Human Capital Index
Community Relations (SASB Code: RT-CH-210a.1)
Discussion of engagement processes to manage risks and opportunities associated with community interests
We are involved in networks, lobbying groups and associations in order to jointly promote sustainability topics. In our own independent exchange formats, we discuss our contribution to a socially just climate transformation (just transition) with representatives from business, science, politics and civil society. For example, we discussed solutions and challenges on the path to climate neutrality with our stakeholders at the BASF Sustainability Lab in 2023. In-depth, context-related discussions take place in topic-specific committees such as the Human Rights Advisory Council and the Nature Advisory Council. BASF is actively involved in the International Council of Chemical Associations’ global Responsible Care® initiative.
We promote continuous exchange between local residents and our site management with community advisory panels. We also involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process about future investments at an early stage in order to work together on viable solutions.
Our Responsible Care Management System covers the environmental protection, health and safety aspects that we have identified as material. When it comes to health protection and safety, this is particularly relevant for the production at our plants, activities at our sites and warehouses, as well as distribution of our products down to our customers’ application of our products. Regular audits help ensure that our safety, health and environmental protection standards are met. We conduct regular audits every three to six years at all BASF sites and at companies in which BASF is a majority shareholder. We take a risk-based approach here. An audit database ensures that all sites and plants worldwide are regularly audited. In the BASF Group in 2023, 120 environmental and safety audits were conducted at 72 sites.
Our aim of acting responsibly toward our employees is embedded in our global Code of Conduct and our Policy Statement on Human Rights through our voluntary commitment to respecting international labor and social standards. This voluntary commitment encompasses internationally recognized labor norms as stipulated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In order to meet the requirement to comply with these standards worldwide, we mainly approach our adherence to international labor and social standards using three elements: the Compliance Program (including compliance hotlines), close dialog with our stakeholders (such as with employee representatives or international organizations) and the BASF guideline on compliance with international labor norms, which applies Group-wide.
BASF Report 2023: Our Sustainability Concept, p. 51
BASF Report 2022: Our Management and Control Systems, p. 131
BASF Report 2023: Responsibility for Human Rights, Labor and Social Standards, p. 155
We have been a member of the U.N. Global Compact since its establishment in 2000. BASF consistently supports the U.N. Global Compact’s 10 principles of responsible business conduct and the Sustainable Development Goals. We are active all over the world in local Global Compact networks, in some cases in a leadership role. BASF has been an active member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) since 1999. We cofounded the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) in 2017. The aim of the GBA is to develop standards and tools to steer a sustainable value chain for batteries. In 2019, we cofounded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) to drive forward solutions that reduce and avoid the disposal of plastic waste in the environment, in particular in the ocean.
BASF Report 2023: Stakeholder Engagement, p. 140
Workforce Health & Safety (SASB Code: RT-CH-320a.1)
(1) Total recordable incident rate (TRIR) and
(2) Fatality rate for (a) direct employees and (b) contract employees
(1) High Severity Work Process-Related Incident Rate: 0.03 accidents per 200,000 working hours
(2) Fatality rate: 2 fatalities
(numbers include BASF employees, temporary employees and contractors)
BASF Report 2023: Occupational Safety, Process Safety and Health Protection, p. 144
Efforts to assess, monitor, and reduce exposure of employees and contract workers to long-term (chronic) health risks (SASB Code: RT-CH-320a.2)
Description of efforts to assess, monitor, and reduce exposure of employees and contract workers to long-term (chronic) health risks
We measure our performance in health protection using the Health Performance Index (HPI). It comprises five components: recognized occupational diseases, medical emergency drills, first aid, preventive medicine and health promotion. Each component contributes a maximum of 0.2 to the total score, meaning that the highest possible score is 1.0. We aim to achieve a value of more than 0.9 every year. With an HPI of 0.96, we once again achieved this in 2023 (2022: 0.96).
BASF’s long-term economic success is closely linked to the health and well-being as well as the productivity of our employees. In the research and production of chemicals, some of our employees handle hazardous substances and operate complex systems and machines. Potential risks arise as a result, which we aim to minimize through comprehensive preventive measures. We systematically record opportunities and risks in the area of occupational safety and health protection as part of our general opportunity and risk management. In addition to the legally required briefings, BASF requires new employees and contractors to complete compulsory health and safety training. Employees at our production sites also receive regular training on the safe handling of chemicals and the correct use of personal protective equipment.
Our aim is to avoid work-related illness completely through appropriate prevention. Regular site inspections or workplace visits are the basis for the overall occupational health assessment. Qualified risk assessments are the basis for evaluations and improvements to be derived. Occupational medical expertise is already incorporated into the planning of technical and organizational innovations in the company. The results of occupational medical examinations regarding possible health hazards from the workplace are analyzed. Relevant findings from examinations and site inspections are taken into account when revising the health risk assessment. Chemical, biological and physical hazards (including noise, vibration, radiation, exposure to heat and cold at the workplace), ergonomics and psychosocial hazards are assessed and controlled in regular operations.
According to the hierarchy of control, the following measures are part of our health risk management:
- Elimination or reduction of health hazards (substitution)
- Implementation or improvement of technical control measures
- Optimization of work organization (including minimization of frequency and duration of activities)
- Availability and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
In the 2023 reporting year, 44 (2022: 38) work-related diseases were documented as recognized occupational diseases among our direct employees worldwide. The main work-related recognized diseases are occupational asthma, hearing loss, skin disease, musculoskeletal disease and cancer. Deaths from work-related recognized diseases are not reported to BASF Group.
BASF Report 2023: Occupational Safety, Process Safety and Health Protection, pp. 144-145
GRI and Global Compact Index: 403-10 2018 (Work-related ill health)
More information on our Corporate Health Management: Health Promotion