Our strategy

Corporate Strategy

At BASF, we are passionate about chemistry and our customers. To be the world’s leading chemical company for our customers, we will grow profitably and create value for society. Thanks to our expertise, our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and the power of our Verbund integration, we make a decisive contribution to changing the world we live in for the better. This is our goal. This is what drives us and what we do best: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. 


Today, the world is changing more rapidly than ever before, driven by demographic change and new digital technologies. Our customers in different industries and regions face diverse social and environmental challenges due to limited natural resources, climate change and the increasing demands of a growing global population. Chemistry is key to solving many of these challenges. By combining our unique expertise with our customers’ competence, we can jointly develop profitable, innovative and sustainable solutions for these global challenges.

Corporate purpose

We create chemistry for a sustainable future

Our purpose reflects what we do and why we do it: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. We want to contribute to a world that provides a viable future with enhanced quality of life for everyone. This is why we offer products and solutions that are designed to make the best use of available resources and help to overcome challenges.

Our aspiration is to be the world’s leading chemical company and achieve profitable growth. We aim to primarily grow organically and thus are strengthening our customer focus. Our growth strategy is based on investment in strategic growth markets and innovation-driven sectors. The Asian market continues to play a key role here. With a share of more than 40%, China is already the world’s largest chemical market and drives the growth of global chemical production. By 2030, China’s share will increase to nearly 50% – and we want to participate in this growth. To further our growth in this dynamic market, we plan to build an integrated Verbund site in Zhanjiang in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. We also want to expand our existing joint venture with Sinopec at the Verbund site in Nanjing.

Global trends provide opportunities for growth in the chemical industry

Demographic change: 

Share of population aged 60 and over worldwide


2020 to 2050


Rapid growth in volume of data 

zettabytes by 2030

Population growth:

Driven by the emerging markets 


2020 to 2050

Climate change: 

Required reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
to achieve the 2°C goal 

by 2050

China the largest market: 

Share of global chemical market


by 2030 


Growing demand for battery materials until 2030 

per year


Sources: U.N., IEA, UBS Foresight, BASF


Our strategic action areas

To reach our goals and be the leading company in the chemical industry for our customers, we are strengthening our performance in innovation and in operations as the leading chemical producer and plant operator. We leverage digital technologies and data to create additional value added for us and our customers. We are embedding sustainability even more deeply into the steering of our business. We want to foster a passion for our customers in all employees. We are expanding our portfolio and refining our organization to better meet customer needs using the power of our Verbund integration. To this end, we have defined six strategic action areas on which will continue to base our activities.


Our ambition is to be the most attractive partner for our customers whenever they are confronted with challenges that can be approached with chemistry. Our research and development competences are industry-leading. We aim to build on and leverage this strength to develop innovations together with our customers. We want to continuously improve our innovation processes so that we can bring products to the market more quickly.


We are successful in the long term when our products, solutions and technologies add value to the environment, society and the economy. We want to be a thought leader in sustainability, which is why we are increasing the relevance of sustainability in our steering processes and business models. This secures the long-term success of our company, creates business opportunities and establishes us as a key partner supporting our customers.


We produce safely, efficiently and reliably so that we can deliver products to our customers on spec and on time. We strive to continually improve the reliability and availability of our plants, as well as our agility. Above and beyond this, continuous process improvements and effective debottlenecking of our existing asset base are paramount to ensure our competitiveness.


Digitalization is an integral part of our business. This creates value added for our customers, grows our business and improves efficiency. We are extensively promoting digital skills among our employees to ensure that the necessary resources are always available to leverage the opportunities of digitalization to the benefit of our customers.


We will sharpen our portfolio and focus our capital allocation toward growth areas. We will focus primarily on organic growth through capital expenditures and innovation. We also make targeted acquisitions where this makes strategic sense and creates value and divest businesses that are no longer a strategic match. Our segment structure creates a high level of transparency regarding the steering of our businesses, the importance of value chains and the role of our Verbund. The physical, technological, market and digital integration of the Verbund is at the core of our portfolio and our strengths.


We aim to clearly position each business against its relevant competitors and establish a high-performance organization to enable us to be successful in an increasingly competitive market environment. Our people are what will make the implementation of our strategy successful. We rely on the engagement of our employees and give them the tools and skills necessary to be able to offer our customers differentiated and customized products, services and solutions. Our tailored business models and organizational structures ensure that each business unit can optimally serve its market segment.

Business and competitive environment

BASF’s global presence means that it operates in the context of local, regional and global developments and a wide range of conditions. These include: 

  • Global economic environment 
  • Legal and political requirements (such as European Union regulations) 
  • International trade agreements 
  • Industry standards 
  • Environmental agreements (such as the E.U. Emissions Trading System) 
  • Social aspects (such as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights) 

BASF holds one of the top three market positions in around 70% of the business areas in which it is active. Our most important global competitors include Arkema, Bayer, Clariant, Corteva, Covestro, Dow, Dupont, DSM, Evonik, Formosa Plastics, Huntsman, Lanxess, SABIC, Sinopec, Solvay, Syngenta, Wanhua and many hundreds of local and regional competitors. We expect competitors from Asia and the Middle East in particular to gain increasing significance in the years ahead.

Last Update February 28, 2020