When BASF invests in a new facility, production site, or research center, the local community is involved from the beginning. Often, this involvement includes formation of a Community Advisory Panel, or CAP. BASF's long history of successful neighborhood involvement through CAPs has led to dynamic and positive relationships between BASF and the communities where we operate.
Local people are encouraged to apply to represent their neighborhood on the CAPs. Each CAP has around 15-20 members, representing the diversity of the neighborhood and its key interests. CAPs include women and men of all ages representing groups such as environmental organizations, hospitals, local trade associations, churches, schools, special interest groups, and emergency services. Local community groups, non-governmental organizations and development agencies help with the selection process.
For major new developments, BASF initiates an independent CAP to foster greater understanding of the company’s plans and ambitions, and to make sure that community interests are recognized and any concerns are promptly addressed. BASF's first CAP in the Asia Pacific region was founded in 2002 in Yeosu, Korea. Today BASF supports CAPs in Korea, Greater China, India, and multiple other locations around the region.
“I visited BASF in the past as a teacher for their sponsored student science education programs. This time I represent the whole community, to enhance communications and relations between BASF and its neighbors. We look forward to working closely with BASF for the welfare of the community we live in,” said Ms. Sun Weilan, Deputy Principal of Gaoqiao Middle School, on her election as chair of the Shanghai CAP.
Providing a regular, open and trusted space for two-way dialogue between community and the BASF team strengthens understanding on topics of mutual interest. Regular meetings are complemented by special events that focus on specific topics such as environmental protection, safety awareness, energy saving and waste management.
Time with BASF management, facility tours, and even visits to BASF customers, help the neighborhood representatives understand the company’s safe production methods as well as the product and process innovations that are helping to create a sustainable future. Community days regularly attract hundreds of local residents interested in learning as well. Holiday celebrations, sports competitions, site tours and other activities round out the annual agenda and expand the platform for social exchange and relationship building.
In Korea, along with CAP meetings, BASF also publishes a quarterly CAP newsletter to further public understanding of environment and safety issues.
“As a chemical company, we have a particular responsibility to our local communities. Community Advisory Panels are invaluable to maintain relationships between our company and our neighbors,” says Sally Cox, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, BASF Asia Pacific. “CAPs demonstrate true collaboration, which benefits our neighbors, our company and the chemical industry as a whole.”