Code of conduct
As well as offering opportunities, every new technology also poses risks. This is also true of nanotechnology. We have therefore developed a code of conduct to ensure responsible handling of nanomaterials. This code reflects the principles of the German Federal Government.
In order to tap into the opportunities offered by technological advances, we want to use new technologies when manufacturing innovative and marketable products. Only with these actual products can we perform a rational assessment of their potential risks compared with their opportunities. This means that only a willingness to identify opportunities and risks in a stepwise approach makes innovations based on new technologies possible. As an innovative company, we have a special responsibility within this process towards our employees, customers, suppliers and society, but also towards future generations. This code of conduct defines the principles on which our work is based.
1. We, the employees of BASF, develop and use the potentials of nanotechnology to manufacture products with enhanced performance or new properties by specifically creating and using new, nanoscale materials.
- The protection of human life and environment is a fundamental principle for our company.
- We identify sources of risks for our employees in our laboratories, production facilities, filling plants and warehouses and eliminate them by taking suitable measures. If health and environmental hazards arise as a result of our operations, we take immediate action.
- According to present scientific knowledge, the creation of artificial organisms and self-replicating nanorobots using nanotechnology is not possible and for us merely science fiction.
2. To the extent that new technologies are converted into concrete processes and products, the expertise required to weigh up the opportunities against the potential risks related to the use of new technologies in the form of innovative products and processes increases. This is also the case with nanotechnology. We take these risks seriously, and as technical advances are achieved, continuously evaluate their potential environment and health hazards.
- BASF has decades of experience in managing the risks of new technologies: we carefully and comprehensively evaluate potential risks and take the appropriate measures to safeguard man and the environment.
- We are actively involved in continuously developing a thoroughly researched scientific database for the assessment of potential risks, and in improving and refining product-based testing and assessment methods. Furthermore, we actively debate the opportunities and risks of nanotechnology with partners from all areas of society.
- Wherever existing legislation and guidelines have not yet taken into account developments in nanotechnology, BASF contributes constructively to drawing up legislation. Our goal is to establish risk-appropriate, reliable standards and to support relevant legislation.
3. Nanotechnology-based products have long been part of our portfolio. We also plan to use the potential of nanotechnology in future to offer our customers products and systems that help them to be more successful.
- BASF only markets products if their safety and environmental impact can be guaranteed on the basis of all available scientific information and technology.
- We provide our customers and logistics partners with information about the safe transportation, storage, safe use, processing and disposal of our products.
- Economic considerations do not take priority over safety, health issues and environmental protection.
4. In our Values and Principles, we have committed ourselves to pursuing a dialogue with society based on openness and trust. We regard it as our duty to provide information about the opportunities but also the potential risks of nanotechnology.
- We are committed to transparency and to an objective and constructive public debate.
- We disclose new findings to the authorities and the public immediately.