What can we do to ensure a good life on our planet today and tomorrow? To me, this is one of the most important questions for the future. For this reason, all of us – business, society, and policy-makers – have to chart new courses together, because our planet has reached its limits. In mathematical terms, we would need a planet 1.7 times the size of the Earth in order to meet our needs for raw materials. This calculation does not add up. The take-make-dispose principle has outlived its usefulness. New ideas are needed to decouple growth and resource consumption. Nature shows us the way – raw materials grow, are being transformed and become nutrients again. This system is made up of cycles, and it does not produce any waste.
Our cover story presents innovative approaches to this subject. They demonstrate that growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they create many new possibilities for the chemical industry. Think of electromobility, for example. In the future, we will have to recycle millions of batteries. Our aim is to recover valuable raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. BASF researchers are passionate about making this work. In this issue of Creating Chemistry, you can also find out about other innovations that our company is developing in order to close cycles.
By means of the example of plant breeding, we show you how we use available resources to adapt to changed conditions: BASF utilizes old varieties for modern breeds. They can help to feed the world’s growing population and withstand climate change.
I am convinced that a functioning circular economy makes a significant contribution to climate protection and goes hand in hand with the energy transformation – away from fossil fuels and toward electricity from renewable sources. BASF is pursuing a clear approach and setting the pace. We are consistently focusing on sustainability. Together with our customers and partners, we are driving the circular economy forward.
I hope you enjoy reading Creating Chemistry!
Dr. Martin Brudermüller
Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE
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