Our climate protection goal

We work continuously to further reduce emissions from our production. We have set ourselves ambitious quantitative goals to this end.

In 2018, BASF Group’s worldwide emissions amounted to 21.9 million metric tons of CO2  equivalents. In 1990, this figure was roughly twice as high. The new 2030 emissions goal represents a reduction of approximately 60 percent compared to 1990 levels, which exceeds the European Union’s target of minus 55 percent.

At the heart of the long-term transition toward net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 is the use of new technologies, which will replace fossil fuels such as natural gas with electricity from renewable sources. Most of these technologies are being pioneered by BASF in collaboration with partners and are currently in a pilot stage. Broad scaleup of these technologies will only be fully realizable after 2030. In order to accelerate the avoidance of CO2 emissions prior to that date, BASF also continues to systematically implement continuous improvement processes for existing production plants. In addition, BASF will progressively switch to renewable sources to meet its electricity needs and intends to invest in wind parks to facilitate this.

1 The goal includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Other greenhouse gases are converted into CO2 equivalents according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Steam cracker at BASF's Ludwigshafen site. Steam cracker II, the largest individual plant at BASF's Ludwigshafen site, covers a surface area of about 64,000 square meters, which is about the size of 13 soccer fields. The steam cracker is also the heart of BASF's Verbund production strategy. This giant plant has been operating since 1981 and uses steam to crack naphtha at about 850°C [1,562°F]. This process leads primarily to ethylene and propylene, both indispensable feedstocks for manufacturing numerous products in Ludwigs­hafen.

Our Carbon Management and further compensation measures

We have bundled these measures in our global Carbon Management.

In addition, we will also consider temporarily taking external offsetting measures such as purchasing certificates if the technical or economic environment does not permit a stabilization of emissions at the 2018 level using the above approaches. Sharp increases due to the startup of large-scale plants will be progressively offset. When deciding on investments and acquisitions, we systematically consider the effects on greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2020, the emissions reported under this target amounted to 20.8 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents, an increase of 3.5 percent compared with the previous year (2019: 20.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents). Specific greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 amounted to 0.639 metric tons of CO2 equivalents per metric ton of sales product, 11.3 percent higher than in the previous year. 

Greenhouse gas emissions from BASF operations (excluding sale of energy to third parties) compared with baseline 2018

Bar chart showing greenhouse gas emissions for 2019 and 2020

Since 1990, we have been able to lower our overall greenhouse gas emissions from BASF operations by 48.1 percent and even reduce specific emissions by 72.1 percent.