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Environmental Survey 2018

What do the neighbors surrounding BASF think about the “Aniline”? BASF tasked a Market Research Institute with finding out. The emphasis: which topics interest the residents on the other side of the firm’s fence? 2,300 residents of the Rhine-Neckar region have answered in this representative study. 

Neighbor Aniline: The Verbund site Ludwigshafen is the greatest interconnected chemical compound in the world that belongs solely to one firm. 

“The good news is”, says site manager and board member Michael Heinz (translated), “that 87 percent of the people in the region see us as ‘very positive’, or ‘positive’ – roughly unchanged from the last survey in 2014. This shows us the trust of our neighbors, even though many were aware of the misfortune in Nordhafen”. 88 percent indicated that BASF has contributed to the economic development of the region. Almost just as many see the chemical company as an attractive employer (84 percent) and innovative (78 percent) corporation. This is how every fifth person questioned in the Rhine-Neckar region heard about the self-driving transportation vehicles that belong to BASF. As many people know that BASF is working to advance in the areas of “digitalization” or “Industry 4.0”. These numbers are even higher in the immediate vicinity of the firm’s site, at around 30 percent.

Crises Overshadow Other Topics in Public Perception

Interestingly, significantly more than two-thirds of the neighbors in the Rhine-Neckar region (71 percent) state that BASF is making important strides in areas of education, culture, community, and sport. However, when asked what they have seen, heard, or read regarding BASF in the media over the past 3 months, these contributions were overshadowed by the reporting of crises. Examples include the explosion in Nordhafen or the problems with the production facilities. 

Immediate neighbors expect information fast

After all, more than every second resident of the Rhine-Neckar region feels that they are informed of operational disturbances in a timely manner (56 percent), 41 percent feel comprehensively informed and 50 percent feel credibly informed.

Those directly surrounding the premises were more critical. Dr. Kristina Winzen, head of the Communications and Site Relations Germany (translated): “We understand that our close neighbors that live by the work premises expect information quicker and more often than today. This is an incentive for us to continue developing our communications.”

Overall, neighbors inform themselves over reliable channels: 79 percent use the daily newspaper and news articles, followed by 66 percent who use television. Equally useful are personal conversations with BASF employees. Written information such as the business reports or the employee-newspaper from BASF is an important news source for around 55 percent of those surveyed. This is followed closely by personal visits to BASF (51 percent). “There is another large-scale opportunity in this year’s ‘Open House’ on September 22nd”, says Heinz (translated). Inspired by the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie), many companies all over Germany open their gates on this day. “We purposefully put the BASF-Experience-Day 2018 in Ludwigshafen under the motto ‘paticipate, inform, be there”, says Heinz (translated), “and so we would like to initiate the dialogue with out neighbors, employees, and their families. It is a good opportunity to make inquiries, listen, and better understand what exactly is needed.”

The Study:

- Telephone interviews in December 2017 and January 2018

- The sample was residents of the Rhine-Neckar region over the age of 16. Participants were asked, whether they have family members or friends who work at BASF.

- Representative sample: around 2000 participants in the Rhine-Neckar region and 300 other direct inhabitants.

- Task: Evaluate the image of BASF and analyze any changes since the 2014 survey.

- Mannheim’s Dima Marktforschung GmbH was commissioned to conduct this study

Experience BASF

Visitors can find out what exactly Aniline does in the Visitor Center at gate 2. Daily bus tours of the facility start there as well. 

Available on this webpage is additional information about production, the environment, security and safety, as well as engagement in culture, sport, community, education, and gastronomy.

Brand new from July 1, 2018: The WhatsApp service for neighbors. If you want, you can register here and find out, for example, when flares start on the factory site because production facilities are being ramped up or down - but also what else is going on around the plant.

Anyone who wants to speak directly to an employee as a resident can reach colleagues in the environmental center day and night. They answer your questions and follow complaints at 0621 60-4040.

In the event of a malfunction, corporate communications colleagues will inform you at a call at  the toll-free number 0800 5050500.

Good as well as bad news has proven the value of the Facebook and Twitter pages of BASF. The location communication team can also be reached by email for neighbors.