Environmental protection and safety are important management responsibilities, for which we set ourselves ambitious goals. With globally applicable standards, we set out clear rules and make our employees aware of these values in the workplace. Our Responsible Care® Management System and global directives ensure the implementation of our voluntary commitments, which we regularly review. We focus on prevention and learn from past incidents so that we can continuously improve our performance in terms of environmental protection and safety.
Responsible Care Management
- Coordinates activities in the areas of environmental protection, health and safety
- Three new Group directives adopted in 2009: on global incident reporting, corporate and information security and toll manufacturing
We constantly work on improving our existing environment and safety management system. Our overriding aim is to protect our employees and neighbors, as well as to safeguard our productivity. We support the global Responsible Care initiative of the International Council of Chemical Associations; in 2006, we co-initiated its Responsible Care Global Charter.
The foundations of our environmental and safety work are set out in our corporate guidelines. Our Responsible Care Management System ensures that globally applicable standards form the basis of our daily work: We have defined requirements and responsibilities, as well as assessment methods for the implementation of our standards. We have also created procedures for measuring and documenting our progress toward our goals. This forms the framework for the safe production of chemicals and the responsible use and secure transportation of our products. We will continue to develop guidelines for environmental and safety management in the next few years. In annual management reviews, our managers assess BASF’s environmental and safety performance, achievement of goals, results of audits and changes to underlying conditions. We include information from our stakeholder dialogue.
In 2009, three new Group directives were adopted as part of our Responsible Care Management. Topics included global incident reporting, corporate and information security, and a binding directive on toll manufacturing. With the latter, we ensure that our environmental, health and safety standards are also adhered to by firms who produce BASF products on our behalf.
The new Group directive on reporting forms the basis of our global incident database, in which we record all accidents as well as near-misses and other incidents. It covers our sites and transportation routes. We include incidents involving employees of BASF, personnel leasing companies and contractors. In this way, we analyze weak points that could potentially affect the environment, the safety of our employees or our host communities. In addition, the database helps us to systematically learn from mistakes so that we can pursue our goals for environmental protection and safety. This requires open communication about mistakes and challenges, which we support through activities such as our new safety initiative. Information about incidents that may help us to avoid similar occurrences in the future is communicated throughout the BASF Group.
BASF’s commitment to environment and safety was recognized in 2009. For example, our subsidiary BASF Chemicals Co., Ltd. was honored by the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park for outstanding safety management for the third consecutive year.
- 99 audits on safety and environment, 43 audits on occupational medicine and health protection
- A total of 154 of our production sites worldwide are certified in accordance with ISO 14001
- Audits are based on BASF directives and regulations as well as applicable legal standards
Our regular audits are a key component of the Responsible Care Management System. They ensure consistently high standards within the BASF Group in all areas of environmental protection, safety and health protection. Criteria include emissions monitoring, occupational and distribution safety, emergency response and preventive health care. On behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, our audit teams for safety and environment as well as for occupational medicine and health protection investigate the implementation of Responsible Care at BASF sites and at our majority-owned subsidiaries. The tasks and specifications for carrying out the inspections are set out in the BASF Group Directive Responsible Care Audits. These include a defined procedure to be followed if standards are not adhered to. Together with operating divisions, we develop and implement measures to bring about improvements. These audits are based on BASF directives and regulations as well as applicable legal standards. Our internal audit system complies with standards for external auditing procedures (ISO 19011 and OHSAS 1900). Worldwide, 154 BASF production sites are certified in accordance with ISO 14001.
In 2009, 99 safety and environment audits were carried out in the BASF Group at 63 sites. BASF carried out audits relating to occupational medicine and health protection at 43 sites.
Costs and provisions for environmental protection
- €669 million in overall costs for operating environmental protection facilities
- €141 million additional investment in new and improved environmental protection plants and facilities
- €598 million in provisions for environmental protection measures and remediation costs
The overall costs of operating environmental protection facilities throughout the BASF Group amounted to €669 million in 2009 (2008: €706 million). BASF invested an additional €141 million in new and improved environmental protection plants and facilities (2008: €165 million). These capital expenditures involved both end-of-pipe measures as well as integrated environmental protection measures.
Provisions established for environmental protection measures and remediation amounted to €598 million as of December 31, 2009 (December 31, 2008: €377 million). The figures are higher compared with 2008 primarily as a result of the acquisition of Ciba.