Our Human Rights Commitment and Approach

Human rights protect the dignity of each and every person. Respecting human rights in our own operations and business relationships is the foundation of our social responsibility. We value people and treat them with respect.


BASF wholeheartedly embraces its responsibility to respect human rights and any opportunity to promote them. For many years, we have engaged in constructive dialog on human rights with nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, other companies and multi-stakeholder initiatives to help us better understand different perspectives and address conflicting goals. As a founding member of the United Nations Global Compact, our longstanding self-commitment has driven our engagement for human rights. In our Code of Conduct and our BASF Group`s Policy Statement on Human Rights, we commit to respecting internationally recognized human rights in our own operations and embrace our responsibility to foster respect for human rights in relationships with our business partners along the value chain. Our non-stop journey towards putting this commitment into action continues.

Human rights due diligence is a continuous task. We can only succeed together – as a team and in collaboration with our partners. We foster a culture of integrity and responsible decision-making, and we want to encourage everyone to speak up if something does not feel right.
Vorsitzender des Vorstands: Legal, Taxes, Insurance & Intellectual Property; Corporate Development; Corporate Communications & Government Relations; Senior Executive Human Resources; Investor Relations; Compliance; BASF 4.0; Corporate Technology & Operational Excellence; Digitalization in Research & Development; Innovation Management

Dr. Martin Brudermüller

Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors BASF SE

As an international company, we are embedded in many societies and engage with thousands of business partners around the world. We constantly challenge ourselves to promote human rights in our own operations and in relationships with our business partners along the value chain.

We engage in constructive dialog on human rights with other stakeholders via the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI), a group of globally operating companies from various sectors. The initiative aims to ensure implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We are also active in initiatives such as Together for Sustainability (TfS) and Responsible Care®, which promote sustainability in the supply chain.

In acting on our responsibility for respecting human rights, we rely on a systematic, integrated, risk-based approach and established monitoring and management systems. As we regard human rights due diligence as a continuous task, we review our due diligence mechanisms regularly and upgrade them where required. Our Chief Human Rights Officer oversees BASF's human rights risk management. He directly reports to the Board of Directors.

Our compliance unit is responsible for steering human rights topics and coordinates the work of the cross-functional Human Rights Expert Working Group. This group is a platform for close collaboration between experts from different specialist units – e.g., procurement, legal, human resources, environmental protection, health and safety, sustainability, site security, supply chain, communications, and government relations – and operating divisions. It provides support in improving internal processes, offering training and advising in challenging situations. This cross-unit collaboration helps us to approach our human rights due diligence holistically and in a spirit of continuous improvement.

We integrate external human rights expertise via our independent Human Rights Advisory Council, whose members include independent international human rights experts. Trust-based dialog on human rights topics helps us to better understand different perspectives and to deal more openly with critical situations. At the same time, the renowned experts highlight potential for improvement and help us to build on our strengths in how we handle human rights.

In the Human Rights Advisory Council, we advise BASF on complex Human Rights issues and challenges arising in its operations and its value chains worldwide. The diversity of the Council members and their professional experiences is of utmost importance to holistically assist BASF to develop well-reasoned and sound solutions, in particular, in transnational supply chains and challenging cultural contexts. BASF takes these challenges very seriously.

Prof. Dr. Birgit Spießhofer

Europe Chief Sustainability & Governance Counsel, Dentons and Professor at the University of Bremen

We can only meet our goal of strengthening respect for human rights along our value chains if we work together. We expect our suppliers to respect human rights, take their responsibility seriously. We set these out in our Position on Mandatory Due Diligence.

Please click on the categories below to learn more about each element of our human rights due diligence.


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