Newsletter Sustainable Development
X-SEED® improves the energy and climate balance of concrete
The concrete admixture X-Seed from BASF reduces the carbon emissions and the consumption of energy and resources associated with the manufacture of prefabricated concrete parts. This is the result of the “Nano-NachhaltigkeitsCheck” (nanosustainability check) developed by the Freiburg Oeko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology). BASF conducting a pilot trial with the Oeko-Institut, has tested the new method and analyzed the new hardening accelerator X-Seed.
In a pilot trial BASF and the Oeko-Institut tested the new method on ecological, economic and social effects of the hardening accelerator throughout its life cycle using the SEEBALANCE®, SocioEcoEfficiency analysis. This evaluation method also proves that X-Seed saves carbon dioxide, energy and resources in construction activities and is also more cost effective because no additional heating is needed.
“Developing innovations for highly efficient and more sustainable construction is an important part of BASF’s activities. The study of the Oeko-Institut shows we are on the right track and that nanoproducts like X-Seed are making an important contribution,” said Dr. Tilman Krauch, President of BASF’s Construction Chemicals division.
Supporting new OECD guidelines to protect human rights and social development
In May ministers from OECD and developing economies agreed upon revised guidelines to promote more responsible business conduct by multinational enterprises. The updated guidelines include new recommendations on business responsibilities regarding human rights and supply chain, making them the first inter-governmental agreement in this area.
The OECD and emerging economies worked closely with business, trade unions and non-governmental organisations to produce those guidelines.
As a globally operating company, BASF acts in accordance with those internationally recognized standards and acknowledges its responsibility to respect and support human rights. For that purpose, the Sustainability Council has adopted the BASF Group’s Position on Human Rights. The document that is available on BASF’s website defines the self-commitments on human rights issues, operational standards and their implementation with regard to employees, the communities around sites, and to business partners.
As a member of UN Global Compact LEAD, BASF strives to contribute to the protection and wider recognition of human rights within its sphere of influence. For this reason, BASF requires from its suppliers and business partners to act in accordance with internationally recognized standards.
Malaria is one of last major epidemic diseases, killing up to 800,000 people a year.
BASF has been committed to the fight against malaria and other tropical diseases for a long time. The company’s contribution is Interceptor®, a mosquito net coated with the insecticid Fendona®. The net remains effective against mosquitoes for several years. It thus meets the World Health Organization (WHO) requirements for a "Long Lasting Insecticidal Net" (LLIN).
The BASF LLIN-Team has now demonstrated its high level of quality by gaining ISO 9001 certification.
The quality management standard ISO describes the demands that must be fulfilled by the management of companies. For the certification of the LLIN mosquito net business, BASF compiled a manual in which the business processes, standard operating procedures and product processing in production, marketing and sales are described exactly.
The ISO 9001 certificate for the Interceptor® mosquito net is initially valid for three years. Annual follow-up audits are performed by external auditors to ensure that the high standards of quality are maintained and the processes are continuously improved.
At this year’s World Malaria Day in April 2011 BASF could show how this initiative prevented the spread of the disease almost completely.
BASF’s biodegradable plastic Ecovio® FS Film is being used in a pilot project in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany. Starting in April 2011, a test is being conducted to determine whether the bags are suitable for collecting organic waste and how these bags behave on a large scale at an organic composting plant in Grünstadt. The compostable waste bags will be disposed of together with organic waste in the organic waste bin. In the composting plant the bags do not have to be removed and can be composted together with the organic waste to yield compost. Ecovio® organic waste bags can thus help to protect the environment and reduce the cost.
Many employees spend eight hours and more daily sitting at their desk. This lack of exercise combined with an inappropriate diet often leads to long-term diseases such as obesity, fat metabolism disorder, diabetes or high blood pressure - also known as metabolic syndrome. Prevention and health promotion are there for key issues – also at the workplace.
According to the foundation RUFZEICHEN GESUNDHEIT! this has excellently been put into practice by BASF with the Health Management System of the Occupational Medicine & Health Protection Department.
Occupational health at BASF has a long tradition; especially as the chemical industry is subject to particularly strict statutory health requirements. The Department Occupational Medicine & Health Protection at BASF includes 145 employees today. The program they offer is as wide as varied, e. g. ranging from yoga to stress management and cooking classes for shift workers.
The keynote speech at the award ceremony in front of numerous guests from politics, science, business and media, was held by Professor Dr. med. Peter Schwarz, Head of the Division of Diabetes Prevention Medical Clinic III, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, asking “The Metabolic Syndrome in the 21st Century - who bears the challenges?“.
BASF launches its SELECT™ (Sustainability, Eco-Labeling and Environmental Certification Tracking) Eco-Label Manager, a database created to strategically manage the abundance of eco-labels, environmental claims, directories and ratings systems by allowing the user to search, analyze and compare these programs in a structured and consistent format.
Currently, the tool includes 100 programs for review, primarily associated with North America, but is continuing to add programs from all regions globally.
Batteries are the key technology for the electromobility of the future. Over the next five years, BASF will be investing a three-digit million euro sum in research, development and production of battery materials. Part of the investment is being channeled into the construction of a production plant in Elyria, Ohio. This new facility with an investment volume of more than $50 million is scheduled to supply the market with cathode materials for the production of high-performance lithium-ion batteries from mid-2012 on.
2011 has been designated the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) by the United Nations, and BASF is supporting the initiative in many different ways. Starting off officially in Paris on January 27 under the motto “Chemistry: Our life, our future,” the IYC is intended among other things to encourage an interest in chemistry among young people and to promote a deeper understanding of chemistry’s fundamental importance.
BASF will be welcoming visitors to its sites in many countries during numerous Open House days, where all interested parties can get a taste of chemistry.
In Sao Paulo and at BASF’s sites in Brazil, IYC coincides with the celebration of “100 Years of BASF in Brazil”.
BASF is involved all over the world in exhibitions and collaborative projects with schools and science museums, organizing competitions and discussion and information events on the topic of chemistry.
In BASF Kids’ Labs for example youngsters can carry out experiments and discover the world of chemistry with experiments about water.
During the Sixth International CSR Forum, a flock of “Golden Bee” companies gathered in Beijing to witness the unveiling of the “2010 Golden Bee CSR China Honor Roll”. Every year since its inception in 2008, the Golden Bee CSR Council has awarded the honor roll to companies showing outstanding achievements in the CSR field. To date, it has attracted over 1,200 applicants country-wide, with 119 being recognized and another 107 shortlisted.
“Being the initiator and founding partner of the ‘Golden Bee’ concept, BASF is fully supportive of the Golden Bee 2020 initiative and is committed to leading in the field of supply chain sustainability,” said Johnny Kwan, Chairman of the BASF Greater China Country Board and Vice Chairman of the China Golden Bee CSR Council. “Our goal is to mobilize partners along the supply chain and across industries to build a transparent, traceable, and more sustainable valueadding chain.”
Employees of BASF worldwide have donated more than €780.000 to the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. BASF fully matched each donation contributed by the employees one-to-one. Including these funds and the initial contribution by BASF, donations therefore total over €2 million.