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SMART: for a sustainable future

May 24, 2017

The “Sustainability Metrics And Reporting Tool” (SMART), set up by Supply Chain Operations & Information Services in the global SAP Business Warehouse, makes work easier for BASF employees in marketing and product safety environment: whether it is about paints, cosmetics or plastics, SMART delivers sustainability overviews for selected products in their designated applications and provides sales figures and sales per sustainability category – all at the touch of a button.

The sustainability performance of products in their particular applications is rated using various criteria including energy requirement, water consumption and emissions, and documented in SMART. The results are used to position products even more effectively in the marketplace.

Corporate evaluations and data acquisition for BASF’s annual report were time-consuming before SMART came along. “We used to have to compile the analyses manually. SMART makes the procedure a lot easier,” says Jan Schöneboom, SMART Application Owner and Team Leader Data, Applied Sustainability. Volker Louis, Business Intelligence Lead Consultant and SMART Project Lead, adds: “The automated linking of information means the analyses are available sooner.”

Another advantage: The tool links sustainability information with other data, such as financial indicators, to identify business risks and factors that might impact sustainability for each product. “If, for example, lawmakers were to reduce the current limits for a product, it might impact our business,” Schöneboom says. “Our analyses allow us to initiate countermeasures in time and discuss them for each individual product. It's active risk management in the area of sustainability.” The aim is a solid, sustainable portfolio with a viable future.

“Accelerator” products make a special contribution to sustainability in the value chain. Accelerators account for 27.2 percent of sales in 2016, a figure that is expected to rise to 28 percent by 2020. “With SMART, we can tell with just a couple of clicks whether we are on track to meet that target,” says Schöneboom.

In the future, SMART is expected to be used more often in marketing and Sales. “Examples might include new features for individual analysis of customer portfolios,” Schöneboom explains. “We can then discuss the result directly with the customer. If a customer's interested in sustainability, for example, but only buys about 15 percent BASF products that are particularly sustainable, BASF could offer the customer suitable products in a proactive way.”

The first customer projects are already up and running.

Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications