November 24, 2017
The story of BASF in Poland is one of success: Since opening first offices in 1992, BASF has not only become a relevant business partner for many key industries in Poland but has also established itself as a leader in the field of sustainable solutions. The company’s recent history has been particularly marked by positive developments. Over the last three years, BASF Polska has doubled in size and now has nearly 800 employees. Therefore, the company proudly celebrated its 25th anniversary this September, placing a strong emphasis on the importance of contributing to a sustainable future. The jubilee was celebrated under the motto: “The future gains a new meaning when we create it together.”
Highlights of the festivities included an exhibition on sustainable cities as well as various TEDx presentations that were held by experts in the areas of circular economy, biodiversity, clean cities and urban future. For BASF Polska, the anniversary furthermore offered a good occasion to join the Minimum Standard of the Ethical Program – a code of conduct established by United Nations Global Compact Poland. Four hundred guests attended the festivities, among whom were business partners, customers and authorities as well as representatives of the UN Global Compact Network Poland.
In the future, BASF wants to continue its path of sustainable growth in Poland: “For the next 25 years, I hope that innovative solutions of BASF Polska will continue to support our partners with the development of a sustainable industry in Poland,” said Andreas Gietl, Managing Director of BASF Polska. Important steps towards achieving this goal have already been taken: In 2014, the BASF’s largest catalyst production plant in Europe started operating in the Polish city of Środa Śląska. The catalysts produced in this plant are used by manufacturers of light-duty gasoline vehicles and light and heavy-duty diesel vehicles. They meet the Euro 6/VI emission regulations and thus contribute to improved air quality and a long-term reduction of pollution. Yet, not only the catalysts but also the production plant itself fulfils important environmental requirements, which is why the U.S. Green Building Council recognized the plant with the gold certification of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The building furthermore received a safety award issued by the Regional Labor Inspectorate in Wroclaw for meeting important safety regulations.
These and other BASF innovations contribute towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN. For instance, many of BASF’s products help achieve SDG number 11, which is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. As part of its anniversary festivities in Poland, BASF invited its customer and partners to attend an exhibition on sustainable cities in which it presented BASF products designed to promote better urban living. Among these were also solutions manufactured by BASF in Poland, with the automotive catalysts produced in Środa Śląska being one of them.
Other innovations presented in the exhibition included BASF’s biodegradable plastic ecovio® or the company’s chelating agent Trilon® M, which serves as a biodegradable alternative to phosphates and other chelating agents and is used in dishwashing detergents. The exhibition was shown in the Copernicus Science Centre Warsaw (CSC), an important partner of BASF Polska. With the goal of popularizing chemistry as a science and school subject, BASF has supported the CSC and other institutions in developing a chemical lab program for children and teenagers. Each year, the laboratories are visited by nearly 40,000 young people from all over Poland who want to explore chemistry in practice.
“We want to share our best practices and continue looking jointly into the future to meet social, environmental and economic challenges together,” said Andreas Gietl. To emphasize that BASF Polska believes that effective business is responsible business, Gietl signed a declaration to join the “Minimum Standard of the Ethical Program” which had been established by the UN Global Compact Poland. The program can be characterized as a self-regulation code of conduct for businesses and is based on the UN guiding principles on business and human rights. In addition to this act of commitment taken by BASF’s Polish subsidiary, BASF has been supporting UN Global Compact on an international scale since 2000. BASF is not only a founding member of the UN Global Compact, but also of Global Compact LEAD, an exclusive group of corporate sustainability leaders. BASF’s voluntary commitment to respecting international labor and social standards is embedded in its global Code of Conduct.