "Promoting Sustainable Solutions through Circular Economy" Dario Mastroiaco, Care Chemicals Manager for BASF Argentina, provided insights about the circular economy model and its role for the chemical industry: “Circular economy is much more than waste management. It is about keeping resources in use as long as possible, obtaining their maximum possible value, and minimizing waste by recovering and recycling products and materials at the end of the life cycle. Chemistry plays a key role when it comes to circular economy, as innovations in chemistry are needed to enhance the lifespan of products and to enable recycling of different materials.”

Additionally to this presentation BASF showed the visitors of the Buenos Aires conference, how chemistry can support a circular economy: Together with its customer Bolsafilm, and partners such as ecomujeres and Biocom, BASF showcased a closed waste circuit with all the organic waste generated during the event, using bags manufactured with its certified biodegradable and compostable polymer ecovio®.

Sustainable Brands Conference in Copenhagen

Just two weeks later the Sustainable Brands community met again for a three-day event of learning, networking, collaboration and debate during hands-on workshops, and plenary sessions in Copenhagen.

BASF together with thinkstep and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) led an interactive workshop session about their method Sustainable Solution Steering®. Based on concrete product examples participants could gain first-hand experience on how to evaluate the contribution of products to sustainability and the challenges associated in doing so. “Sustainable Solution Steering® allows BASF to both improve individual solutions towards defined customer needs and to steer its entire portfolio,” said Dr. Andreas Kicherer, Director Sustainability Strategy, BASF, who led the workshop together with Talke Schaffrannek, Director Applied Sustainability at BASF. The method´s evaluation results influence the business strategy and enable a further integration of sustainability into customer support and product offerings. The participants of the workshop as well as the organizers drew a very positive feedback.

“An important step on our way to a sustainable world in 2050 is the development of a common framework for companies to assess and communicate on the sustainability of their product portfolio. This is why the WBCSD is working on the development of a common framework, leveraging the experience of many companies, including BASF. With the Sustainable Solution Steering® method, BASF shows an innovative example, offering a great business case for portfolio steering and sustainable product transformation”, said Andrea Brown from WBCSD.

In addition to this interactive workshop, BASF was part of a panel discussion on how to align the UN Sustainable Development Goals with brand strategy, product and service innovation, and corporate sustainability goal-setting. Talke Schaffrannek shared some of the experiences made by BASF: “For BASF the SDGs serve as a framework to guide the current and future business activities. By minimizing impacts along the value chain as well as through our products and services we contribute to their success.”