Identification and Management of Sustainability Topics
We identify key sustainability topics with our comprehensive materiality analysis.
The graphic shows how we 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 to us.
The topics identified based on these three dimensions of materiality are: climate and energy, health and safety / product stewardship, water, emissions to air and soil, resource efficiency and waste, biodiversity, human rights, employment and diversity.
Identifying and assessing sustainability topics1,2
1 Our stakeholders also confirmed the materiality of the nonfinancial topics that the Value to Society method 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 contributions to key sustainability topics and reduce the negative impact of our business activities. Together with decentrally organized specialists, the Corporate Strategy & Sustainability unit in the Corporate Center is responsible for integrating sustainability into core business activities and decision-making processes. This unit’s tasks include the global steering of climate-related matters.
The new Net Zero Accelerator project organization has reported directly to the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors since January 2022. It focuses on the further acceleration and implementation of existing and new projects to achieve CO2 reduction targets at company level worldwide and drives them forward.
The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board are regularly briefed on the current status of individual sustainability topics. The Board of Executive Directors incorporates the results and recommendations from sustainability evaluations of business processes into its decisions, for example, on 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 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 here as well as which effects we are exposed to.
In 2018, we established our Sustainable Finance Roundtable, which discusses topics related to sustainable finance. Here, experts from departments such as Finance, Corporate Strategy, Investor Relations and Communications discuss upcoming new legal requirements. The interdisciplinary group analyzes the steadily growing requirements, assesses the impact on BASF and drives forward the necessary change processes as well as the concrete implementation of measures. In a U.N. Global Compact task force, we are developing recommendations on how the SDGs should be considered in financial decisions and in interactions with investors.