Political communication and advocacy

Political dialog is part of good governance at BASF

BASF pursues a constructive dialog with its societal stakeholders to ensure and improve its license to operate and as part of its commitment to develop sustainable solutions together with partners.

This exchange allows us to respond to the changes in our environment, helps us to understand trends and anticipate regulatory expectations and developments, in order to effectively advocate for and communicate our views.

BASF conducts its political dialog in compliance with corporate values and principles

We support and promote responsible, accountable, transparent and democratic processes that benefit society at large. This means for us to respect the roles and responsibilities of the institutions and organizations we seek to engage and being open about the interests we seek to advance.

In this context, we commit ourselves to responsible, honest and transparent action based on our values and principles. We are committed to ensuring that our dialogue and advocacy is in compliance with our Global Code of Conduct, and the rules and principles set out in our policy.

The implementation of the policy lies with the communications leadership team, the globally responsible group of senior executives overseeing communications and political relations activities. It develops, monitors and ensures the implementation of our policy as well as our positions.

Our interaction with politicians is based on evidence. We are open for dialog with all stakeholders. BASF is not affiliated with any political party, individual members of parliament or incumbents or candidates for a political office. BASF has a view on issues, not on political parties or individual policy makers.

Management oversight/Board engagement

BASF’s board members are regularly and continuously briefed on and oversee the political activities of BASF. The general political strategy is discussed in high level management meetings. BASF’s board members and high-level management are actively involved in representing BASF’s interests as well as those of the chemical industry generally.

Memberships of associations and BASF liaison offices

BASF conducts political dialog in cooperation with the relevant interest groups. We are involved in numerous industry associations all over the world. In support of local political dialog, BASF has liaison offices i.a. in Berlin, Brussels, Washington and Beijing. BASF is in favor of fostering transparency in advocacy and will participate in transparency or advocacy (“lobby”) registers where possible, for example with the European Parliament and the European Commission and in the United States.

BASF does not make donations to political parties

BASF does not fund political parties. The same applies to members of government, parliament and electoral candidates. In the United States, employees at BASF Corporation have made use of their right to establish a Political Action Committee (PAC). The BASF Corporation Employee PAC is a voluntary, federally registered employee association founded in 1998. It collects donations for political purposes and decides how these are used, in accordance with U.S. law.  

Sponsoring of individual events in a political context is governed by our policy. Any sponsoring will strictly adhere to BASF’s fundamental neutrality in politics. All sponsoring will be made transparent in an adequate way.

Retention of agencies

BASF aims to conduct Political Relations and Advocacy with its own staff resources to the greatest extent possible. We will always attempt to make and hold all relevant contacts and meetings between BASF and political stakeholders by BASF representatives in person and not by agency or partner staff on behalf of BASF. Exceptions are kept to a minimum. Any hiring of agencies or partner staff for interaction with political stakeholders on behalf of BASF is governed by our policy. All agencies must commit in writing to abide by our standards.

Political neutrality during election periods

During election periods, BASF and its representatives remain politically neutral. A “Quiet Period” is observed ahead of elections during which we do not present, give or participate in any publicly visible platform for political parties or electoral candidates. In general, we regard a duration of eight weeks before election as appropriate unless national election specifics make a longer or shorter period necessary.

BASF supports the social commitment of company employees

BASF encourages employees to engage in voluntary civic, social and political commitment within their private capacities. BASF pursues no corporate interests whatsoever in connection with private voluntary work and personal mandates of employees. BASF employees will respect the provisions on conflict of interest set out in BASF's Global Code of Conduct.

Exchange of staff with international organizations, governments, ministries and public administration

BASF believes in the importance of communication between industry and politics. We are aware of the conflicts of interests around the issue of “revolving doors”. BASF will respect all applicable regulations concerning a cooling-off period and if employing former officials or other staff of government or government agencies or assistants or trainees, respect the obligation of such employees to abide by the rules and confidentiality requirements which apply to them.

BASF welcomes temporary staff exchange and staff transfer with political organizations, institutions and public administrations. Staff exchange promotes experience and fosters a better understanding of specific structures and processes between the private and public sector.

We may participate in staff exchange, if there are no conflicts of interest and transparency is ensured. All postings are listed on BASF’s website (without mentioning the individual names); an equivalent information policy is encouraged on the side of the partner organization.

Current postings of employees of BASF SE and BASF's German subsidiaries at international organizations, governments, ministries, and public administration - and respectively of public administration staff at BASF:

Currently none.

Advocacy Transparency

BASF advocates across a broad range of issues which are related to our company. In the coming year, our focus is on advocating for:

  • A global level playing field in energy and climate policies
  • Free and fair trade policy and market access
  • Evidenced-based decision making of regulatory approvals
  • Sustainable development
  • A research driven policy making and a society open for innovation

As part of our dialog we regularly contact and meet with government departments, members of parliament, NGOs and other stakeholders in many of the countries where we do business.