At the end of January, BASF highlighted its contribution to a sustainable future as the initiator and host of an international conference attended by companies and customers as well as representatives from politics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the financial community. The objective of the two-day conference in Berlin was to provide an impulse for a standard framework allowing companies to assess and manage their portfolios according to sustainability aspects.
Following a standard framework, the sustainability performance of products of the chemical industry can be described more transparently and comprehensibly. Due to better comparability, a stronger demand for sustainable products is expected, which, in turn, supports intensified research and development efforts for these products.
In Berlin, more than 140 experts from more than 50 international industrial companies, along with representatives from the political, social, and financial sector, shared their experiences, insights, and expertise on sustainable portfolio segmentation. At the same time, the conference also served as a platform for the companies to learn more about the expectations of their partners and customers regarding a standardized method for portfolio segmentation under sustainability aspects.
For the last few years, the industry has already been relying on the use of standardized methods to measure the sustainability of single solutions, such as the “Life Cycle Assessment,” or by analyzing the Carbon Footprint of their products. However, a joint industry standard that enables companies to measure the sustainability contribution of their entire portfolio, helping to manage it effectively, does not yet exist.
In September 2014, BASF has presented its own system – Sustainable Solution Steering. This method, which has been independently validated, enables the company to manage its product portfolio even more effectively and to proactively react to changing expectations and needs of customers and stakeholders. BASF has already used this system to analyze more than 60,000 specific production applications in its portfolio.
Given its decades of experience with the topic of sustainability and the growing demand for sustainability by customers, politics, and society, the chemical industry is playing a key role in leading the way to a sustainable future.
With the support of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a shared framework for steering companies’ portfolios according to sustainability aspects will be developed from May on.