Sustainable Solution Steering

Analyzing our products' contributions to the sustainability needs of our customers' value chains

Society and our customers have been taking a greater interest in the business contribution to sustainability over the past decades. We are committed to understand these evolving expectations, so we might seize opportunities as well as minimize risks.  

How our customers benefit from Sustainable Solution Steering

Why – Objective

Our customers can expect from BASF the consistent and innovative solutions they have always received. At the same time, they are looking to contribute to a more sustainable future where being environmentally and socially responsible goes hand in hand with running a profitable business. Therefore, BASF has embedded sustainability in its corporate purpose: “We create chemistry for a sustainable future.” This ambition is directly linked to a number of business factors:

  • Growing customer needs to differentiate with sustainability
  • New regulations and standards in value chains
  • Changing societal and business environments prompting demand for sustainable products

We therefore cooperate with our customers in creating and driving more sustainable solutions, which makes good business sense for both.

A more sustainable portfolio through Sustainable Solution Steering

BASF releases the manual of its Sustainable Solution Steering method to help third parties measure their products’ contribution to sustainability within their various markets and industries and to increase this contribution through targeted steps. The manual describes the Sustainable Solution Steering method in detail and explains how BASF systematically reviewed and evaluated the sustainability aspects of all relevant product applications in its portfolio. BioMar is one of BASFs customers who already applied the method successfully.

Some relevant numbers

■ more than 60,000 solutions in scope
■ 2,400 experts involved worldwide
■ more than 12,000 Accelerator solutions (products with particular contribution to sustainability) with
■ €15 billion in sales in 2018 which are
■ 27,7% of BASF products analyzed (by sales)

How – Evaluation of each solution

By identifying key drivers and issues in our customers’ industries, we are able to assess the sustainability contribution of each of our products in its specific application.

With our approach we evaluate the entire value chain considering industry- and region-specific views in our markets. We strive to achieve a balance between the three dimensions of sustainability:

  • Economy: e.g. potential cost savings for customers through the use of our products
  • Environment: e.g. ensuring standards are met, developing environmentally sound solutions
  • Society: e.g. enhancing safety in production, use or end-of-life, stakeholder perception of solutions

Finally each solution is assigned to one of four categories (Accelerator, Performer, Transitioner, Challenged) according to its contribution to sustainability. Although different industries vary in their specific needs, we are able to cluster our Accelerator solutions into predefined universal sustainability benefits (e.g. resource efficiency).

Steering the portfolio

This detailed analysis and transparent classification allow us to both improve individual solutions and steer the entire portfolio. It also enables further integration of sustainability into our strategic, R&D and customer support processes. The goals are:

  • Increase our portfolio of innovative and sustainable solutions making customers more successful
  • Reduced environmental impact along the value chain, contributing to improved quality of life
  • Better mitigation of risks associated with sustainability

All of this helps us to ensure long-term business success – an integral part of our corporate strategy.

The whole approach has been assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Germany (PwC).

Accelerators are solutions that make a substantial sustainability contribution in the value chain. Therefore, we have set ourselves an ambitious goal: we will considerably increase the sales of Accelerator solutions to €22 billion by 2025 (2018: €15 billion). This target reflects our strong commitment to further drive innovation beyond today’s state of the art.

Products that are classified as Challenged because they do not fulfill our sustainability criteria will be phased out within five years of classifying them as such at the latest.

Examples for Accelerator Solutions

Eco-efficient construction solutions

The Master Builders Solutions portfolio of class-leading products for the construction industry unites a common principle: increased resource efficiency which allows for significant cost savings and a reduced ecological footprint. These benefits of advanced chemistry are proven by acknowledged measurement tools – we call it: Quantified Sustainable Benefits. 

BASF cleaning solutions

There are compelling reasons to develop and choose cleaning products that are fair on the environment and go easy on resources and cleaned items. The biggest reason is our own future. With BASF, you can get your dishes to sparkle using minimal water, and keep surfaces super-clean and hygienic with minimal impact on the environment.