Identification and Management of Sustainability Topics

We evaluate key sustainability topics with our comprehensive materiality analysis.

The graphic shows how we identify and assess relevant topics. 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 relevant topics identified based on the three dimensions of materiality include climate and energy, resource efficiency and waste, health and safety / product stewardship, emissions to air and soil, and responsibility along the value chain.

Identifying and assessing sustainability topics1,2

1 Our stakeholders also confirmed the materiality of the nonfinancial topics that the Value to Society approach identified as having an impact along the value chain.
2 Quantitative thresholds for defining material topics have not been set due to the complexity of the assessment methods used for each dimension of materiality. The final list of topics is based on an expert comparison of the results of all the assessment approaches described.

Our organizational and management structures

We are constantly working to broaden our positive impact on key sustainability topics and reduce the negative impact of our business activities. The Corporate Development unit, which is part of the Corporate Center, has steered the integration of sustainability into core business activities and decision-making processes since 2020. Global steering of climate-related matters is also bundled in this unit, such as coordinating measures to reach our climate protection target and steering the target on making our product portfolio more sustainable.

The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board are regularly briefed on the current status of individual sustainability topics. In addition, the Board of Executive Directors is informed about sustainability evaluations in business processes, for example, in the case of proposed investments and acquisitions. It makes decisions with strategic relevance for the Group and monitors the implementation of strategic plans and target achievement. The Corporate Sustainability Board, which is composed of heads of business and Corporate Center units and regions, supports the Board of Executive Directors on sustainability topics and discusses operational matters. A member of the Board of Executive Directors serves as chair.

We also established an external, independent Stakeholder Advisory Council (SAC) in 2013 and a Human Rights Advisory Council (HRAC) in 2020. In the SAC, international experts from academia and society contribute their perspectives to discussions with BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. The HRAC is led by our Chief Compliance Officer. It comprises external human rights specialists and internal experts, who advise senior management. This help us to build on our strengths in how we handle human rights and address potential for improvement.

We systematically evaluate sustainability criteria, including the effects of climate change, as an integral part of decisions on acquisitions and investments in property, plant and equipment or financial assets. In this way, we not only assess economic dimensions, but also the potential impacts on areas such as the environment, human rights or the local community. We evaluate both the potential impacts of our activities as well as which effects we are exposed to.

Last Update February 26, 2021