Sustainability Lab

An inherent part of our sustainability management is the continuous exchange with our stakeholders. In order to involve our stakeholders more intensively and to deepen specific sustainability topics, we established the Sustainability Lab as new stakeholder engagement format in 2023.

The new stakeholder engagement format is part of our strategic stakeholder engagement to gain outside-in perspectives, challenges, and impulses from representatives from business, science, politics and civil society.  

The Sustainability Lab is a further development of the Stakeholder Advisory Council  (SAC), which met in Ludwigshafen for the tenth time in fall 2022. Since 2012, members of the SAC and the BASF Board of Executive Directors have met once a year to engage in dialog, critically assessing and further developing BASF’s sustainability management.

With the Sustainability Lab, BASF is now establishing a format to deepen individual topics and issues related to sustainability and to shed light on them from different perspectives. In addition, the circle of external and internal experts with whom we want to discuss and think through the ever more complex topics is also expanding.

At the first meeting in July 2023, the participants worked on what BASF and other stakeholders can do to contribute to a successful energy transition and discussed various perspectives of it – finance, strategy, technology, mindset, frameworks. Because energy transition is a global ambition, we challenged the results from the central event with stakeholders in our regions. The Sustainability Lab is more than a new stakeholder engagement format: preparation, implementation and follow-up trigger important discussions inside the company on our way to a more sustainable future. In future, the Sustainability Lab will meet every two years to discuss a specific topic.

BASF Sustainability Lab: going green - fast and fair

Impressions from our first BASF Sustainability Lab and more about the added value of our Stakeholder Engagement for society.

Aufnahmen von einer Veranstaltung (Sustainability Lab mit Teilnahme Vorstand und externen Gästen) Detailbriefing erfolgt direkt telefonisch/vor Ort.

Judith Trüper

Aufnahmen von einer Veranstaltung (Sustainability Lab mit Teilnahme Vorstand und externen Gästen) Detailbriefing erfolgt direkt telefonisch/vor Ort.

Kathrin Kohl

BASF Sustainability Lab - Developing solutions in dialog with stakeholders

In the summer of 2023, BASF brought together external sustainability experts from various sectors with BASF representatives in the first Sustainability Lab to jointly advance solutions for sustainable development.

In this interview, the two project leaders Judith Trüper and Kathrin Kohl from Corporate Sustainability Relations at BASF explain why this exchange is so important to the company.


What is the Sustainability Lab about?

Judith Trüper: The Sustainability Lab is a stakeholder engagement format in which we bring together external stakeholders from different areas of society with BASF executives. Together, we discuss a specific sustainability topic from different perspectives in order to understand it holistically and thus better. This external input helps us to critically review and systematically develop our sustainability approach.

Kathrin Kohl: The Sustainability Lab is not limited to a single event day  but is embedded in a process. As a first step, we interviewed several stakeholders before the event to get their initial ideas.

After the event in Ludwigshafen, we specifically involve stakeholders in our regions to incorporate their local perspective on the topic. Around the world, we ask the same key question: "What can we do to drive the sustainability topic forward?"


What are the advantages of the new Sustainability Lab format?

Kohl: Compared to our previous format, the Stakeholder Advisory Council, we have increased the number of external and internal participants in the Sustainability Lab. This provides us with access to a greater diversity of opinions and exchanges. All BASF employees can benefit from the Sustainability Lab and follow the exchange of ideas virtually. In this way, we are also increasing interest in and commitment to the topic of sustainability among our employees.


What was the first Sustainability Lab on July 11 2023 about and what did you learn from the event? 

Trüper: The first event focused on the complex issue of energy transformation. We are already on the right track at BASF, but in addition to the existing solutions, we see further open questions and challenges on an economic, ecological, and social level. We therefore discussed the question of how the transformation can be made "fast and fair". Transparency, cooperation, and economic viability were central to the solutions discussed. 


What characterizes the cooperation between BASF and the stakeholders in the Sustainability Lab in particular?

Trüper: Stakeholder engagement thrives on an open and trusting exchange. We see the stakeholders of the Sustainability Lab as our critical friends. They come from different areas such as science, business, politics, and civil society and give us their honest criticism.

Kohl: Exactly. With the Sustainability Lab, we have created a new space in which we can exchange ideas even better than before in order to move forward together. The energy transformation is not an easy topic: it requires perseverance and effort on the part of both companies and other stakeholders.


What are the next steps for the Sustainability Lab?

Kohl: The Sustainability Lab will take place about every two years. This means that there will be an event year and working years in between, which are particularly important because this is where we want to move from thought-provoking ideas to joint action.

The Sustainability Lab process

Finale Sust. Lab Grafik neu - Sustainability Lab Grafik - EN Pre-engagement Corporate event Regional follow-up Global summary

BASF's representatives in the Sustainability Lab

Dr. Martin Brudermüller
“Sustainability is firmly anchored in BASF's corporate purpose. In the Sustainability Lab, we want to bring thought leaders from different sectors together to jointly drive a more sustainable future.”

Dr. Martin Brudermüller


Thorsten Pinkepank
“The energy transition is one of the most important challenges of our future. In dialog with stakeholders, BASF considers how we can succeed together: What we have, what we lack, and what we need to implement it.”

Thorsten Pinkepank

Head of Sustainability Relations of BASF SE